Domain Leasing Q and A

Khalid asked a question in the comments last week that I would like to cover today.

Can you please post how you actively find clients for your domains and what you say in your e-mails to them?

Firstly, to date I only have the one lease, it’s a big one at $1000 per month but I need to work hard to build on that and show it wasn’t a fluke. Finding clients is certainly hard, I have sent lots of emails and contacted lots of people with little response so it can be a bit disheartening, I am quite stubborn though and don’t mind persevering, the main ways I have used are just the obvious one’s

1/ The top 30 or so ranking websites if they are a business, just because they have an organic listing does not mean they would not be interested in another so always worth approaching them, especially if your domain ranks.

2/ Adwords – I contact the Adwords advertisers, they already see the value in the keyword and spend money on it so should be more responsive.

3/ Look for and purchase magazines dedicated to the niche, you can then find more potential clients who perhaps are stuck with print advertising and may not even have a website or email address.

For sending emails it really varies, if the domain does not rank then something short like this:

Good morning, I own {domain name} and am looking to lease the domain out which could be used as a second storefront for your business.

The domain is a prime generic term, lease would be £75 per month based on 2 years with an option to renew for a further year at the same price.

If you are interested or have any questions please get in touch

Regards
Scott Jones
Lease A Domain

If the domain ranks then I would bring in some recent stats for the last 30 days and include how much based on that traffic would have cost them and also mention the main keywords, so for example

Good morning, I own {website} which is {description}, I am however looking to lease the domain out, website can be included.

I am sure someone in the industry like yourself would be able to monetise this site and perhaps use it for their own sales & stock or you could charge for listings or use the traffic for your own related ventures, the site is almost 5 years old and ranks top 10 in Google UK for things like ‘main keyword’ and generates traffic from keywords like:

xxxxxx
xxxxxx
xxxxxx

Some basic stats on the site are:
Last months stats from Google Analytics

4459 visits
25,982 Page Views
5.83 Pages per visit

So if you don’t want to start a brand new site, suffer the sandbox and deliberate over SEO here is a chance to walk right into an old established website with traffic.

Lease would be for 2 years with an option to renew for a further year at the same monthly price.

Lease would be £xxx per month, taking the last months stats that works out at under £0.0xp per visitor for very targeted traffic with full control over the site.

If you are interested please get in touch.

Regards
Scott Jones
Lease A Domain

It’s been a tough sweat trying to convince people but I believe in what I am trying to achieve so will stick at it.

Also, how do you value how much a domain is worth per month? You recently spoke about Fuel Cell Boilers, what if you owned a domain relating to that, once it was ranked in the SERPs how would you value it because it is a new technology?

Future technology would not be the types of domains I would try and lease, certainly buy for the future but for leasing you really need to look at what is popular now so that potential clients can lease and expect to get a return, after all potential clients should be in a position to better monetise any traffic with actual product sales rather than you earning a few cents per click with Adsense.

For valuations again it depends on whether the domain ranks, if it does you may make money from Adsense/aff sales just now, if I was making £300 per month from a site I would look to lease it for £450 ish, I would prefer a stable income and one that is better than it performs just now. If it’s just a domain with little/no traffic so far I have been trying to get my purchase price back within 12 months.

I am pretty close to leasing out a small furniture domain that does not rank, it cost me £450 to buy it and the lease is for £75 per month which is £900 per year meaning after 6 months the domain has paid for itself and is generating some income. I also use Adwords data, if you generating traffic you can look up what advertisers pay per click and show value that way.

Finally, with regards to SEO, don’t domain ranks automatically drop when you change the content of the site completely? So you have a landing page for “BedroomFurniture.com” that sites 1st in Google then its leased and the lessee has a crap site with no SEO…how do you ensure your domain doesn’t lose its position because the lessee isn’t actually doing anything wrong?

Not in my opinion, the backlinks plus domain name plus age should keep a site there but if it’s weak then yes a complete change could harm the ranking a bit but I would expect it to recover, either way you are not selling a ranking, you are leasing a domain. You can make no guarantees as to the traffic or any present organic listing for which you have no control, I would always offer advice at the start/changeover anyway but once the lease comes into effect you have to step back.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. İnteresting stuff as usual Scott.
    İ was wondering how many other people lease url’s or are you the leader in this field? Do you see it becoming a bigger playing field once all the really good .com .co.uk have been taken in a few years time?
    Will we see businesses dealing in url leasing in the future?

    Anyway just a few things in my mind 🙂

    • I’d reckon it will grow Deano, probably goes on a lot just now but all done under NDA’s so it isn’t as public as sales go.

      • Yeah, guess İ agree. As domain prices go up leasing may become the only option for many, a bit like renting a house İ suppose.

        But.. what happens after say 5 years, when someone has built up a business; is there somesort of agreement that you can only put the price up by a certain percentage a year, or you give them first option if you need to sell the domain? (especially if it’s gone up 10 times in value and you want to buy an island in dubai or something).

        Guess İ see renting domains out a good idea in general but with lots of possible future issues.

        • That is exactly what I have been discussing on the phone with someone this morning who had concerns. Offer the lessee first refusal every two years, therefore if they spend money on developing they know it won’t transfer to someone else. Also write in an agreement that the monthly fee will not increase more than a set percentage every 2 years which would stop me suddently increasing the fee unfairly.

  2. Sounds great, İ think you are really onto something here 🙂

  3. Hi Scott, so if you got a blockbuster offer from a random person for one of the domains you have leased out, would you have a get out clause yourself so you could accept the offer and sell the domain on?

    • Lease agreements have an option to cancel giving fair notice just like a property lease. You would also have to consider a good offer against potential revenue for years leased out or you could sell as a going concern, another option would be to write into the agreement that if the domain was ever sold they get first refusal so a chance to match any large offers.

  4. Seems like an interesting concept. I’ve only seen widescale lease operations on gTLD’s – such as at http://www.leasethis.com/ so it’ll be interesting to see how this transfers over to the .uk domain world.

  5. Hey Scott, thanks for the publicised response, great answers buddy you have helped me!

  6. Frustrating I know Rob, another option is to ask for a price and agree to it subject to a trial period, ie non refundable deposit to test the domain for a few months and then an option to buy at the end of the test period or walk away, all that can written into an agreement, again too many people are too quick to slap a huge figure on a domain with no history that doesn’t allow anyone a chance to test it out.

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