It’s a problem that many Domainers face, but a bigger problem than most realize – too many domains, too little time. Since many Domain Investors run their businesses on the side, it can be easy to just set everything to auto-renew and stay focused on your 9-5 job, dinners, drinks, etc. The problem comes when you look back a few years later and realized that you’ve spent 3-4 years renewing junk when you could have put that money into buying quality names.
I’m always surprised when people tell me that they rarely buy names over $1,000 yet they’ll spend $5,000/year renewing names that are complete garbage. If you don’t renew a domain that doesn’t mean that you gave up on a good investment, what it really could mean is that you just saved yourself money that could be put into a real investment.
While there are plenty of tools to manage your portfolio I’m old school and stick to a spreadsheet, I used to use Excel now everything I do is in Google Docs since I’ve become a big fan of the cloud. Most of my computers have no files on them which is great since I need to be able to access my files from anywhere. Two weeks ago I sold a domain while walking on the beach, I needed to look-up the original price I paid for the domain and since I had this stored on a spreadsheet in Google Docs I could simply use my iPhone to look-up the data I needed while I was on the phone with the buyer.
So keep it simple, just putting the following information in a spreadsheet will make a big difference:
- When you bought the domain
- What you paid for it
- How much it makes you
- How much you would sell it for
- What your time horizon is
The time horizon piece is critical and one I find many Domainers exclude from their spreadsheet. Be honest with yourself, knowing that the longer your time horizon, the longer you can wait for big offers to come in. For example, I just bought a domain name (one word .COM) for $6,200, my time horizon for selling it is 3-4 years. I’m in no rush to sell it, instead I want to see it go to the right buyer. On the other hand I have plenty of domains I want to sell in the next few months, different time horizon, different sales techniques.
The key is having all this data in front of you, or available to you so you can be honest with yourself. This way when a domain comes up for renewal you can make an educated decision about whether to keep it or let it drop. While I’m of course not going to drop a name I paid thousands of dollars for, if I’m expecting to get $50K for a name and it’s 1-2 years past my time horizon maybe I’ll lower my price expectations or increase my time horizon.
The point is, don’t just login to your registrar account and renew everything, get organized and make sure you’re buying the right names for the right reason. If you start to notice names aren’t selling for what you expect within your time horizon, you’ll be able to course correct rather than repeat the same mistakes.
I know that we all do this a bit differently so I’d love to hear how some of you keep your portfolio organized as well!