I am a soloist in life. Most of my business ventures are done on my own. Only a few times in life have I had a partner. I was a slave to a few owners before then. Howard proved that a partnership could work well if the 2 dance well together. Danny Welsh had some talents I have very rarely seen in my life. I knew he would be able to not only fill in my weaknesses, but make those weaknesses my greatest strengths. So we have dovetailed well and in the months ahead you will know why we teamed up. Danny is a nice guy, but he is also brutal. Brutally honest with what he sees and does.
I think you might get a sense for him by the way he answers questions in a really detailed manner. So the following is an actual email set of questions and the responses. And since the questions are so universal, and many have asked the same things, I thought it best to post it.
1. I guess really what my question(s) boils down to is, if I tie up my names with you guys for 1 year, are you going to be doing active outbound sales calls and lead gen in order to bring a lease/sale/jv deal on them?
Danny: YES. That's my job. Get more interested inquiries over to Rick, filter them to pass along only those that may be more qualified and let him do his thing with negotiating. You don't know me, but marketing is why I'm here at the table. Hundreds of references I can give you. Frankly, I'm ITCHING to get this necessary but unappealing part of the process over with so I can get on with the 12 month task set before me to market these properties in a way befitting a 6 and 7 figure asset.
2. Anyhow, I love what you guys are doing and I'm not in need of a "fast fix", I just don't want to tie the names up for such a long period of time without knowing that they are being put to work, so to speak.
Danny: Don't look at it as "tying up". Look at it as attempting to unleash a great domain name to become a great business. I can show you annual parking income on a set of 100 domain names I represent for Rick. Turn one into a lease and it can out-perform the other 99 in the next 12 months, with nothing but more upside down the road including annual built-in increases, possible buyouts, possible equity share royalties etc. We're whale hunting. Don't give us anything to work with that you expect you can make something great happen for without us or without any effort in the next 4-24 months. Let me put in the work, and we WILL. Our efforts will either fly or die but it will not be for lack of effort or vision.
3. In the end, you guys are taking on a whole lot of domains for this venture and like you said, some good, some bad and some great.
Danny: Not as many as we could. 30,000+ submissions and 95% totally unsuitable in timing for what we're trying to do. Combing through the remainder to find the ones that we can make a stand behind that we believe can make corporate America and the press sit up and take notice this year...was not a job for the marketing guy (me) but the seasoned domain investor. When Rick took that job on himself I was very glad! The bottom line is, we don't need to make bad deals or take quantity inventory. Scale planned for my operation was for 100 domains of Rick's, now we'll have 400 domains represented this year . It will take some ramp up but it can be done.
4. I'm trying to understand how individual names from that great pool will be highlighted to appropriate buyers.
Danny: Direct targeted marketing via multiple media using plans spearheaded by me and carried out by a team (caveat: as mentioned, the team WILL have to grow to scale our planned 2013 operations to represent 400 domain names instead of the 100 of Rick's. That's my #1 priority in coming weeks). Marketing for your properties will be targeted to companies that should be interested and may be qualified to get a 5 figure per year deal to use a 6 or 7 figure value asset. Primarily niche targeted is easier, as you know. It's no secret who ought to want a certain domain name. I'll be going to those people with a custom "angle" designed mostly just to get the news into the hands and minds of the right people. Rick gave ONE example of 100+ on his blog with a blurb about our plan for SoccerBalls.com as an example. The rest I'm sorry but I'll have to keep those to myself.
5. Can you give me any examples of names which you have successfully leased under your model? Rick's personal past and current leases have ranged anywhere from $400 to $125,000/mo. So you can set your own price range and so long as Rick thinks it's reasonable we will work for that. No recent deals you'll be reading about on the higher end of that spectrum but the $1000/mo deals are 30-100x parking and more so for me that's plenty of empirical evidence. How much does a domain make parked? How many multiples will $3000/mo lease to start be if we succeed?
6. Obviously, I'm well aware of the Candy.com and other JV deals you (Rick) have done, but I'm more interested in the lease model and successes on that front.
Danny: Read the Ricksblog.com over the next few weeks. Transparency is key, I agree. Just know that Rick isn't dumb and wouldn't jeopardize his reputation without proof these deals have become MUCH easier to negotiate and begin in recent months than EVER before.
7. Will either of you be in Santa Monica for WebFest?
Danny: Not unless my mentor and partner goes, which I'm doubting. See you at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in Vegas!
Danny: Thanks for your time. I'm a nice guy but business is business. It's a better use of my time to reassure a guy who's a player that this is THE game he wants to be in for 2013-4, than respond to hundreds of non-qualified inquiries. What you get with me is a guy who'll do both and treat them equally as important in how I communicate with them. Within reason, anyway. Come 2/1 all this is over and I can run to the market and shout what we have to the end users that want your very best assets, let them know the terms under which they can get their hands on the one they want and change their destiny forever.