Frager Factor

Friday, December 24, 2010

Domaining's Most Fascinating 2010- Rob Grant "Forever Young" "Forever Innovating"

'If you know upstate New York or if you've visited a geosite for the region, then you probably have hit one of Rob's properties. Rob's owns about 8,000 domains and has helped define successful real estate domaining. His has turned upstate New York's and other real estate domains into a successful business with one of the first refined marketing strategies for geodomaining. This former New York ad man and onetime custom furniture maker who relocated to New York's upper Saranac region also owns a host of compelling verticals including,,,, and such geo targeted properties as"

Rob Grant is an industry veteran who got some of the best names available in the early days, including the most desired real estate names. He rode both the PPC and Real Estate boom waves to become set for life. So why have you read about Rob Grant so much this year? — FOUR times here and many times at DNJournal?

It's because this Madison Avenue alumnus couldn't shake the marketing demons that are in his blood. Rob believes that the web is at its peak opportunity right here, right now, and marketing is the key to unlocking its TRUE potential.Hence our recognition of Rob for this years Most Fascinating Domainer honor saluting he and others who apply marketing to their advantage.

Rob has done that by entering into agreements for his real estate sites to be managed by partnering with Sotheby's. And his network of recession-ripe "cheap" sites to be managed by Epik. By cheap domains, I mean,,, and 100’s more. “Cheap” is a word frequently clicked on by savvy comparison shoppers who are actively looking for bargains. These visitors convert well to clicks and sales...And when they find something they like, they spread the word fast creating a multiplier effect.

The was founded in1996 by Grant who owns the largest network of geo-targeted real estate domains in the world including,,,, as well as hundreds of other countries and cities around the globe. "Today our websites are responsible for some of the biggest sales we've had," Rob tells me. "Properties like Camp Cobblestone, which we sold recently for $2.5 million and Camp Konocti, which we sold for $3.3 million. So the Internet has become by far and away the most important resource we have as an active agency."

“At the moment, our industry is in real turmoil with collapsing PPC revenues and a general lack of direction" confided Rob, “I am responding as quickly as I can to this new and very dangerous environment. Starting several months ago, we began a massive editing process that has purged the portfolio of hundreds of marginal and 2nd tier domains. For me personally, this means making some tough but necessary decisions about eliminating domains that other people no doubt find valuable (and that auto-appraisers like Estibot assign pretty high values to). But these are extraordinary times, and for me, the measurement of value today is whether I see a name that defines a category and whether I can own that category as a business.”

"I had the advantage of having worked on Madison Avenue, so for me I felt that a generic domain defining an industry represented a future brand. So I was convinced that if you could own these category defining domains that someday, maybe in five, ten years as the Internet matured, these domains would take on huge value", reflected Rob. " Actually, nothing has changed because my criteria back in '96 is the same criteria as 2010," Rob continues. "And that is if a domain makes sense, if it has meaning and has a purpose and, more importantly, if I believe it has advertisers, then I'm going to buy it.

"And actually, it's almost become a sport for me because I just enjoy going online. I'm always constantly watching trends and listening to news developments and trying to anticipate where the world is going to move to next, and then I want to buy that domain out ahead of the pack. So with something like the recession franchise, I saw back in '07 that it looked like we might be heading into some stormy seas here and so I began to acquire these domains which are now doing very well in the PPC world. Stuff like, people are typing that in right and left now.

Congratulations to Rob!
Be inspired by the success of people who did the work to transform their dreams into reality: Domaining’s Most Fascinating People of 2010. These 20 diverse entrepreneurs are generating real wealth through a disciplined process that can be followed by everyone who dreams of striking it rich online. It’s old-fashioned marketing, reengineered for the digital world. Every one of these Most Fascinating People knew that the true path to revenues and riches is to build a brand with an actual business model based on differentiation, relevance and value.

Catch up with the series by familiarizing yourself with the seven people we've profiled so far:

And stay tuned for daily profiles of our remaining champions...
1. Francois Carrillo
2. Jeff Bennett
3. Warren Royal
4. Colin Pape
8. Adam Mazurek
9. Ron Josephs
11. Mike Fiol
12. Rob Monster
13. Lori Ann Wardi
14. Monte Cahn
16. Bill Kara
20. Jeff Tinsley
Photos: Barbara Dillman Neu (Grant with Epik's Rob Monster); DnJournal (Grant with Sotheby's John Burke)

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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