If Domainers were paid hourly, how much would they make?

I was having a conversation with a friend who is interested in getting started in the world of Domain Investing. She brought up an interesting point as I was sharing some of the fundamentals – when you take the amount of time spent looking at and acquiring names, negotiating deals, and finalizing transactions, what do you end up making hourly?

My initial answer was – well that really depends on a lot of factors. That being said I do think people who buy and hold, don’t do outbound, and only negotiate when they know they have a big buyer likely come out with the highest conversion of time to money.

For people who flip names and focus on outbound they likely end up with a lower “hourly wage” so to speak. Flipping names regularly not only means spending more time researching and buying names, it often means spending a lot more time emailing with prospective buyers and trying to close a deal.

About five years ago I stopped doing outbound myself, since I run a software company I just don’t have the time to do it. While I could make time, after working a ten hour day I’d rather spend time with friends or family vs. doing more work, and yes – outbound is work no matter how you slice it in my book.

My friend continued to push on figuring out this calculation for herself, the reason being that she’s a pretty talented software developer so can make around $200/hour consulting. If she makes less than $200/hour Domaining over the course of a year, she feels like she won’t be doing as good of a job as she could at converting her time to money.

At the end of our discussion I was able to convince her to give it a shot but to start small with two-word .COMs in the sub-$500 range and a target sale price in the $1,500 – $3,500 range. She’s going to start with a $10,000 investment and see if she can turn that into $20,000 valuing her time at more than $200/hour – we’ll see how it goes!

I do think plenty of Domainers would make north of $500/hour if you calculated it. At the same time, I think other Domainers that may “profit” $10,000 – $20,000/year could end up in the $20-$30/hour range which is on par with what an Uber driver makes.

Either way, I think my friend has an interesting perspective and makes a point that every Domainer should be thinking about – how do you end up converting your time to money, and more importantly, how much do you think your time is worth?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Richard Morris October 16, 2019, 11:16 pm

    Thinking domains 24/7, i doubt my hourly conversion amounts to much. I use to think sex 24/7, and that conversion rate was very little.

    However on a more serious note, if someone were to hire me on hourly rate I think I’d charge $150 an hour, the same thing I charge as a business consultant. That may sound cheap compared to the average lawyer rate, but I believe I’m worth it:)

  • Naresh October 16, 2019, 11:20 pm

    This is a very interesting and important topic. Thanks for bringing it up.
    This cost per hour concept varies from country to country. In fact, I am from India and here the concept is monthly salary and not earning per hour.
    When compared to countries like US, what we make here will be very less but since domain business is universal and everything is in dollars, this industry can be indeed lucrative especially for someone from developing countries.
    I am a doctor with MD degree – a psychiatrist practising in a hospital in India. I make around $1600 per month which may appear less but is considered quite a good salary for a moderate living. I have first time calculates the earning per hour and it comes to around $9.22 per hour for me.
    But I have been in domain investing for past 6 years with a resonable portfolio. Now I spend only 1-2 hours for domains per day. Buy initially it was up to 4 hours. I make around $2000 every month from domain business which makes my earnings around $35 per hour. This is really worth my time. Because I have spent more than 10 years for competing my studies and another 5 years in practice. And that entails almost 8-10 hours everyday.
    So for me even though I am a doctor, since I am from a developing nation like India domain business is very lucrative. Thank you very much for making me realize this more by putting things in a new perspective.


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