Is the term “Domainer” hurting domain investors?


As many of you know, I made a shirt a couple of years ago, yeah this one you see above that I unveiled at NamesCon a few years ago. I love the shirt, but I’ve been thinking lately more and more about the term Domainer and what it means outside of the industry.

Most people in this world who invest in things invest in either the stock market or real estate. Sure, there are lots of other things you could invest in (I know the crypto crowd is here!), but these two options easily capture 90% of the global investment community.

What do stock market investors call themselves? Investors. How about real estate investors? Investors. Domain investors? Domainers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a proud Domainer, but at the same time, when I hear friends in the startup world talk about “Domainers” they often are thinking of squatters, not investors, and while they don’t know the difference between the two, they also don’t differentiate between the words.

All that being said, I’ll be honest, I don’t care. I don’t live my life trying to fit a specific mold, and I actually like that domain investing is a totally different world, a niche completely unknown to most real estate and stock market investors. So I’m proud to say I’m a Domainer and fine correcting people when they say, “you mean squatter!?!”

But I do sometimes wonder if calling our community Domainers vs. investors does hurt us sometimes. What do you think? 🤷‍♂️

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • BullS October 19, 2020, 9:46 pm

    Domain Hobbyist
    Domain collector just like stamp collector
    Magna cum laude
    Graduate of Domain King Academy

    MBA-My Big Ass(all of you have one)
    PHD-people having dickheads

  • Emeka October 19, 2020, 10:09 pm

    Morgan,I just changed my background on twitter to Domainer(took a pics of the shirt you sent me ).I owe no one an apology being domainer and an investor .I have a full time job also by the way. People can say whatever they want.I know I am not a squatter and those who are,know themselves .I am a domain investor and they can take that to the bank.👍👍👍.

  • gene October 20, 2020, 4:58 am

    For any outbound pitches I’ve always referred to my company as either “IP investors” or “brand investors.” For the past 20+ years I can’t ever recall using the word “domainer” when interacting with prospective buyers or partners.

  • Logan October 20, 2020, 5:03 am

    As you know, I am a strong advocate against the term “domainers” and I hate the shirt (haha). We are investors, full stop. Anything less is to needlessly denigrate what we do. We only hurt ourselves using the term “domainers”.

    I tell anyone who asks that I am a digital real estate investor. People get it and respect it more when we align it with real estate investing — “it’s digital real estate instead of physical real estate”.


    • Emeka October 20, 2020, 7:29 am

      Love it.Digital Real estate investor sounds respectable.

      Thank you Logan.👍

      • gene October 20, 2020, 11:56 am

        You could be confusing people with that moniker because there are countless business and technology folks who know of ‘Digital Realty’ – a $42B company that owns data centers.

        • Emeka October 21, 2020, 1:59 am

          Domain Investor it would be then.

  • Alan Dodd October 20, 2020, 5:22 am

    One thing about the whole use of the word “squatting”.

    Traditionally it refers to occupying a property that someone else previously had rights in/owned.

    So you occupy the property and gain rights. A legal activity.

    But with TM Free domains, nobody “owns” them per se, so it’s first come first served. So the whole use of the word “squatting” is being changed to a new meaning.

  • MapleDots October 20, 2020, 6:39 am

    The notion that I called myself a domainer did hurt my sales, so much so that I don’t list my domains as a domainer anymore.

    This is a topic of discussion over at namepros where I opened the topic “Incognito Domainer”

  • Emeka October 20, 2020, 7:48 am

    While we are at it,Time to make a digital real estate investor T-shirt.I love the quality of my domainer T-shirt.

    We are now Digital real estate investor .

    Thanks Logan👍

  • Braden Pollock October 20, 2020, 8:11 am

    I always refer to myself (outside the domain community) as a Domain Investor.

  • Brad Mugford October 20, 2020, 8:29 am

    Same. I don’t really like the term “domainer”.

    I think “domain investor” is much more professional and representative of what successful people in the field actually do.


  • Fred Mercaldo October 20, 2020, 8:37 am

    I don’t think the term “domainer” hurts in the “outside” world. What DOES hurt are people boasting on social media their profit margins. The “I sold the name for $5000 and paid $8.49 for it 3 months ago!” Can you imagine if other industries did this? “Hey I just sold a Buick to a nice family of 5. We made $6,000 on the deal!” On Domain Sherpa and other forums, it is absolutely fine that investors discuss purchase and selling prices….the general public is not watching. But the people that post the profits on social media give themselves and the industry a black eye in my opinion.

    • Emeka October 21, 2020, 1:55 am

      I rather mention on the domain forum than on Twitter.Keep it within the industry.

    • George In Miami October 25, 2020, 1:48 pm

      What about a person purchasing Amazon for $18.00 on May 15, 1997?
      What do you call that?

  • BullS October 20, 2020, 11:50 am

    Am printing my business cards right now..

    Professional Domain Investor
    Professional Internet Real Estate Investor
    Professional Digital Real Estate Investor

  • Raymond October 21, 2020, 10:12 pm

    Call it Digital Asset Investor ?


Leave a Comment