Mike: Nathan, tell me a little bit about your background.
Nathan: I began my career in the internet industry as a partner in VISP.NET, an Oregon internet based business, growing it from a client base of less than 10 to the largest nationwide wholesale internet provider in the country. As my real-estate portfolio grew I required a management platform designed for private landlords to manage the day-to-day operations of renting properties. At the time nothing existed that was good enough and nothing was cost focused towards private landlords. From my software development roots, I developed and founded Rentec Direct in 2009 which today provides property management software and tenant screening services to over 12,000 landlords and property managers. Rentec Direct has quickly grown to be the third largest software platform within their market.
Mike: You recently purchased the domain name rent.cc. What are your intentions for this domain? What can we expect to see once it’s developed?
Nathan: We have big plans for rent.cc, with our primary intention of using it to assist our existing client base with growth. Currently the market has many pay-per-lead services for property managers to buy prospective tenant leads, and most of these services just aren’t cost effective for smaller managers. We plan on building rent.cc into the nations largest free tenant to property manager connection service. We grow when our clients grow, so we’ll begin offering this service free to our existing clients followed by all other property managers nationwide.
Mike: Can you share what you paid for the name and the process you went through to acquire it?
Nathan: Initially we purchased the domain from a broker called NameJet; however, the sale fell through because their records were inaccurate and they did not possess the domain at the time of our purchase. The domain had purchased by a Chinese based company from it’s previous owner (who listed it on NameJet) and subsequently listed on SEDO with a substantial markup. We ended up paying $4,000 USD for it. We anticipate this investment to be a drop in the bucket compared to the growth benefit our clients will receive from it.
Mike: What are your thoughts on the .cc tld or any other non-dot-com tld? How do they compare to dot com
Nathan: Well, .com is clearly the leader and most recognizable TLD on the internet; however, it’s near impossible to register a single or double word .com these days since they are all taken. A .com of the same wording and length can cost 1000% more than a .co or .cc domain. Some of the more recent TLD such as .cc and .co have been gaining popularity and value every year. The shorter the domain the easier it is to remember, so when a startup is choosing a domain or an existing company is getting online these .cc, .co and other popular TLDs are a very attractive option.
That said, .com is still king of the hill when it comes to domains and familiarity. We have rentecdirect.com and rentec.co and we choose to still rely upon rentecdirect.com even though it’s longer just because there’s no question about the end of it.
Mike: You also have a couple of other domains pointing to your main site at rentecdirect.com. Those other domains are propertymanage.biz, themanager.biz. How much traffic do you gain from doing this or what advantage does this have?
Nathan: propertymanage.biz and themanager.biz are for our clients so they can have professional websites hosted on our system. We use these domains as generic hosting for property managers to give them a free and quick website to promote their business prior to hiring a professional web design firm. An example is http://demo.propertymanage.biz. Other domains such as rentec.co and rentec.biz were purchased to save words on the phone when somebody asks for our email or website. I can just say “go to rentec.co” to see our products which can, at times, be easier than asking somebody to go to rentecdirect.com. Aside from that, they do not provide us any additional value other than maintaining our brand and keeping our options open in the future if we ever wanted to re-brand as just “Rentec”.
Mike: Do you plan on any other domain purchases in the future to supplement your business or start a new business?
Nathan: I’m always on the lookout for short or meaningful domains that can benefit the property management industry; however, rent.cc was a very recent purchase and we’re just getting our development resources ramped up to jump on that project so I don’t have any new companies or domains in mind at the moment. Give me a few months. 🙂