Gerard Michael on Differentiating from the Competition
Updated: Oct 15
Domain Guru Gerard Michael in Conversation with Domain Blogger Mike Sullivan:
An Insightful 8-Question Exchange
Mike Sullivan: Gerard, let's kick things off with a glimpse into your domain journey. How did you first venture into the domain industry, eventually making the transition into domain brokerage?
Gerard Michael: My voyage into the domain industry dates back to the 1990s when I embarked as a domain investor. At the time, domain investing was more of a passion project alongside my main income source, managing a collection agency. As my domain portfolio expanded to a staggering 1500 domains, I realized the need to divest some of them. It was a challenging period; proficient domain broker services were a rarity in those nascent days.
Mike Sullivan: Fascinating. Now, let's delve into the genesis of DNPost.com. I understand it began as a forum before evolving into a brokerage firm. Could you share the insights behind this transformation?
Gerard Michael: Indeed, DNPost had its origins as a forum. However, it soon became evident that relying solely on a forum wouldn't facilitate the discovery of ideal end users for my domains. While we did have some enjoyable moments during that phase, it was clear that this approach wouldn't align with our ultimate goals.
Mike Sullivan: Your 16-point system at DNPost has piqued curiosity. Could you shed some light on this system, its intricacies, and how it enhances acquisitions and negotiations?
Gerard Michael: What truly sets us apart is our sophisticated 16-point system. To date, I've yet to encounter another domain broker with an automated system as intricate as ours. This system, fortified by cutting-edge AI technology, is the backbone of our operations, efficiently handling a significant portion of the workload. This empowers our brokers to focus more on direct communication. Interestingly, I had previously employed a similar system during my tenure at the collection agency, albeit managing clients and debtors. Now, we harness these capabilities in the domain arena.
Mike Sullivan: Domain brokerage can encompass a wide spectrum of services. Could you elaborate on the full suite of services that DNPost offers?
Gerard Michael: Our core expertise lies in acquiring and brokering premium domain names. However, where we truly shine is our ability to pinpoint the perfect end user, acquire their contact information, and engage in direct, person-to-person communication.
Mike Sullivan: Gerard, what, in your perspective, distinguishes DNPost from other domain brokerage firms?
Gerard Michael: What truly sets us apart is our collaborative team effort, reinforced by an unparalleled system, a well-established pipeline, and unmatched resources. I can confidently assert this because I've honed my skills as one of North America's leading skip tracers. This unique skill set differentiates us. My experience as a top-tier bill collector has equipped me with invaluable telephone acumen, a skill that many in this field lack. The art of locating an elusive debtor and skillfully negotiating a resolution for a substantial $100,000 debt is not a task suited for everyone. Transitioning to the domain brokerage arena has proven to be a more straightforward and enjoyable path.
Mike Sullivan: Challenges are part of any journey. Could you share some of the significant challenges you've encountered as the founder of DNPost and how you overcame them?
Gerard Michael: I've had my fair share of endeavors that didn't quite hit the mark. I've always been a proponent of the "fail fast and learn" approach. A prime example is our website, which underwent three comprehensive redesigns in the past three years. None of the prior iterations truly resonated with me, so I leaned heavily on the insights of industry experts for guidance. However, amid a busy schedule, it was a challenging process. Fast forward to today, and I'm genuinely thrilled with our new website. Its elegance lies in its simplicity and directness, aligning perfectly with our vision.
Mike Sullivan: Gerard, could you share a standout success story from your journey and why it holds significance for you?
Gerard Michael: This year, we executed a remarkable transaction involving Featured.com. The deal encompassed a substantial six-figure deposit, a loan take-back arrangement, and DNPost acquiring an equity stake in the company. While, on the surface, it might seem like a lucrative deal for us, it presented an even greater opportunity for the end user, Brett Farmiloe. As we approach the five-month mark since the deal's closure, I have a gut feeling that we could have secured an even higher price. Nonetheless, I am wholeheartedly committed to embarking on this journey with Brett and his team, and I anticipate that our shares will significantly appreciate, potentially doubling in value by 2025.
Mike Sullivan: Staying ahead in the Domain Broker Service industry is no small feat. How do you keep pace with this ever-evolving landscape, and what trends should we be watching for?
Gerard Michael: Navigating this industry can indeed be a formidable task. The landscape is riddled with misleading information and a few unscrupulous actors to be cautious of. However, it's essential to recognize that there are also reputable individuals in this space. Regarding trends, we often find amusement in what some consider fleeting fads. In contrast, our approach remains steadfastly centered on understanding and delivering what our clients genuinely desire. As we conclude this interview, I want to emphasize the importance of our guiding principles, which hold profound significance for us:
Our income is a measure of the value we bring to the marketplace.
As we expand, we anticipate new challenges, which serve as tests of our dedication and contribute to our resilience and growth.
While perfection may elude us at times, our unwavering commitment to doing what is morally right remains steadfast. Values are the bedrock upon which any exceptional company is built. Without them, the structure is left shaky and incomplete.
I want to express my gratitude, Mike. This conversation has been truly enjoyable. Warm regards, Gerard