After being placed on hold during a phone call, Brandon Littlefield started to browse through domain names. After stumbling across BookKeeping.com and realizing it was for sale, Brandon immediately enquired about the name and eventually purchased it for $150,000. Within just two months of operating, BookKeeping.com looks to be a success. Brandon is no stranger to the bookkeeping and small business services industry, having run a successful payroll services company for over 12 years. His latest project, BookKeeping.com, provides lead generation for companies looking for bookkeeping services. Here, we speak to Brandon about BookKeeping.com, why he bought the domain and why he paid $150,000 for it. NP: Can you tell us about the company behind BookKeeping.com? Brandon: Bookkeeping.com is part of a larger company involved in business services. We provide payroll, insurance, accounting services, and much more. BookKeeping.com is a separate division involved in lead generation for companies looking for bookkeeping services. All leads are exclusive to the bookkeeper they are provided to, allowing the bookkeeper to really talk about their services with the prospective client without worrying about the next guy calling and trying to undercut them in some way. We have some filtering requirements that are used in matching to ensure that our placement is a strong placement so that clients are matched to a bookkeeper that meets their needs, and bookkeepers are matched with serious buyers. NP: You recently acquired BookKeeping.com for $150,000. Why did you choose to develop your business on a premium domain name? Brandon: We have had a great deal of success using premium domain names for some of our other advertising, but none of the names were as strong as BookKeeping.com. We knew that our current marketing system would work exceptionally well with a domain as strong as BookKeeping.com. The purchase price has nearly been recouped in annualized revenues just two months from launch. NP: How did you find out that BookKeeping.com was for available to purchase? Was it a domain that was offered to you, or did you seek it out? Brandon: Like usual for me, luck. I was killing some time while on hold, and looking at domain names. I also like to see how companies with premium domain names like to use them, so I went straight to the website, and saw the ad on the site that it was for sale. I investigated immediately. NP: Did you use any tools (e.g., automated appraisals), services (e.g., manual appraisals, domain brokers), or data (e.g., sales data, search volumes, search results) to determine your best offer and/or the value of the domain? Brandon: I used a few automated valuation tools, and the values were all over the place. From as low as $400.00 to as high as $400,000. So that didn’t help. I had previously purchased a domain that was not nearly as strong as BookKeeping.com that has been directly responsible for at least a million dollars in revenue over the years, so I knew the $150,000 price was a good deal for us. NP: What was your initial offer for the domain name? Brandon: We negotiated a lower price than what the seller originally offered, but came in pretty close to the original offer. NP: How much do you think it was worth before you purchased it and why? Brandon: Hard to say, really. I’m no expert on web domain valuation, and as I noted above, the online tools were not very helpful. I looked at some data that was readily available regarding the search volume of relevant terms, determined what our potential market was with a premium domain like this, and I knew that there would be immediate return on investment. If you tried to buy the site from me today for 10 times what I paid for it, I would decline to sell it. NP: You acquired the domain name via the Uniregistry/DomainNameSales.com marketplace. Did you interact with a broker, or directly with the domain’s owner? Was your experience of using the platform positive? Brandon: I worked through a broker who was extremely helpful in facilitating the sale. I continue to work with the same broker on other transactions, as the experience was so positive. NP: Since launching BookKeeping.com, what has the reaction been from your customers? Brandon: The program has been extremely well received by bookkeepers that are receiving leads from us. The initial feedback is that their return on investment is around 600% to 800% in first year annualized billings on leads that they purchase from BookKeeping.com. And if they keep the client beyond the first year, that billing is pure profit. Hard to argue with stats like these. NP: Has owning such a valuable domain helped you attract customers? Brandon: Yes, and at a rate that would have been unattainable without the premium domain NP: What would your advice be to other startups or companies looking at buying a premium domain name? Brandon: Owning a premium domain is only a portion of the marketing plan. By itself, it won’t get you anywhere. Have a good marketing plan to go with it, and brand yourself around the domain. Don’t use a premium domain for your business, but then have a "dba" for your business of some other name. There are such a limited number of easily recognizable domains in each industry, if you have one of them, use the name, become the name. Your clients will remember the domain name far more easily than any other name your business could have. -- Thanks to Brandon for taking the time to speak to us about his experience of buying BookKeeping.com. It's another example of a qualified buyer using a premium domain to its full potential to start a thriving business. Incidentally, if your business requires a bookkeeping service, you can try Brandon's new service by signing up for an account. Inside Interviews is a blog series profiling the buyers of high-value domain names. Find out their motives, negotiation tactics, and their opinions on popular domaining topics only on the NamePros Blog. Do you own a high value premium domain name that's being used as part of a business? Email [email protected] to be a part of the Inside Interviews series.