The $10M Website Seller Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers

In Episode #339, Nathan interviews Justin Cooke, the co-founder and CMO of Empire Flippers – a brokerage platform that makes buying and selling websites incredible easy. After experimenting with website creation, Justin and his partner pivoted into brokerage in 2013 – and they’re handling millions in sales every year. Listen in to learn how the professionals value a website, how much the average site sells for, and why it’s best to be bold.

Subscribe_Buttons_iPhone

Subscribe_Button_Android

iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, How to Subscribe

Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – Built to Sell
  • What CEO do you follow? — Clay Collins
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — I should have been bolder. I could have made bigger business moves.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:29 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:50 – Empire Flippers helps people buy and sell online businesses and apps
  • 02:05 – Their biggest sale was $550k last month
  • 02:26 – A recent sale was Rave Aid – an Ecstasy hangover cure site
  • 02:56 – Individual sellers are the most common listers
  • 03:25 – $297 listing fee for the first listing and $97 for repeat listings
  • 03:45 – Some users have portfolios of up to 60 websites that they buy and sell on a regular basis
  • 04:15 – The listing fee acts as a filter to keep out scammers and time-wasters
  • 04:40 – The site pivoted to brokerage in 2013
  • 05:00 – First-year revenue was around $275k in total sites sold
  • 05:24 – The charge a 15% fee on sales
  • 05:38 – Use a basic algorithm to help with valuation, then look at subjective factors
  • 06:24 – 95% of revenue comes from the 15% brokerage fee
  • 06:50 – Made $4.56 million in sales on 176 deals in 2015
  • 07:30 – In April 2016, made $1 million in sales – meaning $150k in revenue to Empire Flipper
  • 09:04 – How did Justin start Empire Flippers?
  • 09:56 – “We realised there was a huge market of people looking for mini-businesses”
  • 10:09 – In April 2016, between 20 and 30 sellers listed their businesses for sale
  • 11:05 – About 15-20 of those sites were sold
  • 11:28 – About half of the buyers are repeat buyers and half are unique
  • 11:45 – The average deal size is $76k
  • 12:24 – They’ve sold well over 1000 sites since their inception
  • 13:35 – How do Empire Flippers value a site?
  • 14:30 – The business is entirely bootstrapped
  • 15:00 – At the beginning of creating an investor program to bring people with lots of money and no time into the site
  • 13:30 – Connect with Justin on Twitter or at the Empire Flippers blog
  • 18:55 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Be bold. Forge your own path – don’t be afraid to ignore what other people are doing.
  2. Be willing to pivot as better markets reveals themselves
  3. Listing fees and barriers to entry can add value to your business by keeping out tire-kickers and time-wasters

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.