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