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Domain Name Investors Could Have Another Round With .tel

(by Lucas Roze)

Recently there has been a renewed interest in creating the domain name .tel for agencies (and individuals) to keep an updated list of all their phone numbers and relevant contact information. This interest was sparked mainly because of the numerous handles and cell phone numbers acquired in recent years. With the addition of Skype to over 10 million computers in 2005 and many other such programs, new contact information is hard to effectively convey to all individuals at once. With the .tel as a domain name, business could automatically route individuals to the correct call center, or determine a customer’s location to provide them with regionalized contact information for the company.

The ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) is currently in the process of assessing this particular case. If all goes well, the site would provide contact information of the individual or business as well as giving the option to initiate a call or send a text message directly from the site. Speculations stat that Telnic, a London based company is in line to run the domain. 

All thought a good idea for credit card companies and bank, this type of domain name seems to be a haven for cybersquatters of all kinds. Although, if they use the same technique as the .eu domain name launch (business before public), this could alleviate a lot of court cases. However, with the domain name market being a hot commodity, don’t be surprised to see rival companies gobble up their competitors names (like Volkswagen took Polo.eu before Ralph Lauren and Nestlé, beating them by a matter of 3 minutes and 24 seconds).

By IC-Academy | April 19, 2006 | News & Trends
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(by Lucas Roze)

April 7th, 2006 was the opening day for new “.eu” domain name registrations on a first come first serve basis for the public who reside in the European Union (25 countries). That same day, I tried to logon to a “.eu” registrar website EURid.com to see what types of domain names were still available. To my surprise, I couldn’t even get close to the site, presumably because of the intense influx of European users hitting the site. 

It was reported that over 300’000 Europeans rushed to register on these registrar sites within the first hour of operation. Businesses and public offices have had the luxury to signup since the month of December. However, for those that waited too long and missed the cut, there are thousands of hungry buyers ready to capitalize off your procrastination.

To date, over 550’000 registrations have been recorded with fees as low as 12 euros ($16.66 CND) for a domain name. Savvy Internet users are profiting on this type of offer to purchase domain names for popular brands and common words in hope to have a wealthy business knock at their front door stating “Name your price!”

Everyone has a friend or an acquaintance that bought a “.com” domain or two, then turned around and made a quick profit. The reality is that the early bird gets the worm, and domain names are becoming very hot commodities. Furthermore, with the many registrars competing for your business, I imagine prices should start falling soon after the rush. This can be seen in North America by the success of GoDaddy.com (which also offers .eu names) offering domain names at low costs, $8.95 US (7.39€) per name.

With the frenzy slowly coming to an end, investors are now playing the waiting game to see if their holding the lucky number. There should be another small increase when the names become public to the rest of the connected world, but nothing like we have seen I’m sure. 

To support my title, I checked the availability on EURid.com, but it is pending approval :(

By IC-Academy | April 11, 2006 | News & Trends
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Business Opportunity

(by Flavio Quaranta)

For my first contribution to the corporate blog,  I have decided to use the inspiration of the talented Ouriel Ohayon, who regularly proposes fruitful business opportunities to his many readers, with the objective of informing you of this new concept that is sweeping the nation in both Canada and the United States.

One of the virtues linked to Internet commerce has, and will always be, the bypassing of the middleman. This entails passing all monopolistic types of commissions and money hungry salespersons’ from adding value charges to your future purchase.

Love it or hate it, it’s a revolution that has begun in the real estate market.

Help-U-Sell has established a unique and lucrative marketing concept so effective for potential sellers, that it strikes fear in the eyes of all traditional real estate agencies.

The genius behind Help-U-Sell is that they actually help the owner sell the home or property without paying any commission fees, thus eliminiating the middleman.

For example: Take a home worth $500,000.  On average a salesman takes a 5% commission, or $25,000.  In some extreme cases, the commission percentage can reach an excess of 7%! 

How does Help-U-Sell work?

First of all, they have a catchy slogan that speaks the truth, “No commissions - ever!”  This allows them to attract potential clients, all the while convincing them of their offer at hand.

But if Help-U-Sell doesn’t charge commission, how do they survive?

This is where the marketing genius comes into play.  They sell what are called "packages" and franchises to the clients.

For anyone wanting to sell their home, you simply need to purchase a package. The packages vary in services to meet your budgetary needs.

The selling point of this concept is the fact that the client does not pay the package fees if the house does not sell. The power of this idea seems to be inexhaustible.

So what does the package contain?

The package contains practically everything that you need to successfully sell your home or property, from lawn sign leasing to legal assistance. They offer increased visibility via mix marketing online and offline, pre-qualification of potential clients (for whom they also offer financial solutions), and the support of a local representative in person. Help-U-Sell opens franchises left, right and center.

Does it work?

With nearly 2 million available houses listed on their Internet site and the opening of a new office (franchise) every 48 hours throughout the US and Canada, the numbers seem to speak for themselves.

They are solving a real concern for the active real estate market by offering added value to any client tired of getting gouged by high commission based agencies that have become stagnant in a monopolistic market.

What is the competition doing?

With hourly wages running around $75-$150, the slow transition to adopt a different system and letting go of the juicy commission based system is a painful ordeal.

Help-U-Sell seems submerged by its own success. This leaves (for the time being?) the vast Canadian territory to companies like Property Guys, based out of Moncton New Brunswick, who were not boosted to mimic this extraordinary concept, but seem to be doing extremely well.

Although reflecting the same goals, when comparing the two sites, my acute marketing senses could not help but conclude the evolving formation of a serious gap separating the success of the American from the Canadian enterprise.

While Help-U-Sell is soaking up the abundant riches offered by Internet Marketing (collaborative filtering, SEM, mandatory sign-up to get site information, etc.), Property Guys seem poorly armed in case of an American invasion on their turf, when or if  this ever occurs.

I am convinced that this concept will also cross the pond to Europe and Switzerland.

May this article hold the attention of a young entrepreneur filled with passion.

P.S. Please follow this link for an interesting article from the WSJ.

By Flavio Quaranta | April 05, 2006 | E-Commerce , | News & Trends
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