Here is a partial quote from a client:”… I Googled the value of my web site and it has almost doubled”.
Yes, you read that correctly, websites can appreciate in value. Actually there is a whole market built around the buying and selling of websites and domains by domain brokers.
My point is this … your website is real estate. You buy it, build it, improve it and you can re-sell it. And once you adjust to this many other things fall into place like marketing. Understand that your website is the same as a brick and mortar store and all the same rules of driving traffic apply. With that comes an increase in value.
What is your web site worth? There are sites you can Google that will tell you the estimated value of your domain. Don’t get your hopes too high; many things affect the value including age, traffic, and popularity of the keywords to name a few. The client example above is bakerstreetmusic.com (http://www.bakerstreet.com). He invested in a one page landing site, followed our recommendations was diligent in his web site listing and doubled his money in a few months.
Bakerstreet.com is one example of real value in a virtual world and it is one you can understand because in a way you get something, you get ownership of a domain or website. Now let’s talk about “real” virtual real estate. Have you ever heard of Anshe Chung? Anshe Chung was the world’s first virtual millionaire, meaning her holdings in a make-believe world are worth more than $1 million in US dollars. And she made this money in the virtual world of Second Life (http://secondlife.com/).
Second life is an entire virtual world it has towns, bars, clubs, shopping centers and malls. All the big boys are there Best Buy, Sears etc. You can go to concerts and shows and see bands like Aerosmith. People and businesses in this virtual world buy and sell properties, virtual properties but still property. People create avatars and live in this world and Second Life is only one example.
Money is being made and it has not gone un-noticed. Caldwell Banker has been there since 2006 (http://money.cnn.com/blogs/legalpad/2006/11/anshe-chung-first-virtual-millionaire.html). To quote the article:” In March, the company put up for sale more than 500 homes in Second Life. This isn’t a way for Coldwell Banker to cash in on virtual real estate, says Young, but to find new ways to reach some of the estimated 80 million echo boomers and make them familiar with the Coldwell Banker brand says Charlie Young, senior vice president for marketing.
So, what is the difference between virtual and “real” real estate? Well first there will never be a land shortage. How can you run out of something that does not exist in the first place? According to what I read prices tend to remain pretty stable no bubbles like in the real world. One big difference is the way a mortgage works, there really isn’t one. It is usually a small monthly fee paid forever unless you quit or sell. We are not talking thousands of dollars like real mortgages but you get 500 people paying you $20 a month and that is $10,000 dollars. Or you generate a store with sales and you have a business with a location to sell. Taxes, you cannot escape. Real money made in a virtual world is taxable.
So there you have it, like Dire Straits said “Money for nothing”. Who knew?