Ah yes, the real estate fix and flip. What better way to make bank than by buying a cheap fixer-upper, fixing it, and selling it for a tidy profit?
But you know that already. What you may not know is that you can do this with web sites too. Yea. Web sites.
Here’s a quick overview. The formula is somewhat similar to fixing and flipping traditional real estate. The word “property” is interchangeable here; it could mean a house or a web site. Both are essentially real estate properties. One just exists on land while the other exists on the Internet.
- Evaluate the property
Assess it’s current value (pageviews, unique visitors, search engine rankings, market strength, revenues, expenses, etc) and potential for growth (new market opportunities, ways to increase visitors, ways to increase search engine rankings, ways to increase revenue streams, etc). Unlike traditional real estate, there aren’t many fees involved in purchasing a web site. There are only transition costs, such as getting access to their servers and related accounts.
- Purchase the property
Sites like the SitePoint Marketplace (the largest place for buying and selling websites currently) and VentureBoard allow you to browse what’s for sale and offer a bid. Just like in traditional real estate, hot properties get scooped up fast.
- Fix the property
This can involve a wide range of activities, depending on your expertise and the property you purchased. Some may just need a boost in search engine rankings (which is where SEO and SEM come into play). Others need more innovative marketing techniques (like SMM or viral marketing). You can also do things to increase revenues (raise site fees, add additional revenue generators, etc), decrease expenses (lower server or content acquisition costs, etc), or increase quality traffic (better marketing, customer retention techniques, etc). Hopefully you had an idea of what to do before you purchased the property.
- Flip the property
There’s a ton of stuff that goes into properly evaluating and fixing a web property. Similar to traditional real estate, there’s even a whole industry around teaching you how to do that. Mind boggling. And potentially quite profitable too, if you want to get into it. Even though the barriers to entry are low (any ole’ shmuck can do it, even you!), it’s still a relatively young industry and may have room for more players.
So what are you waiting for? Go fix and flip!