Domain registrants are not landlords

Every time I hear how domains are exactly like real estate, I shake my head at the dissimilarities.

Comparing domains and domain investing to real estate and landlords is a convenient choice.

Sounds familiar? It’s because I covered the subject before, except for the landlord reference.

In a recent message for a domain inquiry, the other party told me I’m “no better than a landlord.”

In his view, owning a domain without “doing anything with it” is passive holding, and the landlord reference is somehow an insulting way to address domain investors.

Alas, if only registrants were landlords!

Unlike with landlords, there is no promise of rent to be paid monthly, when holding a domain that one might have spent a serious amount of money on. Domains are quickly dropped when they make no money; try that with real estate!

Many outsiders believe that domains are owned outright or “for life,” when in fact they are leased by the Registry for one to ten years at a time.

While you can buy and sell domains like real estate property, it’s only with domains that others have the expectation for something to appear “built” on them. Try that with a plot of land that sits undeveloped for decades – it’s still owned with a title and squatters can be evicted.

In a nutshell: Calling a domain investor a “landlord” is a silly attempt to equalize domain investing with real estate investing. The similarities are thin, and so is the veiled attempt at delivering an insult.


  1. Actually domain investors should be treated as real estate owners and also this yearly domain renewals should go away after a domain invester has paid a total of let’s say $100 per domain or something similar. Just my opinion because it sucks when people lose the domains they have acquired and paid for due to some economic hardship, death, or some other unforeseen circumstances.

  2. If you don’t pay property taxes on your empty land, you will lose that too. It goes to auction on the courthouse steps. Happens to real estate owners in unforeseen circumstances every week. Check with your local tax office clerk for what has “dropped”.

Speak Your Mind