by Michael Law
Almost exactly a year ago in mid August 2019, I met up with Brian Harbin, founder of Grit Brokerage (the domain brokerage company under Grit.org). We were both attending a domain industry meetup in Asheville, North Carolina and it was my second time talking with Brian in person. I felt we had a good connection and he left a solid impression on me as someone who was easy to communicate with and determined to continue building a successful domain brokerage. At the time, I was working for a different domain brokerage but was frustrated with the sales, communication and progress we had made over several months.
After the Asheville conference, my wife and I were off to Costa Rica for a vacation. I used this time to reflect and really think about my situation. It was then and there that I decided I needed a change. As soon as we landed in Denver, I resigned from my previous position and sent out emails to industry colleagues and friends letting them know I was out on my own. Shortly after emailing Brian, I got a message back from him asking if I was still going to be brokering domains. After exchanging several emails and a couple phone conversations, Brian and I decided I would join him as a broker at Grit Brokerage. I was excited to get started working with Brian as we share similar personal interests and work ethic. We began by scheduling weekly phone call meetings where we discussed progress, ideas, positive affirmations and articles/books. In our first month working together we laid a solid foundation of communication, strategy and set our goals.
By October we had procured several great brokerages and launched a monthly domain sales newsletter which has now grown into arguably the largest and best industry mailer. But it wasn’t an instant success, the tail end of 2019 was quite slow for the listings I had helped procure. I missed my sales and commission goals. It was a bit of a rough start but I know we had been working hard and it would start to pay off soon. We stayed focused, positive and kept grinding. In sales (especially domain sales) you get a lot of NO’s but Brian told me during one of our calls something that stuck with me.. He said, we have to embrace those no’s and be thankful for them because every NO we hear gets us one pitch closer to the next YES!
At the beginning of this year things started to pick-up. Brian and I got to meet up again in person at NamesCon in Austin, Texas at the end of January. We had a really productive conference - networking, putting together several deals and picking up some more high quality listings. Shortly after the conference we had our first six figure deal together, brokering the sale of Knife.com. While the domain industry sales charts show a bit of a decline in sales this year, likely due to covid, Grit Brokerage has been racking up sales and keeping the pedal to the metal. Brian and I have brokered many high value domains over the last several months. I have learned a lot from Brian about negotiating high end sales and how to close them efficiently.
As this summer is winding down, we are looking forward to a strong fall season. It will take a lot more hard work and there are always setbacks but I know we are up to the task. I am very grateful and excited to be at Grit Brokerage working with Brian to help our clients sell their high value domain assets. It has been a very rewarding first year and I look forward to many more! --------------------------------------- Additional notes on Michael - I had asked Michael to write this blog because he plays such a big role here at Grit.org. Our domain brokerage company is the lion share of our current revenue at Grit.org, and Michael's addition to the team has been an instrumental part of helping us get our other companies off the ground. He took the wheel of the domain brokerage this summer while we were running Grit University and Grit Camp, and he plays a very key role in Towerclimber.com for us as well. I have really enjoyed working with Michael over this past year, and our strengths have complemented each other very well. I especially appreciate his initiative and his attention to detail. I had told Michael that the first 6 months was going to be all about high activity and building up a new pipeline that might take some time to start bearing fruit. In the first 4 months we only completed 1 deal together, but in the first 7 months of this year since then we have closed 40 deals. As a matter of fact, just in the month of July, he made more commissions that one month than he did the entire year of his previous job. In August, he followed it up by closing the largest deal he has done so far. He is an avid learner and I truly admire his persistence and patience in order for his hard work to pay off. He is an avid reader, outdoor enthusiast (hikes almost every morning in Colorado and runs a large garden with his dad in his spare time), very well respected in our industry, and he identifies with type 7 in the Enneagram! I'm excited for he and his wife Sarah and the life they are building together in Colorado!