They used to say you could make a fortune from real estate but the big bucks now are in cyber real estate- buying and selling domain names, and the industry is booming.

The recent sale of the website domain name Money.com.au for $400,000 –one of the biggest sales to date of an Australian .au domain name- shows the commercial and financial benefits of astute domain name dealing now.

Queensland domain entrepreneur Ned O’Meara who has sold domain names for six figures says there’s a growing and insatiable demand for generic domain names.

Money.com.au was recently sold to a person who is launching a new online finance business offering both business and car loans.

However people expecting to get rich quick by registering and then selling any catchy domain name need to think carefully about its dollar value because just like with generic trade marks, there will be competition in the domain space, and new upcoming regulations governing .au domains.

There’s clearly a growing value in generic domain names and the six figure sums some of them are fetching point to some heated dealing in the years ahead.

Before Money.com.au sold for $400,000 some previous big .com.au sale included fetch.com.au which sold for A$132,000 in 2017 while cruises.com.au sold for A$110,000 through in September 2013 and poker.com.au sold for $100,000 in 2011.

Ned O’Meara who has made a tidy living over the past decade buying, selling and developing domain names says the most valuable and sought after names are what he calls the “category killers”.

“Category killers” are powerful and authoritative one or two generic word domain names that best describe the industry they are targeting. The domain name says it all.

“Excluding sex and gambling, when you think “category killer”, think insurance,com.au; realestate.com.au; money.com.au and carloans.com.au as prime examples.”

His past domain sales have included significant names like Perth.com.au; Insurance.com.au (in excess of $400,000); and most recently Pay.com.au for $168,000.

Ned, an internet and domain name entrepreneur and a former director of the Australian domain name governing body auDA, says while you can register a domain name for as little as $10, if you don’t keep the registration current it can lapse and be pounced on at auction. As an example, Broker.com.au was recently acquired on the expired auctions at Drop.com.au for $100,000.

He recently bought the domain name LNP.com.au after the political party let it lapse. As it is an acronym domain, Ned can now use the domain for many legitimate purposes or sell it to another user.

Another recent purchase by him, also now for sale, is Land.com.au.

“When you think of all the land for sale in Australia– be it residential, commercial, industrial, or rural, what better portal is there than a website with the domain name Land.com.au?”

While Australia’s domain regulator in the past did not allow people to buy domain names with the sole intention of reselling them, major changes are coming which will allow this.

Domains can be registered for a period of one to five years with renewal rights and he says the single word “category killer” domains are pretty much all taken now.

However it is important to remember that reserving a domain name does not give a registrant a right to use the name for their chosen goods and services. One of the best ways to ensure those rights is to register a trade mark.

Australia’s IT world is abuzz with talk of big ticket sales for catchy domain names but the real need is for people who have registered a domain name to not let it lapse for the sake of a few dollars a year.

Domain name auctions have become very popular and while a particular domain may not sound very exciting, it could deliver a big payday to the right person.