The recent NamesCon2023 event brought together industry experts and domain investors, including Andrew Miller, Larry Fischer, and David Lazowski, who shared insights into their historic domain name transactions. One of the standout acquisitions discussed was Home.com.
At the beginning of the discussion, Andrew shared an interesting story about how he got involved with Fairway, the company that eventually purchased Home.com from him. He recounted a conversation with Steve Jacobson, the CEO, and founder of Fairway, who initially expressed interest in acquiring Home.com but had to make difficult decisions that caused the deal to fall through. Despite the setback, Andrew respected their decision and moved on, thinking that the opportunity was lost.
While this was unfolding, Andrew was simultaneously assisting Fairway in acquiring their exact brand match domain Fairway.com, a domain they did not yet own. Leveraging his connection with the Golf Channel from NBC Universal, Andrew facilitated the acquisition of Fairway.com. During this process, Larry Fischer expressed skepticism, believing that acquiring Fairway.com might diminish Fairway’s interest in Home.com. Andrew disagreed, – he thought obtaining Fairway.com would actually enhance their pursuit of Home.com.
Eventually, Andrew’s belief in the significance of Fairway’s acquiring both Fairway.com and Home.com was proven right. This was further affirmed by David Lazowski, the President of Fairway Independent Mortgage, who eloquently explained the profound importance of Home.com for their company. Their belief in the idea that “all roads lead home” underpins the company’s commitment to caring for the next generation and the impact they have on individuals. With approximately 7,000 employees and 650 branches across all 50 states, Fairway is dedicated to serving consumers and collaborating with referral partners within the real estate community.
When we say all roads lead home, we wanted the destination that we could use for our consumers, our referral partners, and our employees, and we view this asset as something that will take us there.
David Lazowski, President of Fairway Independent Mortgage
The acquisition of Home.com is seen as a transformative asset for Fairway. It serves as a powerful and memorable destination for consumers, referral partners, and employees alike. The broader vision includes developing ancillary businesses related to real estate transactions, such as title companies and insurance providers. The platform will evolve to offer a comprehensive solution where consumers can store all their home-related documents and connect with local service providers through AI-driven technology.
Discussing the transaction process, David reflected on the initial rejections they faced from the company’s CEO. However, as they highlighted the long-term value and potential of the asset for future generations, the CEO eventually recognized the significance of acquiring Home.com. They shifted their perspective from viewing it as a costly expense to an invaluable asset that could become their company’s main address and name.
Comparing it to a Super Bowl ad that lasts only a brief moment, David emphasized the enduring value of Home.com as a lifelong asset. While Super Bowl ads require significant expenditure and offer limited impact, Home.com had the potential to serve as the primary domain for their company and maintain value over an extended period. Andrew also expressed that if a company were to spend $10 million on a Super Bowl commercial, it would be wise to align that investment with a memorable and category-relevant domain name like Home.com.
The acquisition of Home.com represents not only a valuable asset for the company’s future but also ignites a sense of excitement and motivation among Fairway’s employees. Being an employee-owned company, free from the influence of hedge funds or private equity, the opportunity to provide such an asset as a visionary goal for their employees is truly exhilarating. David highlighted that Fairway’s goal is not to sell or go public with the domain. Instead, they aim to create the best working environment for the next generation, ensuring the company’s legacy. In their vision, Home.com plays a vital role in passing this legacy to future generations.
You can watch the discussion in full below
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