The commercial mortgage-backed securities industry is poised to enter the digital era with the sale of a group of Internet domain names specifically related to CMBS.
Approximately 65 domain names are up for grabs, including cmbsindustry.com, cmbsmarket.com and cmbsbroker.com, along with commercialmortgagebackedsecurities.com, among others. A private seller currently holds these names, and will be auctioning them through solutionhome.com, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Domain-name company.
"We're going to be promoting it," said Mike Magolnick, president of solutionhome.com. "Once we start getting real bids, then we'll give the owners of the group an opportunity to put a close date on the auction and that's how it will work."
Putting these domain names up for sale at this point in time seems like a "natural fit," Magolnick said, referring to the growth of the commercial real estate market. "I think that the Internet is playing an important role in that, and this group of names happens to be a very important group in the Internet relationship that commercial real estate industry has."
Though all bids will be considered, bids for an individual name will range in price from $2,000 up to $100,000. "I think it's a real low price to pay to have the type of brand recognition worldwide across all the various boards that this group of things covers," Magolnick said, adding that he believes there are a number of high-profile names in the group.
Also, "If someone comes to the table and says we'll buy the entire group,' we're certainly going to sell it."
As for whether this particular group of names will spark anything, Magolnick is unclear. However, one CMBS investor said, "Not with this auction." However, the source hinted that "there may be some interesting things that happen in the not-too-distant future."
Brian Neilinger, executive director at CIBC World Markets, agreed with the investor. "I don't know if there will be a voracious appetite for those types of domain names."
He added that in an industry like real-estate finance, in which CMBS is only a subsection of the market, brand names are more important than generic ones like the domain names that are for sale. "Institutionally, there would be no interest on our part in purchasing that, and I think that in our business brand names are more important than generic ones," Neilinger said. "In any business where reputation is very important, is critical for business success, that you cannot distinguish yourself with a generic name like cmbs.com."