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What does it take to have success with online business? Sometimes it simply comes down to taking action rather than sitting on the sidelines. Recognizing an opportunity is the first step, but pursuing the opportunity is usually what separates the successful from those who miss out.
Joe Burrill is a perfect example of someone who has taken action when opportunities have arisen. His story of going from government employee to location-independent website flipper to award-winning broker is quite inspiring for anyone interested in online business.
The common theme throughout the decade-plus of Joe’s online venture is that he’s been consistently willing to learn new things and keep moving forward.
Spotting the Opportunity
In 2012, Joe Burrill worked in customer service full-time for the Australian government when he came across a course by Matt and Liz Raad on buying and selling websites. This piqued Joe’s interest because he had a diploma in multimedia design and had created websites for a few local businesses.
With his background, Joe already had an interest in websites, and he decided to go through the course. That decision and his willingness to pursue the opportunity wound up being a pivotal moment for Joe.
Flipping for Profit
After completing the course in 2013, Joe took the next step to put what he’d learned into action. He evaluated a number of sites that were for sale and ultimately purchased his first site for $700. That first site was somewhat of a failure. He did earn some money from it but never recovered the full $700 that he’d invested.
But Joe didn’t give up after one unsuccessful attempt. He continued buying small existing sites and had success improving them and selling them for a profit. Not every purchase was profitable, but most of them were.
In addition to buying sites, Joe also built a few from scratch for the purpose of growing and selling them. In total, Joe estimates that he sold upwards of 50 sites.
After a successful sale, Joe would reinvest a portion of the proceeds into buying other sites. This process generated significant profit, and he was able to leave his government job and work full-time as a website flipper.
Through the process of buying and selling so many sites, Joe mastered the art of creating a Flippa listing that attracted buyers. Joe’s listings stood out because he:
- Provided all of the relevant details and information upfront. His data was organized, and potential buyers didn’t have to ask him the same questions they would have to ask other sellers.
- Was honest and transparent about any issues with the site. If there were problems or challenges with the site, he’d point them out, along with suggested ways for the buyer to overcome them.
- Developed the trust of buyers. Joe’s approach was so much different than many other Flippa sellers that buyers gravitated toward his listings.
This approach allowed Joe to have success selling small websites for high multiples. The next step in his career progression was to help others achieve the same success.
From Flipper to Broker
In 2019, Joe realized that after several years of website flipping, he really loved the process and emotions of selling websites. The thrill of a successful sale was something he wanted to experience more often.
Joe recognized the opportunity to leverage his experience and expertise with selling on Flippa by working as a broker, and Just Website Brokerage was born. This allowed him to be involved in the selling process more often while helping other online business owners maximize their exits. Speaking on his career transition, Joe says, “Selling sites was always my favorite part of running my own portfolio, and now I get to do more of it.”
Things started slowly at first. He sold one or two brokered sites the first year, but activity picked up significantly when he started focusing on smaller sites. In 2020, Joe was named Flippa’s most successful broker. He points out that his background in customer service is very helpful as a broker, as he communicates with both buyers and sellers.
Flippa is a marketplace where anyone can sell their online business with or without a broker. But Joe’s clients benefit from his established profile and reputation on the platform, which results in higher placement and more exposure. Joe also assists clients with compiling data, creating a strong listing, and managing leads.
About 90-95% of Joe’s listings go on Flippa, but some are sold privately. In addition to helping clients get more exposure for their listings on Flippa, Joe also has an email list of buyers who receive email notifications of his listings.
As of October 2023, Just Website Brokerage has completed over 200 transactions for almost $5,000,000 in total sales volume. Content-based websites making $500 – $2,000 per month tend to do very well for them on Flippa, although Joe also works with other types of sites.
About 80% of Joe’s listings have sold successfully, and the average time from listing to closing is around 30 days.
Joe’s Advice for Buyers and Sellers
When asked what types of sites tend to sell for the highest multiples, Joe says, “Sites that are in small passion niches perform very well. For example, pets, coffee, and niche sports (we sold a pickleball site recently for nearly 50x monthly profit) are a few examples.”
Joe also mentioned that buyers love sites that are easy to run, and those that have diverse sources of traffic and revenue.
As 2023 has become a buyer’s market with lower multiples and valuations, Joe believes opportunities are prevalent. He said, “Because other buyers are hesitating to pull the trigger, there are massive opportunities out there for buyers who can move quickly to pick up a great deal. For example, if a business is listed for $120k and you can pay cash and move quickly, the buyer would likely be very happy to accept $100k.”
Joe Burrill’s history has proven that he’s not afraid to try new things. His ability to adapt and learn is inspiring for anyone who wants to succeed in online business. Now, he’s using the skillset he developed as a flipper to help others achieve significant paydays that reward them for their hard work.
Interested in being featured on Flip My Site? We’re always looking for entrepreneurs with great stories. If you’ve bought or sold a website or online business, please contact us about being featured.