her days working to make ends meet. They were responsible
individuals who never counted on public support."
my parents separated and I had to step up and take
care of my little brother and sister. My Mom and
Dad, who are both deceased, Influenced me to go on my
own and work hard. My Mom always lectured me to do
right all the time. My Dad also was there
to open up to when I needed him. They would tell
me as long as I worked hard and was responsible
everything would work out," George said.
Verdugo on one of his youth baseball
In 1978 he was on a Saybrook Park Pee Wee
League team that won the Los Angeles County
started my first business when I was 9 years
old. I started buying and selling baseball
memorabilia, like bobble heads and hard to find
collectibles. My Dad would take me to the swap
meet to set up shop and start selling my
products and from then on I would sell every
Saturday and Sunday to make a living."
a youth, I experienced a lot of crazy stuff like
drugs, gangs, murders, etc. Many of my
childhood friends ended up in prison, on drugs
or were killed in gang violence. The
friends I made are all good people and are still
very loyal friends today. We did a lot of cool
things - and a lot more stupid things! -
together," George laughed. "We were
the 1970ís version of the Little Rascals
in East LA!"
"I got into sports when I was 8 years old
and that helped me stay out of trouble in the
neighborhood. I used to play sports with
friends and stay out until the street lights
came on - that was my cue to return home. If
I was late, my mom would whistle but if I was
really late she would call my full birth name
with her Spanish accent," George smiled.
sports helped George evade a lot of potential
land mines as a kid, he found it tougher to stay
out of trouble when it was time to enroll at Montebello
High School in 1980. "After just a year
there I was transferred from Montebello to Vail
High School for fighting and other minor
behavioral issues," George recalled.
"I attended Vail from
1981-84 and it
was a good school with great teachers but
graduating was not a concern of mine.
Bad behaviors like drinking and experimenting
with illegal substances led to getting expelled
from Vail, but I continued to party,
"living the life."
1992, Verdugo was already on his second marriage and
the father of three children. He wanted a better life
for his family and decided it was time to change his
ways once and for all. "I wanted to become a
corrections officer so I went and took the test for
the State of California and I passed it. WOW!
But then, during the interview process, I was turned
away for not having my high school diploma. So,
the next week, determined to get my GED, I went to
take that test and again was met with refusal. I
was told because of my lack of high school credits I
wasnít eligible to take the test. Somehow I
was able to convince them to let me pay the $55 fee
and take the test. Six weeks later I received a letter
fro the State of California stating I passed the GED
exam and I went right in to JUMPING MODE!!,"
George declared. "I took the test after being out
of high school for nine years and passed
ďcold turkey.Ē I still donít know how I
passed that test to this day!"
While that was
one of the happiest days of his life George's
struggles were still far from over.
"I worked for several companies,
including Smart N Final, the Kent Landsberg
Company and Coca Cola, to support my growing
family by my second marriage ended in divorce
and I lost everything. My sons and I
ended up living in a garage at a friendís
"I went back
to school and attended Rio Hondo College
where I applied for the Forensic Program. I
was 1 out of 3 civilians who were accepted.
I completed the course and obtained my Forensic
Certification in 1999. I then moved to
Kansas City in 2000 as a single father of
four boys. I wanted to move my young family
away from the lure of gang violence and I
Verdugo with two of his children - still
even though times were tough in the early
fortunate to have
a very good friend who lived in Kansas City.
I met a beautiful, talented, witty and smart
young woman - Crystal, the love of my
life. We were married in 2001 and remain
happily married today."
and Crystal Verdugo at home in Kansas City.
my family continued to grow, I decided it was time to buy
a home for my family. As I was driving around
looking at properties, I saw a sign that said, ďFor
Sale By Owner.Ē I called the number and I
spoke with the individual. I set up a time to look at
his property. It was in very bad shape, but he had
multiple properties he owned that I could look at.
It intrigued me that this man owned multiple
properties so I began to ask him questions about what
he did for a living. He began to explain the process
of buying and flipping homes. I was very
interested in what he was doing so I went home and
explained it to my wife. We began to save all the
money we could and purchased our first property to
flip in 2005. Since then, we have been buying and
flipping properties," George said.
The new business
wound up paying George many unexpected
dividends because it also led to his first
domain purchase and his ongoing love
affair with domain investing and development.
"My original domain name was SeVendePorElDueno.com
- Spanish for "For Sale By Owner".
At that time, Spanish domain names werenít
in use in the U.S. real estate market. I
built the website for SeVendePorElDueno.com and after launching in on July 6, 2008,
took off. I began
and studying domain names and when the
real estate market hit rock bottom in 2011, I
noticed the prices of properties were very
cheap and that prompted me research the name CasasBaratas.com
which translates to "Cheap Houses."
The name was originally owned by a real estate
broker in L.A., so I reached out to him and
made an offer
for the name.
He countered and I agreed to the purchase
price. It was a risky decision at the time
because I had to use the money I had saved
for Christmas presents for my kids to
purchase the domain. My wife was very
concerned and a little on edge but she trusted
my decision. It was a decision well made and
my wife now looks back on that day and laughs,"
first realized the how a valuable good domain could be
the year before he bought the first house he flipped.
"In 2004 I was employed at Freight Quote
and within the first couple of months there I realized
the importance and power of a domain name. I said to
myself, if this company could flourish as quickly as
it did by using the Internet, then I could do the
same. I began registering domain names at my desk
during my downtime," George recalled. "In
the beginning I was acquiring real estate names. From
there I began to branch out to other industry related
to identify some of the favoirte domains in his
current portfolio George cited VisitSpace.com, Rams.com,
EastLA.com, YoAmoNY.com, Hotels.club
and, or course, CasasBaratas.com.
has developed Hotels.club
into one of his most promising businesses.
"Hotels.club was launched last year and
is starting to take off," George said.
"Our subscribers use Hotels.club to save
money on ever hotel room purchase they make.
Itís quite simple, we donít advertise and
we deal in unpublished rates. No other
hotel booking site can come close to what we
offer," Verdugo declared.
traditionalists may think that using a new
gTLD for this venture, rather than a .com,
is a risky move, but Verdugo, who has
developed sites on both new and old TLDs,
thinks the odds are in his favor with this
domain. "The .CLUB extension of one of my
favorite new TLDs because it creates loyalty.
I don't have customers - I have members,"
George said. "Iíve also purchased Flights.club,
Cruises.club and RentalCars.club.
In my opinion, not all new gTLDís can be
successful but the ones with positive meanings
can make a difference. The new gTLD extensions
open new doors of
Verdugo, representing his Hotels.club
website, was an inspiring featured speaker at
the Startup Saturday event held during
the 2016 edition of THE Domain
Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
domain names that would not have been available
through a .COM, especially premium domain
names. I purchased Hotels.club based on a
project I had been working on. I already had a
business plan and vision for Hotels.club and in
my opinion you need those factors when dealing
with a gTLD extension."
another venture, Verdugo teamed up with Kevin Faler
last year to buy the oldest domain name forum online -
"DNForum.com is a long term project of mine I am
serious about building back the traffic as well as the
reputation of DNForum.com," George said. "DNForum.com
is where most in the industry first learned about
The future of DNForum will be based on domains and crypto currencies.
We plan on spending money to advertise the forum in
2018 to bring in retail buyers and sellers. We are
also happy to entertain any ideas or partnerships that
can help us grow the forum. I look forward to a great
2018 for DNForum."
As someone who
has been gone through tough times and
come out stronger than ever, we asked Verdugo
what advice he would give people who are
currently going through a rough patch of their
own. "Donít give up!"
George immediately declared. "Continue to
pursue your vision and your dreams.
Itís not easy because thereís not a lot of
support from peers at times but stay
determined. In my opinion there are still
opportunities to create something lucrative in
the domain industry. To make money you have to
will take a lot of hard work to get where you want to
go but the rewards are well worth it. Verdugo still
puts in long hours but now he also has the freedom to
enjoy the things that really make life worth living.
"In my spare time, I love to go fishing at my
lake house with my family," George said. "I
also love to travel and visit my grandchildren
frequently in Phoenix - Yes I am a grandfather
despite my youthful appearance!," George laughed
with his ever present smile.
is everything to me but it wasnít always like
that. In the beginning stages of domaining, I spent 80
plus hours a week and hardly had time for my family.
Iím a proud father of six children and 2
grandchildren. My wife is an amazing woman
who has helped me raise such an amazing family. We are
currently helping my second oldest son plan his
wedding. My only daughter just got her driverís
license and is heating up the roads daily. My youngest
son is following in my footsteps and has just started
his first job to save money to buy and flip a house.
My oldest son just became a full-time real estate
agent in Arizona and his girlfriend just became a
mortgage loan officer. My other two boys are
working full-time and are saving money to buy their
first flip also. Iím proud to pass along the
knowledge I have obtained and even more proud to see
my children run with the knowledge and be so much
further ahead than I was at their ages," George
proud George Verdugo with four of his sons and two
back through the good times and bad, Verdugo has no
regrets today. "I am very fortunate to have been
born and raised in East Los Angeles, because living in
a rough area really instilled a fighting drive and
determination to succeed and do good in life.
Iím very proud to own EastLA.com, BoyleHeights.com,
WhittierBlvd.com, ChicanoPower.com, EastLos.com,
SmileNowCryLater.com and many other domains
that relate to where I grew up culturally,"
George said - never forgetting that it is our our past
that made us who we are today.