Deciding which brokerage for yacht sales can seem like a tough decision. There are a lot of competing brokerages operating in the luxury yacht market, and on the surface, all make the same promises of using their expertise to assist you in buying or selling a yacht.

So what separates the good yacht brokerages from the great? And what are some of the warning signs that a particular yacht brokerage might not be the right partner for your yachting journey?

Choosing the right brokerage for yacht sales comes down to many factors, including their location, their experience, their mode of operation, and the personal rapport you have with the individual broker.

In fact, the decision of which brokerage you should partner with to buy or a sell a yacht is personal in many ways: it’s individual to your personal circumstances and the way you like to do business.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right brokerage for yacht sales.

  1. Their proven record. If a brokerage is succeeding, it will be very easy to find out. Top yacht brokerages will have their credentials and brokerage records on their website, while market intelligence reports from sources like Boat International, Yatco, and Superyachts.com also produce annual reports on brokerage sales numbers and speed of sales.
     
  2. Word of mouth. There’s nothing as powerful as a recommendation from a seasoned yacht owner. Ask yachting friends how they chose their brokerage for yacht sales, and look out for reviews and testimonials.
  3. The brokerage’s location. The perfect yacht brokerage has a local US presence, but global reach, preferably with satellite offices in the Mediterranean as well as in the US/Caribbean. Why local matters: It’s ideal to have a local broker that understands the market that you’re shopping in. Not only can you drop into their office, easily join them for yacht viewings, or pick up the phone at any time for a chat without worrying about time zones, but they can also recommend great cruising grounds in your area and they’ll know about yachts that may not even be officially for sale yet. Why international matters: An international broker is tapped into the global market, and will have a much larger client list, which means you’ll have more options when you want to buy, sell, or charter out your yacht. If you’re planning to travel the world in your yacht, your broker will be a valuable resource no matter where you cruise or charter your yacht out.
  4. Their mode of operation. The majority of yacht brokerages operate on a one-broker-per-client model, while a few select yachting brokerages challenge this traditional model by pooling their brokers’ experience to work for each client. For some brokerages such as Worth Avenue Yachts, this innovative team approach has succeeded in producing over 1.2 billion dollars of yacht sales brokered at above-industry average speed. Consider which model will work better for you.
  5. Their presence at yacht shows. International yacht shows are the barometer of the yachting industry, providing brokers with a golden opportunity to exhibit their yachts for sale, view other yachts, and build their industry knowledge and contacts. If you’re buying or selling a yacht, choose a brokerage that has a presence at the major local and international yacht shows, the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show being the most important worldwide. If they don’t, their impact and brand in the superyacht industry is probably fairly insignificant, and they’re not a big enough player to deserve your business.
     
  6. Their particular specialty. Many yacht brokerages will have built up their name as leaders in sales of a particular style or size of yacht, and it’s hard to beat their level of specialist knowledge. This might be a brokerage that excels in the sale of sportfishing yachts, or even a brokerage that has global dominance in selling a certain yacht brands. An example might be if you were looking to buy or sell a Westport yacht, the obvious choice would be Worth Avenue Yachts, as they sold 40% of all Westport sales globally in 2016.
  7. Their professional affiliations. If a yacht brokerage is not a member of professional yachting body such as MYBA, IYBA or CYB, then steer well clear. All reputable yacht brokers are members of bodies that set professional standards and promote integrity in the industry, and alarm bells should sound loudly if your broker is not affiliated with one.
  8. The personal rapport you have with the broker. Many experienced yacht owners will stick with the one broker for a lifetime, because they know that the broker understands what kind of yachting experience they’re looking for, and they quickly build up a rapport. A great broker will get to know what kind of design you like, how your family and friends will like to use the boat, and what yacht builds will suit your preferences. The right broker will ask the right questions, and ultimately spare you a good deal of time and energy by expertly matching you with yachts that fit your dream profile.
  9. How you feel about the brokerage’s company brand. Many people also like to choose a brokerage that has a brand history they can identify with- whether that’s because the brokerage is American owned, or was founded by superyacht owners or ex-captains with personal experience of yachting life.
     
  10. The broker’s after-sales offerings. Some yacht brokers will sell you a yacht, but have nothing to offer after that. A top yacht brokerage will offer charter management services as well as refit management services for when your yacht needs maintenance.

Choosing the right brokerage for yacht sales is part research, part gut instinct. By considering the 10 factors outlined here, you should be confident in making a solid decision on which brokerage is right for buying or selling your yacht.

 

Published by sandeep Malik