If you have a real passion for sailing and you happen to be looking for a sound business investment, why not combine your love of sailing with business and start your very own yacht brokerage? As with all other industries, there is a wealth of information online about the yachting industry, and in this article, we will outline the business of yacht brokering.
What is a yacht broker?
When a person wishes to buy or sell a yacht, they would make contact with a yacht broker, who would either offer to advertise their vessel, or if you were looking for a yacht, they would source vessels for you to view that were in line with your specifications and budget. Of course, you would need to build a reputation, and if you already have connections in the yachting fraternity, even better, as this will help you become established.
This is an optional side of the business, and many yacht brokers do offer this service, one such example is Yacht Sourcing, a leading yacht broker with global connections. They are the go-to people for buying and selling yachts of all sizes, plus they offer a competitive chartering service that is fully comprehensive, whether you want to rent the vessel only, or would like a fully crewed yacht. As a broker, you would not need to own any yachts, as you are a middleman between yacht owners that wish to offer their vessels for charter and the client who is looking to charter a suitable yacht. You would receive an agreed commission from the owner when a yacht is chartered, and if you have agreements with many yacht owners, you can offer a varied selection of vessels, with or without a crew. This would involve charting all vessels, recording when they are vacant and when they are in use, and this database would help you to match the client with the perfect yacht.
It would be very difficult to be a successful yacht broker with no sailing experience, and if you do have a sailing background, this would be very helpful. Building on your sailing connections is an essential aspect of setting up your business and your reputation is everything, right from day one, and while it might take a few years to become established, if you are client-focused, your business will grow. Of course, you can’t do everything yourself, no matter how tempting it is, and here is an informative article that examines how the entrepreneur should delegate tasks to manage their business more efficiently.
A major aspect of your business would be selling yachts, which means you will need a good digital marketing plan that outlines how you intend to reach potential buyers. You would need to record the details of all vessels in your catalogue, with images, video and written descriptions of the vessel, including all technical specifications, and liaise with owners regarding viewing. Your marketing plan would include attending the many boat shows around the world, where you should have a stand to represent your business. Expect to invest heavily in your marketing, especially at boat shows, where potential buyers would be found, and customer service needs to be 5-star, as you are dealing with wealthy people.
The yacht broker must offer a standard of luxury when meeting potential clients, which would involve plush offices at specific ports, preferably in several prominent areas of the world, such as Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the east coast of the US, perhaps based in Miami, Florida, which is one of the yachting centres of the world. If you are based in the UK and would like your business to be UK registered, here is some useful information from the UK government website regarding setting up a business.
All marine vessels require maintenance and luxury yachts are no exception, which gives you another service to offer yacht owners. The owner would contract the maintenance and if you have skilled people working for you, plus mooring facilities, you can offer yacht maintenance and repairs, on an annual basis. You would need access to at least one crew, as there would be times when the client wishes you to take their yacht from a port to your mooring facility, and that could be quite a distance. A yacht owner, might, for example, have their yacht moored in Australia and wishes to commission you to collect the vessel and sail it to Southeast Asia, where the maintenance will be carried out.
Providing an Exclusive Range of Services
As a yacht broker, you would have several sectors that you cover and your organisation must be geared up to offer the very best service to any client that has a need regarding yachting, and building and developing a successful yacht brokerage is not something that will happen overnight, indeed, it takes many years to build a client base.
Now that you have a better idea of what is involved, you can make your plans to set up your own yacht brokerage, and hopefully, this will be the start of something big.