As superyacht brokerage has evolved, videography has turned into a fairly essential part of a yacht’s promotion. But, while the footage is of an excellent quality, the content remains both homogenous and uninspiring, with the crux of it focused on the superyacht lifestyle experience and high-definition drone footage of yachts underway.
One person that is proactively innovating with videography in yacht brokerage is David Seal of Northrop & Johnson, who has seemingly amalgamated his role as a sales broker into that of a documentarian; creating short yacht films to promote his sales listings.
“When the market took a massive dip, it was very frustrating and particularly difficult to generate enquiries,” Seal explained, in an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews. “I’ve always been interested in videos and media – and while I think the video footage in yachting is brilliant in terms of quality, it’s just not interesting or engaging.” What Seal felt was missing, was a “Top Gear-styled” production.
So, he did an experiment with a Ferretti sales listing: “I basically filmed myself talking about the boat, but I was also holding the camera myself and the video quality was really poor. But, I ended up selling the boat very quickly.”
Seal had put the video on YouTube and had been closely monitoring the detailed analytics. He had been getting no traction at all in Australia, until Edmiston brought an Australian client to the table, which rapidly escalated the video’s traction in Australia. Seal could see the video was being shared by the client, and thus, the opportunity presented by this style of video.
“I then spent a few grand on a production company and did a very professional video on a Sunseeker 82 Predator,” which, if Googled, still shows Seal’s video as a top result, five years after he posted it.
This year, Seal’s YouTube account, ‘Yachts For Sale’, has gone from just under 1,000 subscribers to 8,000, and from 600 views per day to 12,000 per day. By the end of the year, he expects to have 12,000 subscribers and one million views per month, based on his current trajectory.
“The number of enquiries I’m getting from qualified buyers tells me that qualified people are watching the videos,” Seal responded, when questioned as to whether his footage was reaching the right people among the masses.
“I’ve had two million views now on my channel – and it doesn’t matter if they’re qualified or not, because as soon as you Google ‘Mangusta 165 for charter’, I’ve got two million flags to my video. If I keep the viewership high, it will reach the right people.”
As Seal has proved, documentaries are a powerful and relatively low-cost weapon in a broker’s arsenal. Not only does this process also raise a broker’s profile in the industry, but it’s certainly comforting for a seller to see that their yacht is being promoted in a dynamic and nonconformist manner.