Today’s brokerage market is being driven forward by a more discerning client base and what the sector claims is growing demand. These external forces are bolstering professionalism among brokers, and forcing the hand of best practice and due diligence in the sales process.

But it’s the owners that keep this sector on its toes, moving forward and adapting; clients wanting more for less. Brokers have seen their role mould into that of a consultant, which is no bad thing, but standards must be fortified and brokers, in the wake of a digital revolution, must continue to prove their worth and add value.

“The days of knowing someone from the yacht club and them being your client for life are over,” Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson, explained during the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“We have to prove ourselves every day and we’re upping our game every day to stay ahead. If a broker is not efficient with their support, communication or website information, and you don’t understand the marketplace, what value are you bringing to the table?”

Acclimating to the needs of today’s clients is a challenge for every company in their respective fields, but how can a brokerage company define its value proposition, in what is one of the industry’s most fiercely competitive sectors, when the market share appears to be getting exponentially smaller?

As Raphael Sauleau, CEO of Fraser, pointed out in issue 179 of The Superyacht Report, “the tactics in brokerage today are much more aggressive. If you slip up, the next broker is right in there behind you.”

"If a broker is not efficient with their support, communication or website information, and you don’t understand the marketplace, what value are you bringing to the table?”

The burgeoning number of brokers has both spoilt and confused clients, so brokers need to be able to demonstrate their ability and present a credible track record of business to win listings. When demand was stripped back to the bone after the global financial crisis, the market saw a huge, but necessary adjustment and it became tougher for brokers to overcome their competition, win listings with a sensible commission structure, and keep their heads above the water.

Today, we find ourselves in an interesting position, where buying confidence in the pre-eminent yachting markets is returning, so it’s crucial that brokerage firms have learnt from the economic ups and downs and are working towards a better brokerage market, where it’s not just about buying and selling, but adding value and inspiring.

As we contemplate what lies ahead for the brokerage sector, there are some key questions to address: what needs to change? And what can we do differently?

We ask that you join us to help map out this sector’s future next week at the Monaco Yacht Show, where YPI will be hosting an exclusive panel discussion on ‘The Future of Superyacht Brokerage’, at the Monaco Yacht Club, on Wednesday 27th September, at 10am.

The think tank, led by Martin H. Redmayne, Chairman and CEO of The Superyacht Group, and accompanied by Olivier Blanchet (BNP Paribas), Tony Allen (Hill Dickinson), Laurent Debart (YPI), Nikos Panagiotopoulos (BRS Greece) and Patrick Coote (Marketing Expert), will spur dynamic new approaches for the world of buying and selling yachts.

If you are a lawyer, captain, family office, owner’s rep, surveyor, banker or shipyard sales director, you are eligible to attend.

To RSVP, or for more information, contact Leticia Rivero: leticia@thesuperyachtgroup.com

 Image credit: Justin Ratcliffe

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