I recently met with the CEO of a brokerage firm, who told me that when he had asked to meet with one of his broker's clients on a recent business trip, his response was a categoric 'No.'
He continued to say that the information sharing within his own company, let alone the industry, is very damaging - although cynics may consider this particular point to be stating the obvious.
The more traditional brokerage firm structure – where brokers are employed as independent contractors – invites confidentiality as a means of retaining a competitive advantage by nature of its methodologies.
But, how is withholding key information that could drive internal development of any use to anyone, especially in an industry where businesses are so definitively empowered by information?
Any attempt to truly build and endorse a brand, with the expectation of it progressing as a cohesive unit, is surely forlorn without a transparent internal information-sharing platform.
It is verging on paranoid that some brokers live in fear of losing their clients. They should feel comfortable with allowing someone to undertake a courtesy viewing if they are unavailable. Even if the client is lost, there may be more opportunity nestled within the 98 per cent-plus of UHNWIs who don’t own a yacht – a blessing in disguise.
This industry's pace of change is such that modernisation and forward-thinking can’t continue to come second to traditional beliefs. The market must cease to be reactive with a potential pool of clients that are this proactive, fast-paced and powerful.
As flagship brokers, designers and yard representatives reach the latter stages of their distinguished careers, individualism is ill-befitting of the education and mentorship needed to plant the seed for the future.