- Business - Changing the perception of yacht agents

By SuperyachtNews

Changing the perception of yacht agents

Evolution Yachting has launched a transparent new pricing model for its agency services in the Mediterranean…

Evolution Yachting today announced the introduction of a unique new pricing model for yacht agency fees, representing not only a milestone for the rapidly developing business, but arguably for a market sector that has been much maligned in the past for its opacity. With a complete lack of uniformity between typical agency fees, captains, management companies and various other stakeholders have been calling for reform and transparency within this sector for a number of years, Evolution Yachting believes that its new model meets this demand and enables said stakeholders to budget effectively.

“This change did not come overnight, it has been part of our plans since we started the business in 2018 and it has taken us six months to research the model and implement it,” starts Stefano Tositti, CEO of Evolution Yachting. “We want to change the way yacht agents are perceived, moving from what stakeholders often consider to be a grey area to a transparent way of doing our roles. Our clients require transparency, accountability and the ability to budget effectively, and this will become even more important in the post-COVID environment.”

Before implementing any changes to its pricing structure, Evolution Yachting completed a survey of its clients, captains, yacht managers, charter brokers and so on, in order to confirm whether the assumptions they had made about proposed market changes were correct.

“We wanted to validate any anecdotal evidence and assumptions with market demand,” continues Tositti. “Thankfully, the results from our clients were pretty clear and we took a lot of reinforced energy from this process because it confirmed that we were moving in the right direction. Firstly, charges had to be known well in advance, they had to be consistent and uniform, and they had to be able to be applied to budgets.”

The changes that Evolution Yachting have implemented rest on one simple notion, that there is a complete lack of pricing uniformity between various countries and even between various regions within the same countries, leading to confusion and surprise costs, neither of which are welcome. Therefore, Evolution Yachting has created a single pricing structure for the entire Mediterranean.

“We have created a single pricing structure for everywhere that a superyacht can go in the Mediterranean. In an ideal would result in a single price for the whole Mediterranean, but in reality, this model is unworkable because of the variety of operational costs. Consider for example the cost differential between Monaco and Montenegro. However, we have divided the Mediterranean into three different areas of pricing (see map), within each are the prices for our services are exactly the same no matter where you go. The beauty of this model is that yacht agent costs can now be accurately applied to budgets because there are no surprise costs. If for example a yacht cruises in the Balearics and then heads to St Trope, Monaco and Sardinia, the costs will be exactly the same in every location,” continues Tositti.

“We have taken the yacht agency to another level: we are one company, one price structure, one point of remittance and one billing format. No other group operating in the Mediterranean has ever created a unique pricing model. We have a duty of care to our clients and want to drive very necessary changes in the market that clients have spent years asking for. Transparency for them is key, and it is indeed aligned with Evolution Yachting’s philosophy and core values as a company. We are disrupting the market, something that we said we would do from the outset. At the end of the day it all comes down to transparency, budgeting and accountability.”

When the industry talks about transparency the term is often prostituted to describe the sharing of information to the detriment of competition. However, the only transparency that is of genuine worth is being transparent with clients. For years the yacht agent market has been awash with rumours of backhanders, artificially inflated pricing and a general lack of honesty. Evolution Yachting’s model does away with the negative characteristics that have plagued the yacht agent market and is a huge step in the right direction.

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