One to One: Belén Martín
Belén Martín, Managing Partner at Evolution Yacht Agents, discusses the need to provide peace of mind…
In the latest instalment of the digital one to one series, Belén Martín, Managing Partner at Evolution Yacht Agents sits with Operations Editor Jack Hogan for a candid discussion. This insightful 40-minute-long conversation covers a wide array of topics, including the expanding role of agents, how onboard operations have been effected by the pandemic and the overall image of the industry. The conversation also ventures into political territory with notes on Brexit and the relationship between local governments in Spain.
Born and bred in the city of Barcelona, Martín embarked on a career in yachting after completing a university degree in PR and Advertisement. After spending 8 years as a crew member she went to become a co-founder of J&B Yacht Services, a family business based in her hometown which quickly flourished and led to the introduction of Beatriz Alonso of Yacht Help. After a few years working with this group, Beatriz invited Belén and her husband at the time to launch their own company. In September 2010 Evolution Yacht Agents was born, an independent, Spanish focused yacht agency with the guiding philosophy of growing naturally through the use of word of mouth as well as providing a personal and bespoke service.
The pandemic presented a number of obvious challenges to yacht agents, with Spain suffering from particularly strict lockdowns. However, Martín argued that the tough and resilient DNA of Barceloneta, a former fishing neighbourhood, stood strong in the face of adversity and rose to the occasion, with a tip of the hat to the ‘balcony police’ keeping pedestrians in check. Martín also applauded the work of local authorities, particularly the health department, who offered a quick and efficient service to those in need during the most uncertain periods.
Martín noted how smaller vessels have been reaching out to Evolution in a bid to ensure peace of mind. “The small cost of peace of mind is worth the while when you consider the consequences of what can go wrong during a difficult time.” Martín explained, “We have actually had similar numbers this year to that of 2019, so the data we are receiving has been very positive. We are also receiving a lot of testimonials which makes us very happy.”
While Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have been some of the tallest hurdles facing the industry in recent times, the battle against the portrayal of the overall image of superyachts and what they represent to the wider public has often been an issue which rears its head during the more tumultuous social and economic periods. However, Martín believes that preconceived notions are transforming into something much more positive in Barcelona.
“When restaurants and shops see how much money is being spent by owners and crew members, you can see why the attitude is changing.” Martín went on to explain how, “Barcelona doesn’t really do VIPs, this city is the perfect place for a celebrity to remain anonymous, because people just don’t care here.” Martín pointed to the fact that the show-offs or ‘Motivados’ of the superyacht world often seek comfort in other locations outside of Barcelona.
Watch the video below and check out our full One to One digital library here. If you would like to take part or contribute your thoughts, please contact Eleanor Shepherd.
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