Planning for the future
A growing fleet and a growing number of new buyers needs a sales force that can ensure excellence…
The world of superyachts is a niche market that only truly professionalised in the mid-to-late 1990s. However, in the years since, the market has grown exponentially to the point that it is no longer feasible to expect the market’s most renowned brokers to manage every transaction. It is vital, therefore, that the levels of professionalism throughout the market continue to grow in line with the market itself.
“Today as part of the MYBA board, we are putting in place various initiatives to shape the professionals of today and tomorrow. We have new generations joining the industry, coming from university and a variety of other places, and we have to ensure that we are best placed to brighten their careers and lead them in the right direction,” starts Eleonora Pitasso, MYBA board member and shipyard relationship co-ordinator & sales broker at Burgess Yachts
Superyachting is an extremely broad market when one considers that the gulf in cost between a two-metre dinghy and a 30m superyacht is actually less than if one was to compare a 30m superyacht and a superyacht that is 90m-plus. What both the superyachts have in common, however, is that they probably represent the single highest-value leisure asset that the buyers are likely to own. As such, the levels of service between the sale of a 30m and a 90m-plus shouldn’t be a whole lot different. That being said, the largest sales tend to be dominated (understandably) by the market’s most respected brokers, while the sales of the ‘smaller’ superyachts are beginning to increasingly fall within the remit of younger brokers, especially as the size of this sector continues to grow rapidly.
Eleonora Pitasso, MYBA board member and shipyard relationship co-ordinator & sales broker at Burgess Yachts
“My committee is the Global Initiatives Committee, we want to ensure that professionals will grow in their career while being sustained and supported by MYBA as an organisation. We are going to have a lot of new initiatives coming up, which will be dictated by trends and the world around us, and we will very much be focussed on the professionals of the future,” continues Pitasso. “We want to promote the fact that there must be common ground and standards for professionals to follow to provide the same quality of service to all buyers and sellers.
“We are speaking a lot with students, as well as working with complimentary associations to try and paint a picture of what working in the superyacht market is like for young people. What are the key differences between different roles, such as being a charter manager or a broker? There is a distinct lack of knowledge about the industry amongst people that don’t work directly within it.”
It is this lack of knowledge that renders misconceptions about the industry understandable and one could argue that these misconceptions have been exacerbated by the industry’s traditional issues with generating diverse interest on the part of young people. While many people may be aware of the option for working onboard superyachts, far less is known about shoreside career opportunities.
“In the past, our industry was quite conservative and gaining access to this unique world was extremely difficult. However, within luxury management and brands lines have been drawn that will help guide younger generations towards luxury markets and yachting,” says Pitasso.
Having a more diverse workforce may also have an impact on attracting a more diverse set of buyers across the various sales markets. Options, diversity and flexibility will become increasingly important to the superyacht market as it starts to look beyond the tried and tested models of usage, as well as being vital to becoming a more appealing proposition to demographics and owner pools that have not traditionally been the most prolific superyacht buyers.
“The language of yachting is already changing. You may have buyers today that are from generational (old) money and you will have others that have only recently accrued their wealth. They may or may not have knowledge of the market or the sales process and they may require completely different sales approaches, both in terms of the language used, but also in terms of the technologies that we can deploy to help educate them and guide them through the superyacht sales experience. We are seeing such a rapid evolution of the technology that is being used today, it is truly unbelievable, and the younger generations certainly appreciate this more,” says Pitasso.
If the market is able to continue in its rich vein of form, the need to upskill professionals and maintain a minimum standard of excellence becomes all the more pressing. The responsibility for this, however, is of course not MYBA’s alone and by no means restricted to the core sales and management markets. With the booming new build, brokerage and sales activity, a higher proportion of new buyers are joining the market, they need to be met with excellence on all fronts and by all stakeholders.
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