Dubbed as the yachting industry’s official multi-listing system, YATCO is partnering with yacht brokerage associations and media outlets worldwide with the aim of bringing together the fragmented online brokerage and listings market. Originally founded in 2000 by seven yacht broker associations as Yacht Council, the new and improved platform essentially provides brokers, builders and prospective clients with a comprehensive database for yacht listing.
Steven Myers, CEO of YATCO, believes that the market has become fragmented due to the rise of the internet enabling an increase of open listings. Open listing marketplaces can cause issues because they create artificially low market valuations, frustrate sellers and deter new boat buyers. “The biggest concern is with the regional and smaller markets causing so much confusion and eventually damaging the bigger boat market,” Myers explains. “With multiple listings per boat online, the buyer is either going to be frustrated and walk away, or is going to see room for negotiation and drive prices down.”
“With multiple listings per boat online, the buyer is either going to be frustrated and walk away, or is going to see room for negotiation and drive prices down...”
The problem is that this then has a knock-on effect to the rest of the industry and could eventually lead to a dwindling market. With its new partnerships, YATCO’s aim is to protect the best interests of the industry online by consolidating listings and facilitating real-time data exchange between professional associations and companies around the world.
“We are partnering with the regional associations to bring the market together under one umbrella and facilitate two-way data flow so that everyone knows when a boat is for sale and at what price,” Myers continues. “We want to rid the marketplace of duplicate, bogus or expired listings and have real-time pricing, so that when a price reduction takes place, the whole brokerage community is immediately up to date.”
The new platform includes a Back Office Software Solution (BOSS), which integrates all marketing and sales software into one system. YATCO perceives that this will offer a solution to another of the challenges for the professional industry: with the rise of the internet and easy access to information online, the buyer might be just as informed as the broker. "But with these advanced tools and real-time updates, brokers can stay ahead of the client and add more value to the process," adds Myers.
“There are a lot of digital companies racing in to embrace the consumer, but our core mission is to look after the professionals and advance the industry through the latest technology..."
Unlike other platforms that claim ownership of data entered into the system, YATCO’s terms of service also ensure that brokers own their data and control where it gets distributed. “For example, if there are only a handful of brokers that are qualified to sell a listing, YATCO will facilitate the listing agent to be able to share certain information with only those that are qualified,” says Myers. “This avoids misrepresentation of the client.”
Myers hopes that, by including regional associations and smaller brokerages with only central listings, and a common set of professional rules and ethics, it will ensure a professional marketplace and fair pricing, as well as incentivising brokers to invest in marketing. By giving the brokerage community back control of the online marketplace, it will raise the bar of professionalism within the whole industry and prevent those operating unprofessionally or unethically from being a part of the community.
“There are a lot of digital companies racing in to embrace the consumer, but our core mission is to look after the professionals and advance the industry through the latest technology,” concludes Myers. “We want to partner with everyone with the main priority being not to let the online marketplace get out of control and any further fragmented.”
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