Often I have customers or friends say to me, “It must be a lot of fun being a Yacht Broker; being on boats all day, you’re on vacation all the time”. Sure, I do enjoy it but it is a lot of work if you want to be successful.
Let me tell you what it takes to make it work. If you think you have what it takes, give me a call.
The hard part
To begin with, Florida Yacht Brokers have served a two year apprenticeship as sales people, before a full Broker status can be achieved. Other states have different requirements. As a Broker you may own the company or simply work as an Employing Broker for a parent company. As an owner/Broker as I do with Paradise Yachts, operation of a yacht sales business includes marketing, sales, accounting, banking, website design and building, search engine optimization, tax collecting, and bottle washing. So I have to allocate my time based upon what needs to keep the business operating. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll just be assuming you will want to become a yacht sales person.
- So to start, the primary thing is you have to like boats; no, you have to live boats and boating. But there’s more. You must know boats and yachts like the back of your hand; it’s got to be your life. You have to be able to discuss boats in detail; your customers will certainly be able to do so.
- Do you own a boat? Have you ever owned a boat? What is your experience operating a yacht? Your customers will want to talk about how to work things while underway, how to dock a twin screw boat, and how things aboard operate. Can you walk the talk? Have you ever done it? Can you guide your customers based upon experience?
- What’s your personality? Are you outgoing and able to reach out to customers? Most of the people you meet will be total strangers.
- Are you a self-starter? Are you willing to make it happen; if you don’t go to work, no one will be there to remind you?
- Do you possess a basic sales perspective? Are you a customer service type of person?
- Can you survive without a paycheck for 1, 2, 3 months? It does and can happen. Yacht Brokers only get paid when we sell a yacht. Money management skills are critical.
- Are you willing to work 7 days a week, every day including holidays if necessary? I work every day, usually 12 hour days. Customers look at boats everyday and you must be willing to take the call or answer the email at any time, Sundays and holidays included. Yesterday I spent 16 hours on the job and did not make a penny for my efforts.
- Are you computer literate? Can you manage your way around a website? You’ll need to own a powerful computer, printer, and scanner and have internet access to upload listings online.
- Are you an accomplished photographer? Can you use a digital camera and use photographic software. You’ll need to own at least a 8 mega pixel digital camera. They are not cheap!
- Can you survive a full background investigation? If you wish to work in Florida, it’s required to be conducted before you are issued a license. If you are in another State, you cannot even enter the State of Florida as a Broker if not licensed.
- Are you willing to dish out $600.00 every two years for the privilege of having that license?
- Do you have a cell phone, and/or a Blackberry; they are indispensable.
- Are you willing to work in the hot sun, sometimes in the pouring rain to show boats to customers?
- Are you willing to put up with irritating customers that often want something for nothing?
- Can you accept many no’s before getting a yes; you must as it happens all the time.
The easy part
- Do you wish to have an unlimited income? Yes, the money you make is up to you. You receive a percentage of the commission when you make a sale. Boat sales commissions are 10% of the selling price; a yacht selling for $100,000.00 will net the company $10,000.00.
- Do you wish to have fun? Yes, it’s a lot of fun seeing a new, happy boat owner. And yes, you get a lot of boat rides.
- Do you like meeting many new friends? Every stranger I meet is just a friend I haven’t yet made.
- Do you like being your own boss? In the yacht business, you get to call the shots.