– Matthew, could you please describe your WN Brokerage experience and maybe reveal some interesting cases?
Since joining West Nautical I have experienced both straight forward and difficult transactions but the forefront has to be my first transaction as a broker. If there was a hurdle to overcome, I seemed to have them all during the course of my first deal! I experienced everything from a repossession half way through proceedings, to managing the clients’ expectations when dealing with a European bank in terms of their procedures and managing delays and in order to close the deal, it was certainly a learning curve! As we are a young company within the large yacht brokerage sector, and in terms of the ages of our employees, we are very forward thinking providing solutions to any problems and, in this case in particular, we worked as a collective group with the client to ensure a successful outcome.
– What are the main advantages of WN brokerage?
West Nautical has its own very experienced Yacht Management department, who are always on hand to assist my clients with technical requests or queries. We work seamlessly together to ensure the client receives the best service, but most of all, solid and accurate advice. It is critical to have this infrastructure and resource for myself and the client. By providing boutique brokerage, with offices in France, Russia and the UK, we offer a very personal service and this has been recognised by both our sales and purchase transaction clients. We treat every client as we wish to be treated,we want a client for life, but in a lot of cases, our clients become our friends.
– Could you please tell us some words about the boat market condition (in UK and Europe). Is there any difference between them?
The yachting industry is certainly in an interesting state, we are very much bouncing back from the 2008 crash and you can see a shortfall to demand at this stage in terms of the new builds now coming out and the yachts available on the brokerage market. The yards are getting busier with the likes of Lurssen not having a build slot available until 2022, which seems to be becoming a similar story for other leading Northern European yards. The charter sector is booming also, with the summer of 2015 being the busiest to date since the crash. The industry runs in cycles and I believe in the next 24 to 36 months we will be making a lot of head way to where we stood in 2008. Owners are becoming far more educated which is great for the industry. They have a better understanding of the requirements of their assets and are questioning a lot of the expenses, which whilst it can be frustrating for a broker, it is essential that the Owner understands why their yacht costs what it does to own!
– Any advices for the potential buyers of the boats (how to choose the boat etc)?
Brokers don’t have the best reputation in the industry, however this is mainly due to the perception of clients buying yachts from brokerage firms without the appropriate knowledge of infrastructure to support the requirements of the customer. This is certainly true of clients whom suffered during the financial crisis where demand was very high. My advice is to follow your gut reaction when working with a broker, to feel comfortable with who is advising you on such a large purchase. I treat my clients as I want to be treated and I operate in this manner when I am buying something significant, if I don’t feel comfortable with the sales person and if they don’t know the technicalities of an item they specialise in, I will not buy from that person. Sometimes is it better to say “I don’t know” to a question, and to then find out the answer, rather than make it up on the spot! It is the same with the West Nautical business model at large, as a boutique company we understand our clients, we don’t take on too many listings so that as brokers, we can advise accurately on each of our yachts, giving the client the best-in-class service we strive to offer.