Twelve Reasons to Use Us
Brokerage Yacht Sales: The Berthon Service
In a challenging market, deciding which broker will handle the sale of your yacht is a key decision as whoever you choose will need to be nimble and effective to find a new owner for her at market value within a reasonable timespan.
A lot is talked about commission rates. These only become relevant once a buyer is found, and if the yacht remains unsold, a favourable commission rate is wholly irrelevant.
At Berthon, we aim to provide a thorough, practical and efficient service for yacht sales. We believe that there are a number of components which are necessary to succeed:
- Experience and Product Knowledge
The Berthon Sales Team have all been in post for a number of years and each part of the market is managed by a broker who is a specialist in their area. The Team is the glue that holds the business together; so whether you are selling a motor yacht in the South of France, a racing yacht in Newport, Rhode Island or a yacht that is handled by us anywhere in the world, you will receive our total support and commitment to achieve a positive result.
We are members of the YBDSA (Yacht Brokers, Designers & Surveyors Association) and MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) and co-operate with other international brokerage houses around the world. Our American brokers hold Florida Yacht Broker Licenses and are members of YBAA, Sail Newport, US Sailing, New York Yacht Club, Jamestown Yacht Club and Rhode Island Marine Trades Association. We enjoy a great relationship with the brokerage community with around 35% of our business generated by joint deals with other brokerage houses. Another broker bringing a client will be paid up to 60% of the commission available to Berthon, thereby we encourage other brokers to bring their clients to Berthon listings. We write to around 60 globally-based brokerage houses monthly to update them about our central listings. We also use local agents in areas like Turkey, Spain and Asia to ensure that our service levels are maintained wherever in the world your yacht is.
- Contract and title
Unlike an estate agent, the broker does all the contract work too. The numbers are significant and therefore accuracy and knowledge are essential. Of course we hold full PI cover, but more importantly, we typically use a sales contract exclusively drafted for Berthon by the maritime law division of Hill Dickinson, our London-based solicitors. These contracts are regularly updated as regulations change. If preferred we use the MYBA contract. For transactions in the USA, the YBAA contract is normally used by Berthon USA. We are also able to offer advice about VAT, RCD and a myriad of other issues that arise when transacting yachts.
- Financial security
We have separated client accounts for all yacht transactions in £, € and US$s. However, it is also comforting to know that the Berthon Sales Division is part of the Berthon Group; which has no bank debt and is a net lender. Berthon Boat Company and Berthon Lymington Marina are successful sister companies. This financial strength also enables us to assist with currency trades and other processes of this type.
- Preparation of Particulars
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of comprehensive and technically accurate particulars in the sales process. Yacht buyers have access to an enormous amount of choice and your yacht needs to stand out in terms of information available and pictorial content. We are used to taking running shots of yachts to enhance particulars and sourcing photographic material to show yachts to their best advantage. We are also now working with video for our brokerage listings. We will create a walk through video of your yacht showing the features within each cabin and on deck. This enables the prospective purchaser to view the layout and gives them a general overview before making an inspection. We have a full time Listings Manager to manage your yacht’s promotion and to ensure that she features on the relevant online platforms.
- The Web
An essential part of any modern sales organisations’ marketing programme. Our Listings Manager will manage your yacht’s promotion on the various websites that we use – Berthon, Yatco, Yacht World, TheYachtMarket, YBW.com and other specialist websites as appropriate. All particulars are kept up to date in real time. In addition our digital marketing manager is optimizing our site continuously and maintaining the Berthon blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts.
- Magazine advertising
At Berthon we have been around a long time and whilst over 50% of our yacht buyers are repeat clients or referrals, we need to continue to generate new enquiries. Magazine advertising remains a key way of accomplishing this. We consider that it is an indispensible part of any successful marketing campaign. We advertise in Yachting World, Boat International, Motorboat & Yachting, Yachting Monthly and Seahorse. We have annual campaigns in all these covers with positional guarantees and the Berthon pages are professionally set so that your yacht looks her best. Our text you will find is quite original. We also advertise in relevant lifestyle magazines from time to time as well as reprinting our Winter Collection of brokerage offerings in Yachting World’s February issue – traditionally the largest issue of the year.
- Direct Marketing
Another key part of the brokers’ sales armoury. We put out a Berthon ‘enews’ monthly, featuring happenings at Berthon and news about our listings and sales which has a circulation of around 10,000 yachtsmen. In addition, we publish a Market Report annually in soft copy for our client base which is an all encompassing review of the market from Berthon’s perspective. We also print and send out an annual lifestyle magazine, called The Berthon Book. All these promotions are managed in house and are written and put together by the Sales Team with our promotion designers and not farmed out to a PR house, as we believe that those working in our business understand how best to bring it to life. Uniquely, the articles in the lifestyle magazine are written for us by our own clients and supporters, and no stock articles ever appear.
- Boat Shows
September is a busy time with commitments at the Southampton Boat show which is concurrent with Newport in Rhode Island and closely followed by the Cannes Boat Show. We also participate in other shows during the year including Dusseldorf, Annapolis and Miami. The Palma Super Yacht Show is also an important annual event for us. Outside of these shows are a number of regional shows that we support, such as Sandbanks and Mandelieu.
- Events & Sponsorship
At Berthon we recognise that profile is important, and we therefore, support events like the World Cruising Club’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and we host a WCC Weekend at Berthon annually. These promotions emphasize our commitment to the various market sectors that we specialise. This increases our marketing reach whilst putting something back into these events. Our Performance Yacht Broker is also present at major yachting regattas every year.
- Customer Relationship Management
At Berthon, we have a custom built data handling system called BOB which holds all the information about the yachts that we have for sale and the yacht buyers with whom we are working. This enables us to match suitable yachts to clients and to keep them updated about your yacht, which is an invaluable tool for our brokers. We can also catalogue marketing activity so that every yacht has a complete sales profile being built on her all the time. This system is written, managed and updated by our in-house IT manager so that it continually adapts to meet the changing needs of the market.
- Market Information
We consider that the sale of your yacht is a voyage that we undertake with you as the owner. We will therefore be in touch regularly to update you on where we have got to with the sale, to discuss market conditions with you and to assess how she is being received in the market. In this way you are in a position to make an informed decision when an offer is made on your yacht.
These components give you a proactive platform for the sale of your yacht. We prefer to do the job thoroughly and charge a proper commission rather than charge less, and reduce the level of service offered. In our view, in an ever changing market it is important to have every weapon possible available in your sales armoury. We are committed to continuing to provide this level of service and we are looking constantly at ways of improving it. This is why the Berthon commission rate is 8% + VAT for a UK sale and 10% for an international sale, for an effective sales programme for your yacht and our undivided attention.
Call Berthon on 01590 679222 to discuss the purchase or sale of your yacht.