As CEO of Engel & Völkers Yachting, how are you leading plans for expansion?
"One of our key areas of focus is currently the recruitment of additional yacht brokers and charter brokers, especially on the Côte d’Azur as the Mediterranean is an important region for the Yachting sector. Our yachting shop in Nice is carefully chosen for its strategic location, between the two large marinas in Monaco and Antibes, and in close proximity to Nice Airport.
We also want to expand our presence. So we have opened up a yachting shop at Antibes this month. Thereafter, further locations will follow. In the long run, we plan to launch a franchising system for Yachting."
How does the wider network of Engel & Völkers aid the growth of its Yachting sector?
"The superyacht industry is actually very introverted. Whilst the industry is virtually stagnant on the one hand, the number of so-called Ultra High Net Worth Individuals is increasing, and their average wealth is also on the rise. Brokerage houses and shipyards are now gradually beginning to see Yachting as a lifestyle category of its own. But they are focusing their activities almost entirely on co-branding with other brands.
By contrast, Engel & Völkers is pursuing a different approach and therefore manages to attract potential clients outside of the existing yachting community: Yachting is a designated company division alongside Residential Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate and Aviation. For this reason, the company already counts many wealthy individuals amongst its clients.
In addition to the expertise they receive from the respective business divisions, the clients appreciate the opportunities that our international network can offer them. Engel & Völkers operates in 700 locations in 36 countries after all. If a client is looking, for instance, for a holiday home in Majorca, and wants to charter a yacht, we are in a position to offer him a tailored service within the same company. That way we can arouse the interest of a new group of customers for Yachting."
How does your sales and charter fleet reflect the E&V brand?
"We are gaining more and more confidence of Yacht owners, which brings us more CA's [...] Expanding our services to Yachting is very logical, as we have that premium clientèle that buys high-end villas, travels via private jet and are already yacht owners or charterers.
At Engel & Völkers Yachting we use exactly the same marketing as the traditional brokerage houses. We advertise in the same magazines, use the same websites and go the same boat shows. The big difference is that Engel & Völkers do not ask the yacht owner to pay for that. Clients appreciate that. But most importantly, Engel & Völkers is the only brokerage company with a huge network outside the traditional yachting industry. We are not only communicating with other brokers; we also have a network of more than 7000 sales people talking to wealthy customers all over the world."