Boat shows are a major investment when it comes to selling your yacht—both for the owner and the broker. As summer comes to a close and the first major shows are on the horizon, owners begin to think about selling and what might come next in their boating plans. While putting your yacht into a boat show may seem like the best opportunity to get it sold, it’s what happens before the show starts that can make the difference in terms of how quickly an offer comes and how close it is to asking price.
“No one wants to go through the effort and expense of putting a yacht into a show, only to have it not sell,” says United Yachts professional broker Mordy Miltz. “If a yacht doesn’t sell during the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show at the end of October, you have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years that can distract buyers from pulling the trigger, which means you’re now looking at potentially displaying it again in the Miami show or Palm Beach show.”
By starting the process of listing your yacht for sale in August or September, brokers are given the opportunity to create the best online listing possible and market it to both potential buyers and the yacht-brokerage community, possibly selling your yacht before any boat show even begins.
It Takes Time To Do It Right
“If I take on a listing, it’s going to be done right,” Mordy continues. “I don’t think people realize how much effort goes into making sure a yacht is represented properly online. The photo and video shoot are a tremendous effort. The boat has to be staged and looking right, then you have the photography, the drone shots, the interior footage and then comes the editing. We spend several more hours going through the specifications-and-options list to make sure the write-up is thorough and accurate. Thankfully, we have a fantastic support team at United that enters the information into the different MLS systems for us.”
Because the move-in process for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show begins two to three weeks prior to the start date, getting your yacht listed at the end of September or beginning of October is really too late to make the big impact owners want.
“Ideally, we want the yacht on the market for three to four weeks prior to any major show starting,” Mordy says. “This gives us enough time to not only get it live online, but it also allows us to market it properly and drive buyers to the boat should we decide to list it in the show. I have clients listing their boat with me in July to make the Newport Show in September.”
Strike When Interest Is At Its Peak
Industry data shows that boating traffic online is at its peak in late summer and bottoms out in late December or early January, before rebounding again in the spring. “There are more people on UnitedYacht.com searching different boats during the months of August and September than any other time of the year,” states Rob Bowman, United’s marketing consultant. “You tend to think people are out enjoying their boat before the summer ends, but this is also the time when they start dreaming about and researching their next purchase.”
Listing your yacht with United means that it is advertised in a variety of very effective ways. Getting professional photography shot in early August, for example, means that it can potentially make the October and November issues of major magazines “FLIBS” editions. Your vessel also becomes a part of three different industry MLS databases and is marketed to our network through email, social media, Google and a plethora of additional methods. United makes sure everyone—consumers and brokers alike—are well aware of your boat hitting the market.
Make Your Yacht Part Of Their Plan
Serious boat-show buyers come with a plan and strategy that begin to take shape weeks in advance.
“When I have clients coming to a major boat show, we start looking at what’s on the market and what yachts will be displayed as early as possible,” says United Yacht broker John Blumenthal. “I like to tour each one before my customers step on board, if possible. That way, I’m knowledgeable about the boat, and I can weed out any that don’t meet our expectations. If a boat isn’t online well before the show starts, it makes it difficult to have it as part of our plan. If a boat isn’t on the plan before the show, we may not have the time to get to it, and it may miss being considered.”
Listing your yacht and marketing it early allows your broker the time to execute your new listing marketing strategy for maximum impact. “Sellers are at a clear advantage if they market that their boat will be in a boat show several weeks before the show even starts,” Blumenthal says. “I can’t count how many times I’ve made an offer on behalf of my client on a boat that was heading into a boat show. If we find one that meets our requirements and is a fair price, why would we want to let that opportunity slip away by not getting it under contract before the show?”
United Yacht Sales is the largest professional yacht-brokerage firm in the world with over 165 brokers and more than 25 offices. If you are considering selling your yacht, United will market it thoroughly and effectively to help you get it sold efficiently and for the highest amount possible. Before your vessel even hits the market, United uses our internal broker forum to display the details of your yacht to our entire brokerage network. Boats are sold through this forum—sometimes even before their photo shoot can be scheduled. If you’re interested in listing your yacht before boat-show season starts, contact our main office today at 772-463-3131 to find the right broker to assist you in your boating goals.