CHOOSING A CAREER / FEB. 17, 2015
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How to Become a Yacht Broker in the US

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When people get very rich, purchasing a yacht to party on the high seas is one of the things that come to mind! Yacht brokers serve as intermediaries between potential buyers and sellers of these recreational vessels. If you possess excellent sales skills, and you have a passion for boating, this is a career you could enjoy.

What Do Yacht Brokers Do?

Their duties include:

  • Holding discussions with potential yacht buyers to identify their specifications and details such as design and size.
  • Finding potential sellers and inspecting the yachts to determine whether they meet the buyer’s preferences – This may involve taking photos of the vessels.
  • Negotiating best prices with sellers.
  • Helping buyers secure registration, licenses and marine insurance for their newly-purchased yachts.
  • Attending yacht expos to network with yacht owners.

Work Environment

Yacht brokers typically work in a standard office environment, where they work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. When they are not in the office, they can be found in terminal ports inspecting yachts that are on sale.

Salary

Yacht brokers average annual wage is:

Occupation

Average Annual Wage

Yacht brokers

$102,000

Source: Indeed

It is essential to note that brokers who run their own businesses can make thousands of dollars in commission from the sale of a single yacht.

Entry Requirements

Although some employers hire people with a high school diploma and sales experience, and train them on the job, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in maritime business or commerce will make you the best candidate for the job.

Some of the institutions offering this credential include:

Some of the courses you will pursue include port terminal operations, marine insurance, yacht chartering and brokerage and marine economics.

If you wish to practice in Florida, Maryland or California, you will need to obtain a yacht broker license. The requirements for getting licensed are fairly similar in these states, and they include paying a licensing fee, passing an examination and making a surety bond deposit.

Important Qualities

To become an effective yacht broker, you need:

  • Exceptional sales skills
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Solid negotiation skills
  • A passion for boats and recreational boating
  • A good attention to detail
  • Good technical skills for operating digital cameras
  • Good numeracy skills
  • A good knowledge of federal and state laws regulating the ownerships, registration and licensing of yachts
  • Good business skills

Career Advancement

After finding work and gaining at least three years of experience, you can obtain the Certified Professional Yacht Broker credential to enhance your career progression prospects. The CPYB credential is offered by the Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) and other regional associations in conjunction with Marine Industry Certified Dealerships.

You can also secure membership in the YBAA to gain access to industry events where you can network with owners of yachts and possibly find new clients.

Job Opportunities

As a qualified yacht broker you can be hired by:

  • Yacht Brokerages
  • Manufacturers of yachts and other recreational vessels
  • Yacht dealerships

With several years of experience and the CPYB certification, you can be promoted to the position of lead broker - a position that involves supervising other brokers. You can also move into self-employment by establishing your own yacht brokerage firm.

So, how good are your employment prospects? Well, yachts are a preserve of the rich, so there aren’t many people out there buying these vessels. This certainly means employment opportunities for brokers are limited. However, your passion for boating and possession of solid sales skills can help you land the job.

Next time you visit a port and see a yacht marked for sale, you know what it to takes to be the one finding its buyer!

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