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The bearish attitude that currently prevails in superyachting is giving rise to rumours and expectations, not all of which are realistic. We invited the Burgess brokerage team to bust the myths and cut the hype around acquiring a yacht in today’s market. THE REAL DEAL . When the tide turned in 2008, a super-heated superyacht market corrected itself in the wake of the financial crisis. The credit crunch coincided with a baby-boom of new yacht deliveries, flooding the market with inventory. Power shifted from the seller to the buyer. It ought to be a buyer’s bonanza. But in many ways, it is no easier to buy a superyacht today than it was at the top of the wave. Then, buyers had to move fast and make a strong offer to secure the yacht of their dreams. Now, other fears prevail. Whereas once there was an expectation of rising or at least holding value, now there is uncertainty. The emotional argument has to be strong, the commercial one compelling. Pre-crunch, there might have been half a dozen yachts meeting your specifications, now there might be thirty, and how is a buyer supposed to pick out the real deal? The best yacht, the best value? This is where the uniquely structured Burgess brokerage team comes into its own. Burgess has a global team of highly experienced brokers working on behalf of buyers to identify and shortlist yachts from every continent, including many that are not visible on the open market. Because the team works together in cohesion, each client has access to the entire world inventory, and because they are involved in such a high proportion of superyacht transactions, they have an unrivalled view of prevailing market opportunities. So why is it that, with this kind of support, buyers still hesitate to make an offer? In the pages that follow, the Burgess brokerage team addresses some of the myths and misapprehensions that have, understandably enough, arisen from the volatility of recent times. While other brokers split their time between buying and selling yachts, Burgess has a dedicated Central Agency division devoted to the task of yacht sales. The specialist focus of the Central Agency (CA) team is managing a bespoke, targeted sales campaign for each yacht in the Burgess fleet. James Clark, CA sales manager, explains: “Our sole aim is to sell yachts and to achieve the very best result for our clients. We market our yachts on a business-to-business basis to our team of in-house sales brokers and to qualified brokerage firms worldwide.” By ensuring that brokers are equipped with the most comprehensive, accurate and timely information about each yacht, the CA team supports brokers and helps their clients buy with confidence. At the core of the Burgess CA service is the development of an individual sales strategy for each yacht, which is supported by the company’s marketing division for co-ordinating high quality photography, brochures, advertising and media coverage. “Every yacht campaign is different,” says Georgina Phillips, London-based CA sales broker. “Some owners want a high profile market launch, while others want a more discreet approach. Our job is to get this right for them. And thanks to our close relationships with brokers, who know their clients well, we can always make sure that the right yacht lands on the right person’s desk, irrespective of how the sales campaign is managed.” The right strategy will be personalised, targeted and specific, including the location and presentation of the yacht, the level of exposure stipulated, the timeframe required and, of course, the asking price. In a buyer’s market, the asking price is a sensitive matter. With over 20 large yacht sales secured by the Burgess CA division in the past year alone, this team has its finger on the pulse of the market. They know what similar yachts have sold for, and can advise on an asking price that will build value in the yacht, while encouraging buyers to step forward. The Burgess CA team has a reputation for being truthful about the market. USA CA sales manager Crispin Baynes in New York says: “You have to tell it like it is. There has been a major adjustment in the value of many luxury items over the past four years and it’s crucial that we superyachts for sale give our owners accurate market analysis for their decision-making process.” Burgess has accrued a depth of transactional experience in superyacht sales over the past 38 years, and has proven systems and processes to keep complex transactions running as smoothly as possible. The high level of repeat business enjoyed by the CA team suggests they do this well. If a problem should arise, it is likely that someone in the team will be able to advise on the way forward, based on their previous experience. The team can also draw on the industry-leading experience of colleagues in Burgess’s charter, yacht management and technical services departments. “Communication is key – from the initial contact with a yacht owner, through to a successful sale and beyond,” says Phillips. “That means not only getting information out to the brokers, but also reporting back to our clients and building relationships with shipyards, legal teams and all other parties.” The CA team has a global presence across the Burgess network, enabling them to stay close to key players in any deal and keep it moving forward. As James Clark concludes: “We aim to offer a safe pair of hands for the entire transaction, start to finish.” CENTRAL AGENCY : DELIVERING ON THE DEAL { 32 }


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