IYC’s experts on the brokerage trends of 2018
A strong sales market

IYC has seen strong a start to the year – with nine sales completed – and consultants Frank Grzeszczak Jr. and Michael Rafferty believe this is set to continue. Grzeszczak Jr. attributes this to strong confidence in the US economy and new marketing methods, explaining, “The US stock market is on a record run which in turn breeds consumer confidence. Further, the yachting lifestyle is being marketed efficiently to a new generation of buyers through social media. We’ve seen a very strong charter market - and charterers become buyers.”

Based on data from the first quarter of the year, IYC are seeing a growing market for newer and larger yachts with buyers snapping up the best yachts available on a currently fairly small brokerage market. “Sales by IYC such as Skyfall and Turquoise are evidence that buyers are not hesitating to move quickly on a dwindling inventory of high quality later model yachts,” says Grzeszczak Jr.. “I foresee an influx of new construction announcements to come due to the lack of late model inventory.”

“New owners are coming to the market because people like the lifestyle and freedom of owning a yacht. There is less politics on the sea than on the land,” adds Rafferty. “We are fortunate with our IYC listings because we have a great selection of different yachts for sale which has enabled us to be the most active large brokerage firm since the beginning of the year.”

New charter routes in the Mediterranean

Although the traditional hotspots will always be popular, charter routes in the East Mediterranean – in particular Croatia, Montenegro and Greece – are becoming more and more sought after every year. This is in line with a more general trend of clients looking for new experiences and cruising grounds that were once considered off the beaten track. IYC has a strong presence in the region and currently has a fleet of over 30 yachts based in Greece and Croatia, including the 40 metre Mengi-Yay yacht _Serenity II, _which only recently joined the fleet. Among other superyachts on the IYC fleet, 60 metre Benetti Andiamo will also be available to charter in Croatia this summer.

Charter clients are more educated

Clients are becoming more interested and ‘educated’ when it comes to selecting a yacht for charter and, as a result, are becoming more specific with the experiences they expect to have on board and the yacht's amenities and activities. Water toys, wellness areas, sports and even elevators are now a must for many charterers.

In order to meet these demands more high-end equipment and exotic water toys are being supplied for guests’ comfort and entertainment. Offerings such as internet, large music libraries and movie streaming have become mainstream.

In addition, the younger generation are increasingly chartering yachts and children in the family are becoming an important influence in the decision making process for selecting the destination and yacht to charter.

As IYC charter consultant Barbara Stork Landeweer explains, “Many of our younger charterers have been on board with their parents or grandparents and loved the experience. They often have the same mentality as the older generation and want to spend quality time with their family being active and exploring without having to pack and unpack. Others want to have fun with friends and just unwind. The internet has also had a big impact on offering new generations information about yacht charters.”

In order to meet this demand IYC has been growing its charter fleet, announcing 13 new central agencies in 2017 and 12 in the first two months of 2018 – including 58 metre Skyfall, 55 metre Turquoise and 47 metre Loon. It is currently focusing on expanding its fleet of top charter yachts to appeal to a variety of different charter audiences.

Technology innovation in yachting

Technology, and the internet in particular, has been disrupting all kinds of industries for years and 2018 will be no different. IYC strongly believes in the power of technology, and has been investing in developing proprietary software to run its commercial operations as well as empowering its sales team.

A key example of this is BLUE, an app developed by IYC’s in-house Yacht Management and Technology Solutions teams to create a seamless link between a yacht and the shore support resources of IYC worldwide. Sean Cassidy, yacht management director, explains, "This software can be customised to address the needs of each yacht and helps automate the implementation of compliance requirements. The application is installed and running on nine IYC-managed yachts and the team is currently working on the next generation that will include functions to deal with plan maintenance and financial management."

IYC has also developed an interactive market intelligence platform named DAVINCI. This is a knowledge management and information sharing proprietary sales support application designed to support IYC’s sales and charter consultants.

Multi-solution companies

Clients now expect companies to provide them with solutions to satisfy all matters concerning their yachts. In turn, yacht companies must invest in training and expand their infrastructure to meet their clients increasing demands. 2017 saw a spike in clients deciding to use IYC’s full portfolio of charter management, yacht management and insurance services. Increasingly owners are coming to appreciate that using one company for everything provides in-depth insight into the client's needs and ensures cost efficiency, higher response times and continuity.

As Stefanos Macrymichalos, CEO of IYC, explains, "Since the very early days, the company has consistently invested in training its employees and developing its infrastructure in yachting disciplines. To stay in the lead, you need to be mindful of your clients evolving needs and stay ahead of their requirements. However, you always have to be aware of your capabilities and limitations to make sure the commitments you have made to your clients will be delivered."

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