Licensed Regional Sales Executive - Central Department
Resides: Oakland, CA
Years with POP Yachts: 1
Q. How did you get started with POP Yachts?
I was the first person they hired on the West Coast. I took a while to get licensing in place, so they recruited me into the Central Department. So I handle boat sales all over the world.
Q. Have you always been into boats?
I was born and raised in New Jersey and I have a degree in professional photography. I always liked boats, but I didn't really get into boats until I moved to the Bay Area, but I've been out here for 25 years now. I owned a classic mahogany Kettenburg Sloop, which I restored and sailed in the Bay a lot.
Q. What's the secret to keeping both buyers and sellers happy during the course of a deal?
The whole trick is that buyers and sellers see the same vessel through a different pair of glasses. Boats can be a very emotional thing. Especially for a seller who doesn't necessarily want to sell their boat but has to sell their boat. It's a dicey little dance that we do - keeping transparency for the buyer without offending the seller about his boat.
Q. What else?
Creating the right expectations for the buyer and the seller. The buyer wants a good deal and the seller wants to feel like they got good money for their boat - especially in this trying time.
Q. What can a seller do to sell their boat more quickly?
Making sure the boat is really, really clean. It's worth it to even have someone come out and detail it before we photograph it. A buyer really wants to be able to see every little bit about the boat, which is why we take so many detailed photographs - so a buyer can be confident, halfway around the world, entering into a purchasing process.
Q. Anything else?
Being able to provide all of the information on the boat, both good and bad. When a buyer knows that the generator doesn't work, they come to the situation with that expectation ... so they're not disappointed.
Q. What are some challenges with dealing with shipping boats to other countries?
I had a deal on a 2001 Hunter sailboat that was purchased by a guy in Peru who didn't speak English, so he had a [translator]. They were shocked at our transport numbers, but the weren't aware of all the little things it takes to transport a boat. So they bought the boat, and they're calling me every third day to help them do this or that.
Q. What does it take to be a good salesperson?
You've got to like boats and understand the systems of the boats. They're an emotional purchase, and for a lot of people they're an impulse purchase. Every buyer has a different trigger as to why and what - it's either a technical, performance or aesthetic thing. So you've got to have a handle on all of that.
Q. What sets POP Yachts apart from its competition?
Our high degree of proactiveness and reaching out to buyers. And the work ethic and timeliness of responding to inquiries. Historically, yacht brokering has kind of had a bad reputation. POP Yachts operates at a very high standard. While we suffer from that same stereotype, POP is doing a lot to change that image.
Q. What do you like to do in your free time?
I'm a professional musician. That's where my passion is. I play the drums, and I play in a pretty famous blues band out here called the LoveLight Blues Band.
Q. Where do you see POP Yachts going in the future?
I think we're on the crest of the wave. We're utilizing the cutting edge of technology and combining it with good-old customer service. We're able to have a greater outreach, but it's all about the customer service and the relationships.