Yacht Broker Salary: How Much Does a Yacht Broker Make?

yacht broker salary

In the wonderful and often luxurious world of yacht ownership, brokers have managed to make a handsome living off of the sales that happen within the industry. These guys facilitate the purchase and sale of yachts, helping with negotiations, inspections, and deliveries to ensure a successful transaction.

And because it’s really no secret how expensive a yacht can be, lots of people assume that yacht brokers make big bucks. But do they? If you’re curious whether you should dip your feet into the cut-throat yacht dealership industry, here’s a sneak peak of what you might own as yacht broker salary.

How Much Does a Yacht Broker Make on Average?

Remember that brokers make money depending on their sales. That is, the more they sell, the more they make. However market studies have found that most yacht brokers will make up to $120,000 a year, especially if they work with high end clients that deal with expensive yacht models.

But although it is possible to make over a hundred grand in a year, it’s not too common. The average salary for a yacht broker actually rests at just under $70,000 a year. That puts them at a weekly salary of about $1,300 to $1,400.

How Much Does a Yacht Broker Make on Commissions?

It’s not easy to find a yacht buyer or seller, and it’s even harder to go through the technicalities of the sale including negotiations. So by stepping in and taking responsibility for the nitty gritty, brokers earn a commission for doing the legwork while the seller enjoys the profits.

The commission percentage itself is not set in stone. Usually, the broker and the seller will decide the size of their cut before the sale happens. The typical commission will see the broker earning around 10% of the sale price. But again, it’s not all that simple.

For starters, there’s what they call ‘net commission’. This simply means that the broker will earn a fixed amount, regardless of whether negotiations change the price of the yacht. For instance, if they’re promised $20,000 in net commissions, they’ll earn exactly that whether or not the yacht sells for its original estimate.

This can be a good deal in case the yacht’s value decreases during appraisal and negotiations. However in the scenario that the yacht sells for more than the original estimate, the broker is left with a fixed commission that will not increase along with the sale price.

They also have the option to go with a percentage commission. As its name suggests, the percentage commission earns you a fixed percentage of the sale price. That is, a yacht that sells for $150,000 will provide the broker with the agreed percentage commission prior to making the sale.

If the seller agreed to a 10% commission, that earns the broker $15,000. In cases when it’s anticipated that the yacht might sell for more than the original estimate, this can be a good deal. But in the event that the watercraft sells for less than the estimate, the broker’s commission also takes a hit.

What are Split Commissions?

how much does a yacht broker make

Remember that there are two kinds of brokers - the ones hired by the sellers, and the ones hired by the buyers. Obviously, this can complicate the whole commission picture since there are two brokers in the picture.

The listing broker is the guy who helps the seller find a buyer. The selling broker is the one who tries to look for a yacht for sale so his buyer can seal the deal. Most of the time, these guys will take part in a single deal. So what happens to their commission?

Simple -- they split it 50-50. So if the seller decides on a percentage commission at 10%, the brokers will not receive 10% each. Instead, they go halfsies on the 10% commission, which essentially means that they get 5% each.

When Do Yacht Brokers Get Paid?

Sellers don’t want to shell out their money on expensive commissions when they haven’t guaranteed a sale yet. So it’s only fitting that yacht brokers get paid only when the sale has been successfully completed. That means that the buyer should have paid the amount in full before any commission is tendered.

Keep in mind that the yacht industry is for high rollers only. So it’s really uncommon for buyers to take out a loan to pay for their yacht. Most of these buyers pay for their yachts out of their own pockets. That means sellers can get the full amount they expect within a few days or weeks of shaking hands on a deal.

How Much Do Yacht Charter Brokers Make?

There are people who own yachts or super yachts, but don’t really intend to use them for personal enjoyment. These individuals use their yacht as an investment, renting it out to private individuals or companies who want to charter their yacht with a crew.

A yacht charter broker is the guy who helps owners and renters find each other and strike a deal. Keep in mind though that this is a completely separate job from that of a yacht broker. But some brokerage companies will have brokers who perform both roles.

Most of the time, those who work as yacht charter brokers have the potential to earn more since they’re dealing with massive super yachts that can be rented out multiple times in a year, versus a single yacht sale that sort of closes any potential to earn again off of the same watercraft.

What Are the Highest Paying Cities for Yacht Brokers?

Needless to say, not all locations offer reasonable returns for yacht brokers. So if you were hoping to maximize the gains of your efforts, you might want to consider moving to one of these cities that pay the highest for yacht broker services:

  • San Jose, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Tanaina, Arkansas
  • Wasilla, Arkansas
  • Hayward, California
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Vallejo, California
  • Concord, California

If money was no object and you don’t really mind leaving behind the life you know and love, then you might want to consider places like the French Riviera, the Greek Islands, or Costa Smeralda, Italy. These places have become exceedingly popular for their lively yachting industry that also makes a great place for a broker hoping to earn a pretty penny off of a sale.

Tips on Becoming a Yacht Broker

Maybe the potential for earning big bucks has you feeling keen on making that career change. But before you decide on actually becoming a yacht broker, there are a few things you might want to take into account to guarantee your success. Here are a few tips on becoming a yacht broker to increase your chances of snagging those sales:

Read Up

If you’re not familiar with yachts already, now would be the perfect time to brush up on your knowledge. You would expect a car salesman to know what he’s talking about, down to the very last detail of each model and brand of car that he deals with. So the same goes for a yacht broker.

Read up on the different yacht models and brands, and try to find out what each of their selling points might be. If you can, try to see each boat in person to get a better feel of how it performs, and what it might lack that could affect the buyer’s decision.

Look for Certification

Not all states require certification or licenses for yacht brokers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one. Those who have these certificates under their belt are in a better position to earn bigger bucks since sellers and buyers feel more comfortable dealing with someone who knows the ropes -- and has the paperwork to prove it.

The Certified Professional Yacht Broker certification isn’t required in any state, but provides aspiring yacht brokers a wealth of knowledge that they can use to provide polished professional assistance to those who might need their services.

Work with Another Broker

Most of those who wiggle their way into the industry first work as an apprentice for another yacht broker. Hanging around someone who has the contacts and the experience should put you at an advantage of learning the ins and outs much faster and more efficiently.

In fact, most people might have to work with another broker for several years before being able to stand on their own two feet. This can also be especially helpful for those who might not have any experience in sales, since the exposure provides much needed understanding on the specifics of negotiations and persuasion.

Get Ready with Your Sales Talk

A yacht broker salary can definitely lure in anyone looking to earn big bucks. But more than just the pay, simply working with the sale of such luxurious watercrafts can make you feel like you’re living the high life alongside those celebrities and public figures that you work for.

No doubt, the yacht broker life can be pretty opulent. And while there might be a bit of a struggle at the start, there’s a whole lot of potential for those who play their cards right and learn what they can from the veterans in the business.

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