Dynamic duo Mike Carlson and Nicholas Scherb are co-founders of the Fort Lauderdale-based brokerage company, 26 North Yachts which specializes in boats between 70 and 150 feet (21 to 46 metres). With a degree in business marketing and a career spent sailing throughout the north and the southeastern US, Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as gaining his sales mettle in a Fort Lauderdale brokerage firm, Carlson set up 26 North Yachts in 2011 alongside Scherb, who has a finance degree, yacht captaining experience and a USCG 500 tonne master oceans license in his arsenal. As they see it, they’re the best in the business. Speaking on board their largest, and by far most costly, yacht for sale, the Feadship explorer vessel Angiamo, we find out more.
MC: We are a growing company as a young brokerage house. What has allowed us to be very effective at selling boats is our online setup and market intelligence. We’re a very technically savvy company, so we can track our metrics and data more effectively than anybody else. When it comes to listing your boats, knowing data such as the depreciation schedules of boats is a game changer. When we’re dealing with a seller, we can come up with a realistic asking price that will get the boat sold without just guessing and spitting out numbers driven by ego. Our average number of days on the market is 87 days less than any other brokerage house in the industry. 87 days equates to substantial savings in the cost of ownership.
Photo: 26 North YachtsThe market is quite strong right now. Do you see that prices have stabilised and that they’re under less pressure compared to three or four years ago?
NS: Certainly. A good, clean boat such as Angiamo will sell well. Following the recession, even as late as 2011, there was a hole in the inventory of used boats which they’re finally overcoming; there are more late-model boats on the market whereas for a while we didn’t have any inventory of good, clean boats instead we had older inventory. The few boats that were built during that time are now coming back on the market. A clean, late-model boat is a very desirable and marketable boat.
We recently visited the Italian shipyards and those guys were happy as clams because they’re cranking out boats, so that’s a good temperature gauge, especially for a non-US market. The market continues to show strength so long as our governments can get along.
Photo: 26 North Yacht SalesDo you think the role of the broker has changed in recent years?
MC: There has been a big turn in the amount of information available to buyers thanks to publications like SuperYacht Times. There is so much knowledge online that the consumer can access. By the time a buyer speaks with a broker, the buyer is often almost as educated as the broker is - or at least they think they are! That is where a lot of these older houses are struggling to understand the sales process and how the sales process has changed. It’s not just in this industry, it’s every industry. You can be guaranteed a 26 North Yachts broker will not be outworked by a competitor. As a group, everyone at 26 North Yachts takes great pride in this.
MC: She should sell much faster than the industry average, we’ll tell you that much! There are four things it takes to sell boats: condition, price, location and marketing and Angiamo has all four of them so I think she will sell relatively quickly. I’ve never had a boat that’s had as much attention and we certainly know why.
This article is featured in the latest edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2019
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