YachtX.com looks to eliminate the broker in yacht sales
After years as a brokerage services provider, Fraser Seymour decided to develop a system that would directly connect sellers with buyers by creating YachtX.com, a broker-free online yacht exchange facilitating commission-free sales.
Launched in July, YachtX customers gain access to a private dashboard that guides the seller through the transaction process, including advertising options, a process manager to guide the process and direct connections to other involved parties, like surveyors.
Those interested in buying a yacht sold through YachtX are also given access to a private dashboard that guides them through their responsibilities.
Devoid of a commission fee, sellers do pay a subscription fee of $75 for four weeks. Prospective buyers who register with the website do not pay a fee.
Seymour said the seller is most knowledgeable about his or her yacht, so the direct connection allows for a more candid negotiation.
“We help them when they need help and get out of the way when they really do not need us to be there,” Seymour said.
YachtX’s guidance is through a process manager that informs both the buyer and the seller of the next step to complete, streamlining the necessary paperwork along the way, according to Seymour. Appropriate parties, like those involved in the title transfer and documentation, are forwarded the information they need when it is time for them to step in.
YachtX cannot advertise listings on brokerage-only websites like YachtWorld.com, but Seymour said sellers are provided a number of classified sites where they can market their listing.
Seymour said he also bought approximately 100 manufacturer-related domains that bring traffic to YachtX listings when prospects search for a model on Google.
“When people search for a 53-foot Hatteras, for example, we have websites out there that pull traffic from [these searches],” Seymour said. “More and more people are doing these searches directly with search engines as opposed to dedicated classified sites, so we support both.”
Sellers are able to analyze where online traffic originates through their dashboard, as well as the state location of prospects.
For print advertising, Seymour said sellers can print off specially formatted brochures, including a brochure made to place on the yacht for sale, which features a QR code that brings people to the boat’s listing.
Seymour’s brokerage company was also called YachtX, but he closed the operation in 2010 in order to develop his current broker-free system. Seymour said he understands the resistance from those involved in brokerage, but his past experience in the industry was pivotal to his current company’s development.
“I developed the system around what I would want as a boater,” he said.