Out of all the repossessions I have done in the day, I would have to say for me personally the most fun has been Yachts. Everything from the search, many times in foreign countries to spotting the yacht, to the actual repossession and later liquidating the yacht for the bank or lender. The thing is for me, I started my journey with what I and probably most would consider the best yacht repo company in the world at the time. Since then it has been sold and is currently on the Discovery TV show but with what seems as a much different management from when I was there for several years prior to the switch. The management that I trained with was extremely strict and professional with every little thing. They had done over a hundred million in repossessions per year and had some of the largest bank contacting us daily. There were write ups in several magazines and the management knew every little thing about any motor yacht out and aircraft out there. If you wanted to learn about yacht repossessions, there was no other place in the USA to do it.
What was yacht repo training like?
It was all new to me, the only thing about that wasn’t new to me was the fact that I had already been selling exotic high dollar cars becoming the highest volume Porsche dealer in the nation for several years and to me a transaction in the six or seven figure range was already common. During my actual repo training, I flew to most cities in the United States and traveled around the state of Florida often. Although prior to I had done International travel, I had not seen much of the United States and due to the yachts all over and the worldwide contracts, I was able to see many of those cities. Some of which were pretty awesome, one in particular was Seattle and not only was Seattle itself cool, it was the fact that I spent 8 hours that day on the water with the crew that I assembled while there in search of a vessel. One of the things I really enjoyed about yacht repossessions was the fact of being on the water. Whether it was a sailboat or a motor yacht, going from one location to another had to be the most relaxing part of it, especially on a sailboat. You learn to deal with authorities state to state, so you have to know specific laws in each state and they are different so its important. Than you have to make contact with authorities in foreign countries and know what you are doing when it comes to international anything really. Try opening a corporation in South America and you’ll see what I mean right away, very complicated process as opposed to the free markets and easy access system we have in the USA. Needless to say, while sometimes disagreements happened and the exit plan wasn’t as it was supposed to be with that particular company, my training in Yacht repossessions couldn’t have come from a better place and life goes on, my new company was born. For me it was easy to build, the bankers knew me, they knew my skip tracing abilities as well as the amount of repossessions I organized prior to the new company.
Where are they hiding the yacht?
A case would come in and the bank really had no idea where it was, while many times the yacht is right where it should be, other times those yachts are far from home. They know and they are hiding it from the bank, some of these guys figure if the yacht is in another country it will be safe, little do they know, companies like ours exist and there is not a chance. So to be an effective yacht repoman, skip trace experience is important and a bank would be crazy to hire someone that has little skip trace experience for these kind of repossessions. So a large part of my training was in skip trace, its when I realized that, coupled with being trained by the ultimate yacht repo company I also had a natural ability to find anything. Finding the yacht is half the battle, the next half of the battle is being able to organize how to move this thing out, where to move it to and a list that must be done point blank.
I have found yachts in the Dominican Republic, I have traveled all over the Caribbean and even worked cases that some of the yachts were in Cuba, Italy, England, Spain the Croatian Islands, South America and the list continues on. Bottom line is we were busy and when the banks know you can handle that type of asset, it becomes a much easier process to get in. Sort of like if you have a certain product already in a store and ask them to add a new product you are manufacturing, it becomes much easier than a new guy trying to get new business. Why should they give it to you? They won’t care about undercutting, this isn’t cars, there is plenty of money involved in yachts that whether you charge 10k or 50k really isn’t going to make the difference of getting the job or not. Ultimately it will come down to trust, experience (a big one), licensing, insurance and possibly who you know in the banking and finance industry.
In the next article we will speak about the remarketing area and yacht auctions with how it can help you save a bunch of money if in the market.