Yacht brokers can be a great help when you are looking to buy or sell a yacht.
It’s always nice to know exactly how much they typically make from the sale. This way you can (often) negotiate a better deal and make sure you are not being ripped off!
How Much Do Yacht Brokers Make?
The base salary for a yacht broker is typically between $15,000-$30,000. On top of that, a yacht broker typically earns around 10% commission on the sale value depending on the size of the vessel.
Here are the salary and commissions yacht brokers typically make from a sale.
How Much Do Yacht Brokers Make in Salary?
Depending on who they work for, a yacht broker might make a base salary and commissions on top of that.
If a company is paying a base salary, they are not likely to pay as high of a commission as you would get in a commission only position.
Yacht broker base salaries could range from around $15,000 to around $30,000.
This is not a large amount of money, which is why yacht brokers rely heavily on commission to make their money.
Oftentimes, yacht brokers do not get a base salary and will work solely on commission.
How Much Do Yacht Brokers Make in Commissions?
Because yacht brokers work mainly on commission, you will want to ensure that you have sales skills before you try to make a living as a yacht broker.
Like the real estate industry, yacht brokers usually get the commission paid to them by the seller involved in the transaction.
There are two ways that commission can be calculated, either using a net number or a percentage.
Net Commission Levels:
A net number is when the commission is a set number negotiated with a seller. This means that no matter the price received for the boat, the yacht broker will get paid the amount agreed upon.
There are some pros and cons to this method.
If you have a set commission then you know what you are making up front. This can be ideal if you like having security in your commission.
This also means that if the boat sells for less than you anticipated, your commission will still be what was originally agreed upon instead of decreasing with a low sale.
This also means that unfortunately if you sell the boat for higher than anticipated, your commission will not be increased to reflect the sale amount.
If you are the seller, the pros and cons of using a net commission are reversed. If you sell the boat for a lower amount, you will have to pay more in commission than you might have with a percentage, but if you sell the boat for more than anticipated you will profit more from the sale with a lower commission.
An example of a net yacht commission might be:
- If you have a yacht that you would like to sell for $500,000 you might ask for a commission of $50,000.00.
- If the yacht does sell for $500,000.00 you would make 10% on the sale.
- If the yacht sells for less, such as $450,000.00 you would make 11% commission.
- If the yacht sells for more, such as $550,000.00 you will only make 9% commission.
Percentage Commission Levels:
A percentage commission is where you get a certain percentage of the sales price of the yacht. This means that your commission will change based on how much you are able to get for the boat.
The downside to this is that your commission is based entirely on how well you do with the sale. If you do not sell the boat for as much as you anticipated, you will make less money.
However, if you end up selling the boat for more than anticipated you will make more.
The majority of yacht transactions use a percentage commission structure. The percentage is often agreed upon between the seller and the broker in advance.
The most common commission for a yacht broker is 10% of the sales price. This is not a number that is set in stone.
An example of a standard commission sale would be:
If you have a yacht that you would like to sell for $500,000 and you have agreed upon a 10% commission your profits could vary:
- If the yacht does sell for $500,000.00 you would make $50,000.00 on the sale.
- If the yacht sells for less, such as $450,000.00 you will only make $45,000.00 from the commission.
- If the yacht sells for more, such as $550,000.00 you would make $55,000.00 from the commission.
Some brokers may offer a lower commission option to bring in sales and stay competitive. These could be between 3%-5%.
One downfall to a lower commission is that it discourages brokers who might have potential buyers. This is because usually, the buying and selling broker split the commission. If a buying broker can show their clients a yacht that would get them a higher commission, they are more likely to do so.
Commission Splitting Levels:
Commissions are typically paid by the seller of the yacht. If the transaction involves two brokers, they often split the commission 50/50.
An example of a split commission could be:
If you have a yacht that you would like to sell for $500,000 and you have agreed upon a 10% commission and there are two brokers the transaction would vary.
- If the yacht does sell for $500,000.00 you and the other broker would make $25,000.00 on the sale.
- If the yacht sells for less, such as $450,000.00 you and the other broker would each make $22,500.00 from the commission.
- If the yacht sells for more, such as $550,000.00 you and the other broker would make $27,500.00 from the commission.
This means that the buyer does not pay commission to their agent and that it comes out of the commission paid to the selling agent.
If a deal is negotiated beforehand it is possible that the commission is split differently. Local brokers that work together often might have a deal set that splits commission 70/30 with 70% going to the selling broker.
You may also have to split commission if you work for a brokerage company or dealership. Brokerage companies or dealerships will likely only give you a percentage of the commission earned.
This amount can range from 30% to 70% of the collected brokerage amount. This number could be affected by base salary and other factors depending on what company you work for.
An example of a commission when working for a brokerage company or dealership might be:
If you have a yacht that you would like to sell for $500,000 and your contract states that you get 70% of the commission per yacht that you sell.
- If the yacht does sell for $500,000.00 the commission would be $50,000.00. You would get $35,000.00 and your company would get $15,000.00.
- If the yacht sells for less, such as $450,000.00 the commission would only be $45,000.00. You would get $31,500.00 and your company would get $13,500.00.
- If the yacht sells for more, such as $550,000.00 the commission would total $55,000.00. You would get $38,500.00 and your company would get $16,500.00.
Even though you make less commission, working for a company is a great way to start your client base. Most people would rather go to a trusted company or dealership than someone working out on their own.
How Do I Become a Yacht Broker?
If this job seems ideal for you, there are some steps that you need to take before you can become a yacht broker.
One way to become more attractive as a yacht broker is to get a degree in marketing or sales. This degree is not required, but a lot of companies will look at candidates who have a higher level of education and some knowledge in these fields.
You will also be more likely to get a job as a yacht broker if you have sales experience.
If you do not have sales experience you should look for entry-level positions that will put you through a training course.
If you cannot find a position in yacht sales, having experience selling other high ticket items, such as cars, will help to show future employers that you have a proven sales record.
In some states, you might be required to obtain a brokerage license. You might also be required to pass a background check before being able to obtain this license.
If you do not need a license, you might benefit from getting certified. Organizations such as Yacht Brokers Association of America can certify you after 3 years of experience. This will help raise your credibility to employers and potential customers.
Overall, with salary and commissions, as a yacht broker, you could make an average of $121,000 per year. This depends highly on location and type of yachts sold. Some yacht brokers even make closer to $300,000.00 per year.
Yacht brokers should be sales motivated and thrive in an unconditional work environment. They do not spend the majority of their time behind a desk. Being a yacht broker can be challenging and highly rewarding!
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Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.