September 23, 2014

Why You Need an Aircraft Broker – And How to Choose the Right One

According to the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA), 14 percent of private jet owners do not use a broker to handle the buying and selling of their aircraft. Many feel they know their aircraft needs better than others and – perhaps more importantly – can save some money by going it alone.

But people who do this are making a big mistake. The buying and selling of aircraft can be more complicated than it seems. Those who do not use a qualified broker are taking a risk as many things can go wrong with a transaction. Ironically, they often end up paying more – sometimes quite a bit more – for their aircraft than it is really worth.

“For an ownership experience to be positive it requires planning, effort and communication,” said Scott Plumb, Senior Vice President of Sales for Jetcraft.  “I have watched buyers purchase the wrong airplane because they were consulted by a friend rather than a professional. They then end up with an aircraft that may not be the best fit for them. That’s where a broker can really pay huge dividends.”

But making sure you get the proper value for your money is not the only advantage of using an aircraft broker. They also offer the following benefits:

  • A global broker’s size and network offers customers a much greater array of inventory and pricing.
  • Brokers can review the paperwork involved with a transaction such as closing and legal documentation as well as requirements of U.S. and international aviation authorities.
  • A broker will handle the all-important pre-buy inspection to ensure that the aircraft is up to standards and in good condition.
  • Brokers can provide honest, accurate and timely market intelligence.
  • A broker connects customers to the best buyers and sellers, and other valuable resources.

As you can see, a lot goes on “behind the scenes” of a typical aircraft transaction. Luckily, choosing a qualified broker is not very complicated. You just need to know what to look for.

The aviation marketplace is now truly international. A broker needs to have deep knowledge of the global aviation sector while also offering a local presence on the ground. How a deal is completed in one country will not necessarily translate to another region. You would not want to lose a deal at the last moment because your broker was not aware of some arcane local requirement.

“Once the aircraft is located and you know where it’s going, that’s where the real hard work begins,” says Peter Antonenko, COO of Jetcraft. “Then you can start looking at the paperwork, a customs declaration, following the normal international arrival procedures and so forth.  Hiring a broker is vital since mishandling any of these steps can slow or even derail an entire deal.”

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind.

  • Business aviation transactions can be complex so it’s vital to have someone you can trust on your side.
  • An experienced broker can offer insight that helps customers avoid risks and pitfalls along the road.
  • The ideal broker is a company with a proven track record of success that, in turn, produces the results that win repeat business.
  • Look for a broker with a record of getting the deal done even under the most difficult circumstances.

It has been said that a good broker will earn their fee two or three times over on each sale. But as we see, brokers bring an array of tangible benefits to every transaction that goes well beyond price. Purchasing an aircraft is a big decision and can be fraught with pitfalls for those who don’t know exactly what they are doing. Besides, purchasing or selling an aircraft should be an experience that makes you feel good about the value you are receiving. This all adds up to a very convincing argument for using a broker when buying or selling your next aircraft.

Having a Global Broker

What else can a global broker offer?

  • Cross-continent expertise in aviation regulations
  • Comprehensive, focused global aviation market intelligence
  • Access to a larger, more comprehensive inventory of aircraft
  • Experience that can help you avoid risks and potential challenges
  • Experience with transactions in all local markets across the world, with local personnel representation
  • Access to proprietary databases and other resources
  • The ability to value aircraft accurately based on comparable current sales
  • Short- and long-term analysis capabilities
  • Recognition of the cultural contexts and particular needs of global sales
  • Legal support of complex international transactions
  • A vast network of financial institutions worldwide

Behind the broker is a vast network that enables flexibility, breadth, creativity, and innovation. That global broker has a deep well of resources to leverage—whether marketing the aircraft for the best, most profitable sale or locating the right buyer regardless of location.

The chart below shows what regions of the world Jetcraft closed deals in last year. With worldwide offices headed by locally-based sales professionals, we are always connected to buyers and sellers worldwide.

Jetcraft Buyers Regions

For more information about Jetcraft’s global experience, contact us at +1 919 941 8400 or [email protected].


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