The landscape of the aircraft sales business has certainly changed over the last four months. One of those subtle changes that has caught the attention of the professional aircraft broker is the wave of so called, “off market” buyers and sellers. Open up any classified add these days and you are sure to find numerous individuals advertising their intention to transact an “off market” aircraft. If you are an aircraft owner or potential buyer you may be asking yourself, “What does off market even mean?” If you have ever expressed some level of interest in buying or selling an aircraft, you might be one of these “off market” individuals.
There is certainly a legitimate need for an aircraft broker to blast to the world that they are looking past the scope of what is currently on the market to fit a client’s specific needs. On the other hand, from time to time there is a seller who makes the statement, “I’d sell my aircraft if you have a buyer, but I’m not interested in hiring a broker.” Bingo! You just opened the door to the “off-market” world. Unbeknownst to the aircraft owner, their aircraft may be halfhearted listed for sale. This apathetic approach to selling an aircraft will forfeit their “new to the market” buzz that is so valuable when listing an aircraft for sale. Instead of entering the open market with a ferocious shock and awe approach, they instead just became the prom queen without a date. It would be as if you walked up to bat with two strikes against you already and your coach is nowhere to be found. Aircraft owners should be cautious not to allow anyone to steal their thunder with this lukewarm sales tactic.
In the same breath, if you are a buyer who has indicated that you “may” be interested in buying an aircraft but are not willing to fully commit to an aircraft broker, you too might have someone looking on your behalf. Just as with the aircraft owner, this lack of commitment to a professional aircraft broker might end up costing you money in the long run. Is this the right aircraft for you? Since you haven’t fully engaged with an aircraft broker, are you paying the best price for this “off-market” aircraft? Your newly purchased aircraft has been untested in the marketplace and likely for a reason. The old adage holds true time and time again, “if you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.” A professional broker makes it their mission to find the best value to fit each buyer’s specific needs.
Buying or selling an aircraft can be a minefield of costly mistakes without the backing of an expert. Each aircraft owner deserves to be represented to the maximum capacity by a professional aircraft broker. At the end of a transaction, the fees a buyer or seller pays to a broker are inconsequential, compared to the millions of dollars up for grabs playing the “off-market” game.
I tell all my clients that I will work hard for them, their aircraft, and their bottom dollar! Prior to buying or selling any aircraft, ask yourself one question, would you rather go to war with George Patton or George Jetson? The choice is simple. A dedicated professional is who you deserve working for your best interest.