YachtCloser adds insurers to its system

Posted on Written by Michael LaBella

YachtCloser, touted as the first administrative tool for the yacht brokerage world that automates the entire sales process, hasn’t been around for two years yet, but it’s growing exponentially. Now the company is adding insurance providers to the system to automate that part of the process.

“Essentially the broker has the opportunity to click a button and pull up a pre-populated form that’s sent to the buyer,” YachtCloser founder Brad Parker told Soundings Trade Only. “It’s already all filled out, but they can add some additional information if they want. Essentially all the buyers have to do is view it, electronically sign it and submit it right to the insurance company. It saves the broker from having to re-enter all that information again.”

Parker says the service now has 74 brokerage firms signed up to use it — up from two in April 2012 — and more than 700 brokers. “They’re using their iPad and this app to streamline contracting and the closing process with their client. It’s been exciting that people who have been doing manual printing and faxing of documents all these years have grabbed ahold of this and embraced the change. It’s completely changed the way business is done in the brokerage industry.”

Brokers are selling more as a result, Parker says. Just last month, 231 boats were sold through the service for a total of nearly $38 million and an average price of $164,000.

“As we continue to add companies, which we do on a regular basis, the data take another leap upward,” Parker said. “The data start to multiply. It could be, depending on who we sign up between now and the end of the year, we could double or triple that dollar amount.”

It has also partnered with several large marine insurers, including Gallery Group, Norman Spencer, Charter Lakes and Brown & Brown, Parker says. “It’s the most unique and targeted opportunity for insurance companies in the industry.”

And the brokers on board — including names such as United Yacht Sales, Bluewater Yacht Sales, Denison Yacht Sales and Legendary Marine — say this has streamlined their business by 50 or 60 percent, Parker said.

“Just in terms of dollars, I think one of the most exciting and interesting things about our company is the data,” Parker said. “Currently if I add up all the active contracts on the site right now, it adds up to more than $2 billion.”

— Reagan Haynes

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