People First – Yachting Extraordinary with Northrop & Johnson

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The last few years have been tumultuous and occasionally scary, beautiful and triumphant for many of us. Together, we have weathered the Covid storm, and as I write, it seems that there may be smoother and more predictable seas ahead of us. And as we closed the books in 2021, it seemed clear to us that a decisive shift had taken place at Northrop & Johnson and that we had moved to a new phase in our development. In October, we launched our re-brand, which refocused our corporate strategy and put its emphasis squarely where it should be: its people. People like you, our valued clients, have trusted us with your passion for yachting for the last 70-plus years. People like our staff and brokers, with their tireless dedication to providing nothing but extraordinary service in every facet of your yachting experience. This shift in corporate focus has been building for several years and has undoubtedly been a driver in the recent success of Northrop & Johnson. “Put the people first, and the success will follow” has become our company mantra, which paid off in 2021.

As everyone knows, the yachting market, in general, was extremely hot in 2021. Across the board, 2021 saw a 68.9% industry-wide increase in superyacht sales against 2020, with the total number of yachts sold at 718 compared to 410 in 2020. The driving force behind this was most likely “revenge travel” and a desire to travel on one’s own terms post-pandemic, combined with favorable economic outlooks worldwide and availability of cheap finance. Against this backdrop, however, Northrop & Johnson also outperformed the benchmark, selling 136% more yachts in 2021 than in 2020.

Turning to 2022 and the future,  the surge in demand for brokerage and charter yachts has caused a shortage of availability, and for our brokers now, the most challenging thing is to find yachts to buy or sell. It can sometimes seem as though there’s nothing available as a buyer. Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel for those on the hunt for their next yacht, as we have a large number of yachts in our sales pipeline coming onto the market this Spring, and the current high prices will no doubt stabilize as supply increases, and the market finds a new level. The instability in China and Russia has also created a few unplanned Sellers, of course, as the usual drivers of estate sales and Owners looking to up- or downsize.

Fortunately for our clients, we come at this shortage from a strong base, as in 2021, Northrop & Johnson was the most successful brokerage at finding yachts to list and, in turn, selling them – and much faster than in the past. In 2021 Northrop & Johnson sold 41 of our own central listings, the highest number of listings sold in the yachting industry and a colossal 41% higher than any other competing brokerage house. Of course, success begets success, and due to this impressive record, Sellers are coming to us knowing that we can get the job done, and as a result, we are now listing more yachts than any other brokerage.

These stats bode well for both buyers and sellers. With the most significant number of new listings on the market and the most successful sales of our own listings, we are experts in putting people first as we align buyers and sellers to ensure everyone’s wants and needs are not only met but exceeded.

Another shift in focus primarily caused by the pandemic was the acceleration of an already planned transition from the traditional analog style of doing business seen everywhere in yachting to digitizing our company and client experience. The massive investment we have made in digital technology since 2020 is industry-leading and has proved a game-changer for our clients and staff. The digital tools now at the hands of our brokers give them more knowledge and data than those at any other firm in yachting and enable them to be as efficient from a hotel room or on board a yacht as they are in the office. In turn, the extra knowledge they can provide to our Northrop & Johnson clients ensures our clients are up-to-speed and in the know.

On the charter side of the business, our charter brokers leverage the vast databases of yachts on the market and networks of charter managers throughout the industry to pair the ideal yacht with each charter client to ensure an extraordinary charter experience. The client is at the core of every yacht charter booked through Northrop & Johnson. What does the client want? What does the client need? How can we do our best for the client and give them good value for their yachting buck? In 2021, we were able to book more than 700 weeks of charters for our clients with those parameters in mind. And the results speak for themselves. Northrop & Johnson has a Net Promoter Score* of 90+ based solely on customer satisfaction post-charter.

Lastly, Northrop & Johnson’s people-first focus in 2021 and commercial success have also expanded. No longer a predominantly US company, Northrop & Johnson is now the fastest-growing European yachting firm. We have added more than 34 new employees to our international team in various offices around the globe. Catering to this rapid European growth has required an enlarged and relocated Monaco office in the heart of the Principality, providing a base for even more staff members to better serve our clients. We also expanded our reach within the United States, opening a new office in Naples, Florida, to cater to our charter clients based there.  Careful recruitment has meant hiring yachting professionals whose principles are 100% aligned with our people-first ethos to ensure that you, our clients, will continue to receive nothing but an extraordinary experience in all sectors of Northrop & Johnson.

In keeping with our people-first motto, I take the opportunity here to attribute our success to our outstanding team of yacht brokers and support staff, the diligent efforts of our marketing team, and the tech team that has created our industry-leading technological tools.

At Northrop & Johnson, we believe that yachting should be extraordinary in every way. As our firm grows and continues to break new ground (and a few records), we are ideally positioned to help you experience everything extraordinary about the yachting lifestyle, both on and off the water.

*Net promoter score (NPS) is the gold standard of customer experience metrics. Read our in-depth guide written by customer experience experts to understand better what net promoter score is, how it is calculated, and how tracking can benefit your organization.

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