YATCO’s Broker of the Month series examines the influences and catalysts that brought these brokers into the wonderful world of yachting, who influenced them, and what they seek to change in the industry. Here, we interview Daria Tomassetti, female sales yacht broker and founder of her own brokerage firm DARIA TOMASSETTI. Read more below on how she got her start in yachting, and what influenced her to become a success in selling boats.
Everything You Need to Know About YATCO’s Broker of the Month Daria Tomassetti:
How did you get your start in yachting?
At the time I was selling advertising spaces on websites and one of my clients happened to be the owner of a shipyard. He convinced me that selling yachts was the job for me and a year later I took the exam to became an authorized Yacht Broker.
When I started out I was obsessed about reading yachting magazines and learning as much as I could about boats – I used to spend plenty of time on dry berthed boats just to observe the layout and the technical details. Even though a lot of my colleagues were men, I got used to the environment and found my way as a broker. Personality-wise my interests align with those of my clients: I have a passion for cars, watches, and sports, which really helps me connect with my clients. After my experience there and in a few other shipyards, I have worked as an independent broker for a long time but now my ambition is to work at a yacht brokerage company or a builder selling yachts longer than 20 meters.
Is there anyone in particular who influences you – someone in the industry that you look up to, and why?
One of my mentors is Paolo Vitelli whom I look up to because he basically created the boating industry in Italy – before him it was more of a craft – and he was always ahead of his time. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of getting to know him, I only saw him once when he came as a visitor to the Cannes boat show. Another person I admire is Beniamino Gavio, whom I got to know when he bought Baglietto Shipyard, which turned out to be an enormous success.
Aside from intelligence and competence, Paolo and Beniamino stood out for their humility, which I think has been the base for their long-standing success.
What do you enjoy most about the yachting industry – and what do you wish you could change?
Closing a deal with the signature of the buyer on the contract is the most exciting part of my job along with the satisfaction of seeing the customers happy with their yachts long-term.
One thing I’d change is that, with this being an elitist environment, there is a lot of prejudice (especially with respect to gender and economic status). This sort of issue however is not limited to the yachting world.
Tell us about your greatest brokerage accomplishment.
I sold a 30-meter new yacht to a client after numerous delays in building the yacht which amounted to 5 months of delays. With every passing week, both the buyer and the seller’s relationship deteriorated and we came really close to canceling the sale. In the end, after a delay, fortunately the builder handed in the boat and the buyer was extremely satisfied.
My personal record is selling the same boat 6 times! I believe that being honest and professional always pays off and is the key to long-term relationships with clients.
What are some of the challenges you come across at work, and how do you approach them?
I believe that whatever the problem, there is always a solution, we just often can’t see it and I also believe that everyone has the strength to face the challenges that manifest in their lives.
One of my greatest achievements as an independent broker is dealing with all the aspects of the sale – advertising, legal etc. – while usually these are handled by different people.
This is one of the reasons why working in a commercial setting is my next goal: I’d like to focus on the sales aspect and the relationship with the client. Working in a commercial setting would also give me the possibility of mentoring younger brokers and working in the context of a team, which sounds really exciting.
I hope I’ll be able to tell you about my next adventure soon!