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 Georges Bourgoignie of Fraser Yachts, who loves to assist clients in the design, build and thereafter enjoyment of a new yacht.
Everything You Need to Know About YATCO’s Broker of the Month Georges Bourgoignie
How did you get your start in yachting?
I settled in Miami after high school in New England to study and graduate in Marine Science from University of Miami. My interest in boats and sailing yachts from my youth resulted in getting a 100 ton USCG license and eventually working a few boat shows and naturally migrating into Yacht Sales. That was in 1986 and many hundreds of yacht sales since I remain really happy about my move into yacht sales and have enjoyed an incredible career and lifestyle.
Is there anyone in particular who influences you – someone in the industry that you look up to, and why?
Certainly, in the beginning Pete Bollman hired me out of college and was a catalyst for how to properly conduct business and learning that in our business, having quality listings that you are proud of makes this work a lot more enjoyable and profitable. Within a few years, I was hired by Paul Buttrose and join him at the Nautor’s Swan brokerage and eventually became a sales agent which was a highlight in my career in learning to sell new yacht projects and focusing on quality and pedigree.
What do you enjoy most about the yachting industry – and what do you wish you could
The highlight of what we do is meeting interesting, successful people who in many cased become friends outside of yachting. Not sure I would change much about the industry but I would encourage all brokers to accurately and transparently represent yacht listings & write specifications in detail with a view on providing photos, GA’s etc. to enhance the selling potential of the listing by anyone in the industry.
Tell us about your greatest accomplishment.
Personally – my greatest accomplishment is to have been involved with successful and loving kids and family. Professionally – assisting clients in the design, build and thereafter enjoyment of a new yacht is very satisfying. Becoming friends with some of those clients is an added highlight.
What are some of the challenges you come across at work, and how do you approach them?
I started in this business when the mail and the telephone were the only communication methods and personal meetings and yacht inspections were the norm often after weeks and months of dialogue. The internet has made our business more instantaneous and effective for communications with clients but also made business more digital and therefore less transparent and personal. Staying current with digital formats and the ever-changing marketing world is key as well as vetting clients via reputable legal assistance and filters is always a challenge.
There is also a lack of qualified surveyors in our industry which is a huge issue in satisfying contractual conditions that lead to a sale. Professional yacht captains and engineers wanting a shore-based career should be enticed to join the ranks of the professional yacht surveyor.