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.
Everything You Need to Know About YATCO’s Broker of the Month Mark Elliott:
How did you get your start in yachting?
I grew up on the water in Miami and sailed at an early age. My family had boats and It was just a natural fit for me to pursue yachting. We raced Hobie Cats and had ski boats growing up. I became a captain at a very early age and right out of high school delivered a 48 ft Grand Banks from Miami To Alaska. This gave me a ton of sea time and I upped my captains license, which gave me a huge jump start to the larger yachts.
Is there anyone in particular who influences you – someone in the industry that you look up to, and why?
When I was a captain, one of my yacht owners was Bernie Little and he was a tremendous influence to me. He was a larger than life figure and could sell snow to Eskimos. He taught me some hard lessons and I learned some great tips about negotiation from him. Bernie would buy and sell at least one or two large yachts every year and I would run them, fix them up and help sell them. For Bernie, I captained over 12 different BIG EAGLE yachts over the years and he helped me get started as a broker selling the STARSHIP and last of the BIG EAGLES.
What do you enjoy most about the yachting industry – and what do you wish you could change?
I love the yachts, the owners, the crew, as it can be magical when all goes as well. I have met some of the greatest people in yachting and developed long-term relationships within the yachting family. If I could change anything, it would be to get rid of the people that have a negative effect on yachting as this is a fun business, if everyone plays well in the sand box.
Tell us about your greatest accomplishment.
Being a good human being. Realizing that luck is when preparation meets opportunity and the harder I work, the luckier I get.
What are some of the challenges you come across at work, and how do you approach them?
My biggest challenge is to constantly find out where they are hiding the cheese… This was an old cartoon that meant the ball is always moving and you need to stay with it. The world we are in now is Internet driven and who knows what will be next. We are selling large yachts using virtual tours, digital scans and even live video tours. I am thinking a hologram will be in the near future. I approach it all with enthusiasm and look forward to the next challenges!