How to Select and Aircraft Acquisition Agent or Broker

5 traits pic

As Published in BusinessAir Magazine Volume 8 2016

When looking through this magazine at the various offerings there are some other items in addition to the plane you need to consider.

There are many factors in selecting an aircraft buyer’s agent or broker. However, the following five traits encompass the essence of them all:

Integrity – Their word is their bond—PERIOD

Knowledgeable – Knows the product and the market

Adds Value – Adds value above and beyond the normal expectation

Customer Focused – The customer is your partner

Professional – Someone that you want to be associated with

How can you vet someone? Similar to other dealings you may have, by asking questions and getting a feel for the company and individual. Appearances and memberships are just that—appearances and memberships. You can have a small operation, and be just as professional and do as good of a job as a large firm with splashy brochures. The following are few very minimal suggestions.

Do they know what they are talking about? Do they know the plane? What do they bring to the table? Aircraft knowledge, market knowledge, transaction guidance?

Do they care about you, or is your transaction just another meal ticket?

They have to be trustworthy. The best plane on the market might not be that good if it is offered by someone that you can not trust what they are telling you, and in the middle of the deal, start having contractual interpretation issues. Even with the best contract legal advice, dealing with someone you can’t trust, will in the end make the difference between a good deal and an unpleasant experience.

Finally, do you or your company want to be associated with someone that isn’t professional and ethical?

The old saying of not doing anything that you wouldn’t want your mother to read about on the front page of the morning newspaper applies here as well. In the end, it is worth taking a little time to make sure you are working with someone you are comfortable being around and doing business with. •

about the author

Mike McCracken, owner of Hawkeye Aircraft Acquisitions, is a 30+ year aviation veteran.