If you have read last months article you understand how important it is to have a well qualified team on your side for the purchase and sale of an aircraft. But, how do you select who the right team members are?
Selecting the right team can be a daunting task even for those who have been in the airplane ownership business for a while. Sometimes it is as easy as the last people did a great job and you were happy with the results. Sometimes, the people and companies have shifted or changed personnel and you are not certain. So how do you select the right team?
You need to ask questions.
There are as many opinions as there are acquisition agents, brokers, lawyers, tax accountants etc. on large versus a small firm. There are advantages to both and quite frankly, it is more about how professional the firm and their people are than the size of the firm.
True professional organizations will utilize AMSTAT, JETNET and many will use another source Aircraft Post. Whether they are small or large they all have a network of people in the industry. I would suggest that one qualifier is if they do not use one of the top two research firms, but only use Controller or other advertising sites, you might want to think long and hard about utilizing their services. They are not making a professional investment to provide you the latest in what is on the market and critical trends.
Just as all large firms are not created equal, all small firms aren’t either. There are many examples of small firms that do an excellent job of finding the right aircraft or selling your aircraft. They have the tools of the trade. They have contacts and you know they are not passing your account off to someone else. True professionals will provide very similar data for your purchase or sale no matter what size of an organization they represent.
What is their plan? How do they plan to market your aircraft? How do they go about the purchase?
What is their process? What is the process they have to sell or acquire an aircraft?
Do they have references? They should have references from satisfied companies and individuals they have worked with in the past.
Will they see your aircraft in person or rely on other team members to advise on the condition? This is now harder to accomplish in our current Covid world, however we feel, when possible the person selling or buying the aircraft should have seen it in person. There is nothing like having seen and knowing the history of the plane. For selling, it is old-fashioned selling 101 and for buying you need to know as soon as you can if this is a plane worth pursueing.
What is their model expertise? While some suggest that having make and model experience provides a leg up, others know that the duty of a professional sales or acquisition person is to gather the appropriate knowledge and any professional can and should do this. True professionals have a network of industry experts to help them gain the knowledge needed.
How and who is going to be your contact? You need to be comfortable with the person who is buying you a plane or selling you a plane.
Do they have recommendations for helping source other team members like transaction attorneys and tax structure experts?
Sometimes it is hard to determine the professional and ethical conduct of a firm regardless of their size. However, this is where a discussion and asking a few questions, such as how they feel about a “back to back” transaction and how they generally do business will be helpful. This is an area where a solid business person will know because they know how to judge people in their primary business dealings. Any company you are hiring should meet those comfort standards.