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Matthew Stone: The Future Luxury Yacht Broker

Image Source: Pixabay

Matthew Stone, an esteemed broker, has dedicated over half his life to the yachting industry. With his roots in South Florida, Stone discovered his affinity for the water early on, leading to a career driven by his passion for sailing. Transitioning from a yacht captain to a broker in 2016, Stone’s career reached new heights when he was nominated for the prestigious IYBA (International Yacht Broker’s Association) “Outstanding Young Professional in Yachting” award in 2020, following his consecutive wins as “Broker of the Year” in 2018 and 2019.

Recently, Stone’s career has thrived as he now represents IYC, a renowned global brand in the yachting realm. IYC stands as one of the largest international yachting firms with over 100 experts situated in 14 strategically placed offices worldwide. With a commitment to innovation, IYC invests in cutting-edge software solutions to provide unparalleled support to yacht owners, buyers, charterers, and captains globally, with plans for expansion into Southern California in the near future.

As an IYC team member, Stone emphasizes ongoing education for both himself and his clients, displaying a keen interest in new construction builds. He has gleaned insights from leading shipyards worldwide such as Lurssen, Feadship, and Benetti, enhancing his expertise to meet the evolving needs of his clients. Stone’s industry presence extends to TV appearances on the AWE network series “Selling Yachts” and features in various industry publications.

The Status Life recently engaged Stone in a conversation regarding the future of the yacht industry and the impact of recent events.

The Status Life: How has the high-end Charter mega-yacht market been influenced by Covid?

Mr. Stone: The pandemic necessitated significant adjustments in charter agreements, sanitation protocols, and crew requirements, fostering a safer environment for clients despite logistical challenges posed by evolving travel restrictions. Encouragingly, IYC has exceeded expectations in Q3, outperforming previous fiscal years amidst these changes.

The Status Life: In a prior article, similarities were drawn between selling mega-yachts and real estate. Could you elaborate on this comparison?

Mr. Stone: While some parallels exist, the complexity of purchasing a mega-yacht surpasses that of real estate due to the intricate equipment and unique challenges presented by marine environments. Unlike real estate, yacht ownership is a luxury asset tied to emotions, lifestyle, and passion, with fewer prospective buyers worldwide.

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Mr. Stone: Undoubtedly, technology advancements have reshaped the industry, enhancing efficiency, safety, and environmental responsibility. The evolving consumer base emphasizes safe, family-oriented yacht experiences.

The Status Life: What challenges and solutions do you foresee for the high-end charter/mega-yacht sector?

Mr. Stone: Ongoing logistical hurdles due to travel restrictions will persist for charter markets. Working with reputable firms like IYC is crucial for informed decision-making. Limited inventory presents a sales challenge, mitigated by experienced brokers and diverse databases.

The Status Life: Are yacht buyers’ preferences changing in terms of desired features?

Mr. Stone: Indeed, clients increasingly seek remote destinations over congested ports, altering expectations for yacht capabilities.

The Status Life: Lastly, how do you envision the future growth of the high-end yacht market?

Mr. Stone: Anticipating continued growth, the yacht market will attract new buyers seeking controlled, luxurious experiences. Evolving consumer needs, new product offerings, and economic recovery point towards a flourishing industry adaptation to changing times.

Image Source: Pixabay

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