William Webb sells cruisers to people who expect solid gold fixtures, an onboard beauty parlour, and a tailor.
Hot tubs and jet skis are a “basic” expectation of his mega-rich clients – mostly elite businessmen with millions set aside to splash on the most glamorous of yachts.
William, 37, says celebrities aren’t even on his client list – because even the biggest Hollywood names can’t afford the vessels he sells.
But despite champagne-fuelled yacht parties being part of his job, he says his job is not as glamorous as it looks on TV shows Hot Yachts Miami and Selling Sunset.
He says he spends most of his days working from home – sitting at his desk writing and negotiating contracts.
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And the broker at Zwaans International – who is in line to become CEO of the company by the end of the month – said his customers are extremely particular.
However he is well rewarded and earns 10% commission on his sales as well as 5% whenever he refers a client to another broker.
William, from Boca Raton, Florida, said: “It can be a tough job – it’s hard to find the perfect buyer. Sometimes I’ve done 30 viewings of a yacht before someone puts down an offer. It’s nothing like Selling Sunset – I spend most of my life at my desk at home!
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“The boats are amazing. One client even installed an entire nightclub on his top deck. Another was trying to start up a belly-dancing business on his.
“I do get invited to fun parties with clients. I’ve tried some amazing wines and champagnes from all of the world.
“The best part of it is getting to travel to all of these amazing places. I love Turkey, Hong Kong, France and Monaco .”
Before William, who has an MBA from Baylor University, Texas, entered into yacht brokering, he worked as a financial advisor and auctioneer.
He entered into the yacht brokerage business when he joined Zwaans in 2018 because of his interest in business and finance.
Since then he has sold yachts to millionaire clients – including businesspeople in real estate and property development.
He has brokered yachts with everything from a helipad to a submarine launch deck, and a hair salon to a clothes tailor. He gets business when yacht owners approach his firm when they want to sell their boats.
Deals take up to six months to close, and take William all over the world. Normally his deals range between $800,000 to $1.5million.
His current project is his biggest yacht – a $38million 212ft vessel called Ambrosia.
The boat accommodates 12 guests, and features an onboard sauna, beauty salon, elevator, beach club, and gym.
William said: “The European clients are more focused on what’s best for their buck and Americans love to splurge.
“The Middle Eastern clients are focused on what’s the flashiest.
“Usually, for all clients, the interior of the boat is never beautiful enough. They might want more teak wood.
“Whenever they buy a boat the teak is never nice enough. Everyone wants lots of teak – but it takes a lot of maintenance and needs replacing!”
He added: “Most of my days are spent just talking and emailing – sending details and survey reports.
“What we do is very serious. It’s an intense contract negotiation more similar to what you find on Wall Street.
“We’re dealing with very serious businessmen, they want their boat, they don’t want to be friends normally, so it’s not all fun and games.”
But there are some perks – such as the 10% commission he scores whenever he makes a sale on a super-pricey luxury boat.
He also gets the occasional invite to yacht parties with millionaires – and gets to experience a taste of the life he sells to his clients.
He said: “Wealthy people love to socialise! I’ve tried some really nice wines and champagnes from all over the world – bottles I would never buy for myself!”
Despite the hard work, long hours and difficult negotiations, William loves his work and insists he wouldn’t change his role.
He added: “It’s hard but things do become a lot easier as you get used to it – and time has flown since I started.
“The current CEO is stepping down so I’ll be taking on that role soon, it’s been worth it so far!”
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