Like most people I get asked what I do for a living on a regular basis, it's really the go to opening line in most social circles. The answer to that common question for many years was "I sell airplanes" which is followed with "Hey! That's really cool!! What kind of airplanes?"
When I started Jet Acquisitions it occurred to me that I no longer sell airplanes. So I changed my response to "I buy airplanes" which was met with a blank stare.
I have since settled in on saying either "I'm a buyer's rep" or "I'm an aviation consultant" the later creates fewer questions. The former is usually met with "Oh, you're an airplane broker" well... not exactly.
The reality is that the term broker is used pretty broadly in aviation to refer to anyone who is involved in the sale of an aircraft. It's interesting that in real estate which is a comparable analogy the term broker is rarely used unless referring to the person who has a brokerage firm. The person selling the property is a listing agent and the person representing the buyer is the buyer's agent and collectively they are referred to as real estate agents.
The distinction can be important in aviation because a broker is typically someone who is operating, for a profit not a fee, between the buyer and the seller without representing either party. There's nothing wrong with being an aircraft broker, I was one for many years! But, since people have a tendency to assume the broker is representing one party or the other the opportunity exist for misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
The goal of an aircraft broker is to sell an airplane and make a profit, it's a simple business model. In addition to aircraft brokers, you have aircraft dealers who are the listing agents that represent sellers, and stocking aircraft dealers that actually have aircraft in inventory. Most broker / dealers have airplanes listed that they have the exclusive right to sell and then they also look for deals to put together where they are able to broker (flip) an airplane. In addition to this most broker / dealers offer acquisition services as well.
It is very rare indeed to find a company who only represents buyers. There are a few of us out there, but just a few.
I'm often asked why we would choose to only represent buyers, it's simple. I believe in doing one thing and doing it well. The reality is to handle an acquisition properly is very time consuming, I personally found it very difficult to balance the steady plodding approach of acquiring an aircraft for an exclusive client and the "hope to make the sale" approach of selling airplanes. The choice to only handle one side of the transaction is the best decision I have ever made and I wouldn't go back! I love working hard for our clients and building a trusting relationship with them, after being in sales for so long, it's good to be the trusted confidant instead of the salesman!
The ability to focus exclusively on buyers allows us to handle the entire aircraft purchase from deciding which aircraft will best meet our clients needs all the way through inspections and improvements to the delivery. We manage every aspect of the purchase of the aircraft, one of our taglines is "We make buying an airplane fun again!" and it's our goal to make sure we go above and beyond for each client and that it be a fun and stress free process!
So, you asked what I do?
I buy airplanes, and I do it with one goal in mind, to represent and protect the seldom represented aircraft buyer, insuring that they get the best possible deal on the best possible airplane, it really is that simple.