Times have been tough for the broader marine industry but Ensign Ship Brokers are forging ahead with the opening of another office in Manly, Brisbane, in response to increasing interest in new boats and brokerage services.
by Jeni Bone
The largest man-made marina on Australia’s East cost was buzzing with boaties on 18 February when Ensign opened for business on the Manly Esplanade.
Managing Director, Tony Ross said Manly is 'a lovely spot' and ideal for the boating lifestyle. 'People in Manly seem to use their boats a lot, rather than just owning them. We had been selling a lot of new Beneteaus to Manly – five in the past six months – so we decided the time was right to have a presence there.'
Since opening, they have been 'inundated' with people looking to sell their boats – all looking to move in to something new.
'That’s good for us. We have been approached to sell about 30 boats by walk-ins. We have sold a couple already. And in terms of new boats, three of our Brisbane clients have never owned boats before, so that seems to signal there’s a lot of potential in Brisbane.'
Ensign yacht broker Lee Randall said there was a clear objective for opening in Manly.
'Our biggest driving force behind opening in Manly was to support our current client base up there and to support the number of new and used vessels sold into that area.'
'We saw a definite need for more national representation for vessel owners wanting to sell their boats.'
It took less than one week for that gap in the market to come to fruition at Ensign.
'On the second day of being in Manly, we listed a local vessel and through our established network it was sold within three weeks.'
'This confirmed our belief that the clients were out there and they needed representation,' Randall said.
Ensign has offices on the Gold Coast, Manly, Sydney and Gladstone and satellite offices in Korea, China and Singapore.
Tony Ross said he aims to make Ensign Ship Brokers the leading brokerage in the world, and he doesn’t measure that in monetary value but in buyer and seller satisfaction.
'Our desire isn’t to be the biggest brokerage or to make the most money. I am one-hundred per cent focused on being the best brokerage in the world in terms of service to the buyer and seller.'
'We opened in Manly to ensure our clients are looked after,' Mr Ross said.
The office is staffed by two bona fide yacht experts, Lee Randall and Florian Coroller. Lee Randall’s expertise lies in racing yachts. He has been sailing nearly all his life, starting on New Zealand’s windy Kapiti Coast.
After graduating from school, he worked as a sail maker for 10 years for some of Australasia’s leading sail lofts. His experience and contacts in the racing and high-performance areas of Australian yachting make him a valuable addition to the Ensign team.
No novice when it comes to boat sales, Florian Coroller spent a few years in his father’s business, selling Nordic Yachts, 'deck salon-style boats' and the former high-end Beneteau brand, Wauquiez (since sold off),
The family’s business in Brittany, France was close to the Beneteau factory which gave Florian the opportunity to become acquainted with all things Beneteau. He applies this knowledge to his position at Ensign, specialising in cruising yachts.
The growth in the last few months in Manly mean the team is actively looking for new brokers to join the team and deliver uncompromising customer service for Ensign clients.
More at www.ensignbrokers.com.au
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4:08 AM Tue 12 Apr 2011 GMT
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