20 November 2018

Five minutes with Maarten Ten Holter - Superyacht Broker

Maarten Ten Holter has been a yacht broker for over 25 years, we caught up with him to find out more about life as a yacht broker and learn a bit more about the straight-talking Dutchman and his career to date.

How did you get into yachting? Did you sail from a young age or is it something you fell into?
At 17 I was on holiday with my parents in the South of France admiring all these fantastic yachts and decided I want to get into the yachting business. I started off as Junior Broker at Van der Vliet in The Netherlands. I have always been a competitive dinghy sailor, first Laser and later on Finn.

How long have you been with Fraser and what, for you, distinguishes Fraser from other brokerage companies?
I have been with Fraser for 3.5 years and the reason for joining Fraser is obviously the big name and power in the industry but also the fact that we have lots of brokers from different nationalities. Other large brokerage companies are very Anglo-Saxon whereas Fraser is much more  of an International company. Also noteworthy is that the senior management are not brokers which could easily lead to conflicts of interest.

What was your first yacht sale and what are your memories of this first deal?
My first yacht sale was a small 32’ Hallberg Rassy sailing yacht when just started. You never forget the first and obviously I was very proud!

Among your sales, are there any which stand out as particularly memorable and why?
Each and every sale is unique in it’s own sense because of the circumstances; Buyers and Sellers always change. The most memorable was a 104M Vessel built by Blohm & Voss in Germany which I happened to sell twice, first to a Dutch company who intended to change the vessel to a huge lounge and party yacht and later to a Turkish client.

The life of a yacht broker is international, busy and varied – what would your top tips be for anyone aspiring to this as a career?
You need to be switched on 24/7, like to travel and have a lot of stamina as only a small percentage of your effort will lead to a transaction. Furthermore it's important not to pretend you know everything, if you don’t have the answer, just say it and consult others around you in order to give your clients good and honest advice. Ah, one more thing, once you closed a nice deal, don’t spend it all at once, the next may take longer than you expect. In the industry we have a saying “you are as good as your next deal.”

What have you learned from the many sales you have made over the years?
That it’s all about emotions, nobody needs a yacht, it’s the Broker's job to manage the expectations and emotions from Buyers and Sellers alike.

Do you see tastes changing from clients in terms of what buyers are looking for, are there any major trends you have identified?
Sustainability is becoming more of an issue as the intended use of the yachts. Owners are getting younger and they feel that everything should serve a purpose, and of course there are always exceptions. There is a trend towards more adventurous yachts that can really go to remote places.

If your clients could describe you and your professional style in only three words, what do you think they would say?
Knowledgeable, straight-forward.

Having recently sold yacht AXANTHA II, representing the Owner for a second time, Maarten currently represents sailing yacht NATIVA and motor yacht SIMA for sale. Speaking several languages, including Dutch, English and German, Maarten is able to deal with clients from across the international stage with ease.

To contact Maarten about any of the yachts he currently represents, or discuss how he can represent your yacht for sale please click here.