The start of a new year is a time to sit back and reflect on how we did last year and what we can do better for the next. I would venture to think that the business aircraft broker community collectively had similar successes and challenges in 2017. We all felt that every deal seemed to take longer and be more challenging and keeping deals together was a never-ending problem until they were really closed. So what could we as an industry agree to do to make the process better and less challenging for both sides of the transaction in 2018?
Thinking about how to do it better is always a top-of-mind consideration. One component of every deal, which is true across the board, is the people. We are not in the aircraft business; we are in the people business, with people selling or buying aircraft from other people. Let’s consider how we individually can make the people side of our business better.
There is no magic wand that you can wave over people to make them all better, and very often those people that we would most want to wave the magic wand over are actually not bad people. On closer examination, most people are actually terrific; they just need to be treated that way rather than treated like they are the problem.
Accurate communication, full transparency, and well-articulated milestones for everyone in the deal will probably be all the magic wand you will ever need. You might be surprised at how many bad deal participants magically become the glue that holds the deals together rather than the force that tears them apart.
As I mentioned, the time to complete a deal seems to be getting longer and longer, and the more of it you have the harder it is to keep one together. There are things within each of our control to keep time at a minimum and there are things completely out of our control.
Areas within our control are focus and attention to the details and being available to the participants. If each of the deal participants works to stay within the timelines and takes them seriously, as if they are serious deal points, precious days can be shaved off. And days can make a difference.
Those areas that we cannot control, but must be aware of, are the pre-buy inspection location’s availability and the time to inspect and correct discrepancies. The facilities where these inspections take place have never been busier and, often due to engineering and parts procurement, can add weeks.
Reflection is a good thing, but acting on it and creating real change is critical to adding more certainty and better outcomes. Here’s to more certainty and better outcomes in 2018!
Jay Mesinger discovered a passion for flying when he was in high school. In college, he learned he had a gift for business. In 1982, he combined his love of flying with his business acumen to create what is now Mesinger Jet Sales.