Buying or Selling an Aircraft? You Only Get ONE CHANCE To Do It Right.

In addition to the normal monetary considerations, tax consequences and financially detrimental issues to be avoided, a host of specific and often confusing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and regulations also exist. Strict adherence to and rigid compliance with these numerous requirements are non-negotiable prerequisites for the successful outcome of any transaction, whether buying or selling an aircraft. Consequently, the potential for problems not only always exists, but is also always very real.

However, the much more frequent concern is a decision that simply costs too much, leaves too much money on the negotiating table, or which doesn’t truly provide exactly the needed or desired capability.

Look for the Right Expertise.

Unlike occasional buyers or sellers, qualified, experienced and reputable business aircraft brokerage and acquisition firms have successfully flown the transaction airway many times. Logic would certainly seem to dictate that the most prudent and profitable way forward is to partner with knowledgeable experts. When it comes to buying, leasing or selling business aircraft, companies specializing in this arena bring unparalleled, in-depth, and detailed knowledge, global connections, and productive, long-term relationships built on solid reputations for integrity and performance.

Obtaining the maximum selling price in the minimum amount of time when putting a private or corporate jet or turboprop for sale requires finely-honed skills. These must be accompanied by detailed and thorough planning, insightful marketing, creative advertising, and unique promotional endeavors. Additionally, a strong command of the overall business aircraft marketplace — along with intimate familiarity about individual and unique circumstances for a specific business jet or turboprop year, make and model — is mandatory. Transactions of this type and magnitude are generally not done all that frequently by most executives or flight department managers. Therefore, it certainly makes sense for individuals who are anticipating this process to partner with knowledgeable business aviation transaction specialists who can significantly enhance the potential for success.

Likewise, if there are aircraft for sale, the obvious expectation is that there are buyers seeking those same aircraft. But two essential questions need to be quickly and accurately answered: 1) Who are those prospects?, and, 2) How do you reach them? Or, prospective buyers may know they have a need to access the significantly increased productivity and substantially reduced total travel time provided through the utilization of a business aviation asset. Yet they may not, and frequently do not, know exactly which specific business aircraft is best for their mission. Once again, the critical need for detailed knowledge, extensive experience, and business aviation market intelligence comes into play. Just as when sellers put their aircraft up for sale, that same expertise, diligence and professional guidance can prevent buyers from making the type of missteps noted above.

Evaluate the Right Parameters.

What this really means is that you want to select a trusted and capable partner who knows precisely how to keep your best interests first and foremost; one who possesses both broad as well as detailed business aviation, business jet and business turboprop knowledge; and, one who will truly be crucial to, and indispensable in, the overall transaction process. The number of employees, transaction volume, physical location(s), and longevity are all elements that may or may not mean much in regard to reaching a decision. The slickest brochure, fanciest web site, or best sales presentation does not guarantee a good fit. What really means not only everything but also more than anything is the experience current and former clients had with their broker.

Fly the Right Approach.

The guarantee of success starts before you and your broker or acquisition specialist ever meet. It begins with absolute dedication by the company’s senior management and every employee to the singular principal of adding value to your endeavors. It also starts with listening intently and in depth. Then, and only then, can your partner go to work. With you. And for you.

A truly valuable broker will never stop listening. But he or she also never stops sharing. Sharing market information and forecasts. Pricing histories. Aircraft specifications. Comparable sales data. Individual product analysis. Cash flow projections. Contractual documents. Pre-Buy status and findings. And market updates. In short, everything and anything you need to know so that you can make the best – and most informed – decision.

Everything your broker knows and learns should be immediately available to you. He or she ought to have orderly, complete, current and detailed information that you can access at any time. That data should also be continually and frequently updated. There should never be any surprises whatsoever – even good ones! With a qualified and dependable broker, these concerns are non-issues. Every detail on every aspect of your transaction or project must be in one place throughout the entire process – and then remain there for as long as you wish.

Finish the Right Way.

"One and out" might work in college sports, but it is a great way to fall short when acquiring, disposing or replacing a business jet or turboprop. Far too many buyers and sellers have learned this lesson the hard way. They put their aircraft up for sale or took it off the market at the wrong or at a less productive time. Or they selected the wrong option. Often they over valued or under priced a particular asset. Most of all, even if they never intended to ever execute another transaction, they still selected a partner who wouldn’t or couldn’t be there for the long haul. The results are virtually always disappointing, and can also be costly.

Just as self-medication is inadvisable, so is self-education when it comes to business aircraft transactions. As it becomes time to buy or sell an aviation asset, make certain you have enhanced your potential for success by bringing on board a successful partner. One method to assist you in making the right choice is by applying the "Three Cs Test": Capability, Culture and Chemistry. 1) Does your prospective brokerage or acquisition partner have the capacity, resources, knowledge and qualified people to do the job? 2) Do they understand you and your organization? Do they align with you and emulate your corporate values? 3) Do the two of you have the right interpersonal chemistry that ensures good communication, shared values and mutual respect? If the answer to any of these is no, or maybe, look elsewhere.

As the president of an international automotive equipment manufacturer stated: "I really don’t want to be an aviation expert. But I want to make an expert aviation decision. That’s why it only made sense to incorporate business aviation professionals. And, as icing on the cake, when the acquisition was completed, we had also become friends".