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May 3, 2016

Nordhavn Yachts Northwest – Seattle, Washington
Taking a team approach to selling

Nordhavn Yachts Northwest has undergone a bit of a renaissance this past year. Sales manager Don Kohlmann opened the Seattle office’s doors in 2005 and a couple years later was joined by broker Barbara Lippert. Together the team flourished in the area’s booming trawler market.

The duo made a huge impact on Nordhavn’s presence in the Pacific Northwest, but Barbara became ill and as much as she wanted to and tried, could not dedicate to being in the office 100 percent of the time. Kohlmann hired industry vet Mark Gilbert to join the force in mid-2014. Seven months later, Barbara lost her battle and Kohlmann was left to regroup. Gilbert was still getting his feet wet and Kohlmann wanted to further bolster his staff so he recruited Michelle Anderegg, another long-timer in the marine industry who was well-acquainted with Nordhavns.

With a trio of experienced, knowledgeable brokers, Kohlmann knew he had an opportunity to make something great and he quickly adopted a team approach – one that benefited his two new salespeople as well as every customer who came through the door.

The approach is this: any brokerage listing brought to Nordhavn Yachts Northwest doesn’t receive just one broker, but three. It presents a distinct advantage for a customer looking to buy or sell their boat to have the backing of a whole team behind them. “The idea was to create some momentum for the new staff,” said Kohlmann. “I think it’s worked. I’m pleased with the way both of them have begun to build on that momentum.”

As sales have proliferated, Kohlmann expects there might be a “loosening” of the literal interpretation of the group agent philosophy. In other words, there will probably be a lead rep on a listing in the future. But that doesn’t mean the team approach will go away. “The mentality is that we all help each other out for the betterment of the client and the betterment of the company,” Kohlmann said.

The staff is now bracing for their first official sales high season as a legitimately gelled team, kicking things off with a successful Open House held over the weekend. With the arrival of May comes the start of the PNW cruising season. “You can feel the enthusiasm in the air,” said Kohlmann.

According to his staff, that enthusiasm starts with the rich cruising possibilities their area offers. Seattle is a launch pad for boaters looking to cruise the San Juans, British Columbia and is a perfect gateway to Alaska. “We have so many boats taking delivery here specifically because they want to explore the Northwest,” said Anderegg. “I’m sure we’ll have many boats who are part of the Nordhavn2Alaska rally pit stopping here in July as they make their way to the Rendezvous.”

Adds Kohlmann, “I do believe that we are in an incredible trawler marketplace.”


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