Eagle Creek in the News

Defining a Business Jet Buyers True Needs

Sometimes, an aircraft buyer contacts a broker knowing exactly what the mission is, right down to the airports that will be visited, typical passenger loads, home base and budget. That makes the mission-definition phase of the broker’s job pretty simple. But, for some buyers, the needs are not so clear. Maybe they’re shopping for an aircraft in order to expand their business, so they don’t really know what their typical itinerary will be. Or maybe they aren’t sure about how many passengers they can expect on an average trip, or how much they will need to spend to get what they need.

That’s when a NARA Certified Broker can save everyone a lot of time and confusion. By probing the customer for information and providing educated answers to questions that the customer might not ever ask on his own, the broker serves as not just an aircraft locator, but also as a consultant who can help the customer avoid pitfalls and discover unanticipated benefits of aircraft ownership.

The mission definition phase of a project is the first step toward the final purchase, and it usually starts with budget. For example, more often than not, a customer has at least a general idea of what various pre-owned aircraft cost, but might not always understand the relationship between acquisition cost and operating cost. Here’s where a NARA Broker can explain how an older, less expensive jet might have all the right range and performance numbers, but the lower price is offset by higher direct operating costs for fuel (from older, less efficient engines), parts and maintenance. There may also be steeper training and insurance bills for an under-supported airframe that can quickly slash away at the initial cost savings. Also, a newer jet could retain significant residual value compared with an older one on the backside of the depreciation curve.

After the budget is set, standard best practices in mission definition will dictate that a NARA Certified Broker touches on all the usual performance considerations in the mission-definition phase. Where will the aircraft be based (takeoff performance)? What city pairs are on the usual travel agenda (range)? How about anticipated passenger and baggage loads (cabin size)? Are any of the airports subject to hot-and-high restrictions (engine performance under difficult conditions)? Who will perform the maintenance? Do short runways figure into the picture at some of the destinations?

Exploring all these questions brings the mission-definition phase closer to selecting the right model for the customer. A NARA Broker “filling in the boxes,” however, can also provide value-added new information that can make all the difference in the aircraft selection. Maybe there’s another airport close by where a more capable jet could be based at lower cost, leaving more room in the budget for other factors. Or perhaps the buyer hasn’t considered that, with the right airplane, he could be visiting far more customers on a more regular basis; and bringing a larger team on each trip – more than paying for the cost of the added capability.

In the end, it comes down to relationship building. And as the customer develops a sense of trust, the entire process becomes a comfortable, positive experience rather than a stress-filled, cat-and-mouse competition. With NARA Certification, and the Code of Ethics each NARA Member signs, the trust-building process starts a few steps ahead. And with the NARA network of Products and Services Members (financiers, insurers, maintenance networks, fuel providers, legal analysts, training providers and more) customers of NARA Certified Brokers enjoy the benefits of a critical mass of information and cooperation in helping make transition to the next step in the acquisition process – aircraft identification.

Eagle Creek Aviation is a NARA Certified Broker/Dealer

NARA Certified Aircraft Broker

Article is courtesy of NARA as featured in their NARA Perspective, No. 2