This morning we heard from Mike Dickman (GM of BoatQuest.com) and Skip Zimbalist (CEO of Show Management) about the just relaunched www.BoatQuest.com. In January of this year Active Interest Media purchased BoatQuest to complement their other marine services like Show Management and Yachts International Magazine.
Founded in 1999, BoatQuest.com already attracts close to 400,000 monthly visitors. The site has been redesigned to make it easier for visitors to search and find the boats they are looking for and will debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show on March 24.
"By combining online media with major boat shows and a traditional yachting magazine, our goal is to provide a new level of cross-promotion, previously unavailable in the industry, for boat sellers and buyers to connect with one another," said Mike Dickman, general manager of BoatQuest.com. "The strategic relationship among BoatQuest.com, Yachts Magazine and Show Management leverages the reach of three leading boating industry marketing companies in reaching boat buyers."
In addition to standard classified listings, BoatQuest.com offers yacht brokers and dealers a variety of featured ads, as well as banner advertising. Special pricing is available on some services for Show Management boat show exhibitors and Yachts Magazine advertisers. For sale by owner listings are limited to boats under 35 feet.
The purpose of the 35' cut off for FSBO listings according to Mr. Dickman is to limit the competition to brokers in larger boat categories and draw in more brokers to the site who are willing to pay for services.
The very interesting part of this move is it addresses several of our complaints that we level here, and here. This should in theory at least make any particular boat show website a seamless experience for the end user who is planning on coming to a boat show to get as much information as possible, provided a dealer/broker uses BoatQuest.
The big question mark in all of this is how quickly adoption of a new platform can or will take place. There are many brokers in the industry who still are not fully using the web, or who are set in their ways with YachtWorld. Providing the makeover addresses many of these issues, a switch from Yacht World, or duplicate listing, could make a lot of sense.
Strength is the key to victory in this game. With a small pool of listings YachtWorld offers a better selection when searching, but considering how much money and time brokers/dealers put into boat shows, it seems like an easy sell to fully integrate all of their services into one easy to use resource.
The real winner in all of this is the end consumer AND brokers. Both will get better tools and more fully integrated solutions. We are looking forward to seeing how this all shakes out for the Fort Lauderdale show next year!