When she's not reeling in massive tuna, hunting for alligators in Okeechobee swamps, or attending IGFA sportfishing galas, Michele Renick is busy taking care of her clients and working hard to sell their boats. Having spent her entire career in the marine industry, beginning when since she was old enough to drive, Michele wouldn't have wanted to grow in this career any other way. "I worked my first boat show at 16 years old," says Michele. "It's an exciting industry to be in. Not just the boats, but the experiences and especially the relationships I've made with my clients, the boat builders, and vendors."
"Everyone knows Michele," said Captain Jeff Palmer, co-President of United Yacht Sales. "She's got a stellar reputation with everyone she's done business with and is highly respected as both a professional yacht broker and as an accomplished angler. We're thrilled to have her on the team with us."
Michele recently joined the United Yacht Sales team after working with custom sportfish builder Merritt Boatworks for over a decade. "I've been impressed with the enthusiasm of the support team, how experienced they are in the industry, and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of all of the benefits offered here that allow me to better service my clients selling their yachts."
Here are a few fun 'Quick Facts' about Michele:
- Hometown: Born in Miami, lives in Fort Lauderdale
- Retirement Plans: Live on a ranch property in Florida
- Favorite Restaurant: Kaluz On The Water
- Best Friend(s): Paige and Natasha
- Favorite Concert: Toby Keith
- Dogs Or Cats?: Both!
- Pineapple On Pizza?: Sure
- Keep or Get Rid Of Daylight Savings?: Get rid of it!
- Favorite Boat Show?: The Palm Beach Boat Show
(Below: Mahi Mahi caught by Michele during a ladies fishing tournament out of Stuart, Florida.)
Q: Michele, you've been in the boating industry your entire career. What has been the most fulfilling part about helping people buy or sell their boat?
A: "I believe the most fulfilling aspect of being a professional yacht broker has been helping people make the right choice for their needs and going beyond what is expected of me. Boating is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. My goal is to make it a pleasant one from start to finish so that the customer will look forward to working together on the next one. My goal is to build a loyal and trustworthy relationship, one where my clients truly know that I'm working on the best possible outcome for their best interests."
Q: What has been the most memorable boat you have sold or the family you've sold it to?
A: "I got an up-call one day from an owner in Puerto Rico. He had a late model 61’ Viking Yacht for sale and was bringing to Ft. Lauderdale to list. On his way over they lost the first engine and then the second engine went in Nassau. The boat was then towed to Florida. I met him at the docks when they arrived, shook his hand, and told him not to worry that I would make sure everything was taken care of, and that I would get his boat sold. I never met him again. I had MTU replace both motors (with new warranties) and the boat sold for the highest price during that time. I still keep in touch with his Captain, who was very grateful. The couple that bought his boat still own it 16 years later."
(Seen Below: Michele and a Yellowfin Tuna she caught in Hanibal Bank, Panama.)
Q: Yacht Sales has historically been a male-dominated side of the boating business. Selling custom boats, there are even fewer women that regularly sell custom boats. Has this made you work harder to be successful? What advice would you give to other women looking to be successful in yacht sales like yourself?
A: "Yes, being a woman in a male dominated industry is very hard work. I had to break borders along the way. I attribute my personal customer service and a honest reputation to keeping me in the game and remaining successful. I have earned the trust of my clients by working harder than what is expected from a broker, doing things like overseeing issues for a customer on a boat that may need repairs (such as: engines, generators, a/c service, electronics, etc.), I get it done. Having the knowledge and experience that I do, owners trust me and I am appreciated for my integrity."
Q: How do you set yourself apart from other brokers in how you build a relationship with a client, as well as the job you do for them?
A: Always do more than is expected every single time. I have consulted with many customers over the years, some who have not yet purchase a vessel from me. Always be humble, I never reject their call. Get the knowledge if you don’t have it, never take a customer for granted, and always be honest. Sometimes it doesn’t work in your favor, but your reputation will always be a good one."
Q: What's your favorite fishing memory?
A: Fishing in St. Thomas on the boat REEL TIGHT with Jim Lambert, Stewart Campbell, and Pete Boinis. These world-class anglers are best friends, fishing legends, and incredibly entertaining!"
(Seen below: Michele fighting a 7-- lbs. Blue Marlin in Madeira, Portugal.)
Q: What destination is on your bucket list to fish?
A: I'd like to fish the Dominican Republic. The Blue Marlin fishing there is incredible, although very rough waters. So maybe I'll need to re-think that one!
Q: Who has been your biggest mentor in your career in the boating industry?
A: Skip Allen Sr. was a mentor for me in the business. He started Southern Boating Magazine in the 1970's and was an avid boater around South Florida. I grew up around the family and still look back on the advice that Skip gave me.
Q: Has social media changed how you interact with previous customers and prospective customers? Favorite social media?
A: Yes most definitely, I have met some good friends through Social Media. There are some great platforms managed by reputable Captains and brokers. The exposure is unlimited. Part of the reason I joined United Yacht Sales is because they really represent their listings very well on Facebook and Instagram. You can tell that they have people's attention and highlight their client's boats very well. I'm excited to combine my presence on social media with theirs.
Q: While you aren’t new to selling yachts, you are new to join United Yacht Sales. What are some of the reasons you decided to ‘hang your hat’ with UYS? Did the fact that Peter Schmidt and Jeff Palmer both being brokers at one point influence your decision?
A: I have a couple good broker friends at United Yacht Sales that have always spoken very highly about the integrity and principles of the company. Once I met the owners and administrative staff, I was attracted to their enthusiasm and goals. The fact that both Peter and Jeff have sold boats before and really understand the commitment it takes to be a successful yacht broker, I feel better supported. I also like the fact that I don't have to compete with them when it comes to listing and selling, as well. I know their entire focus is on my success.
(Seen below: Michele caught this Halibut on a fishing trip to Homer, Alaska.)
Q: As a new broker to UYS, how has the onboarding process been? What are you most excited about taking advantage of?
A: The transition from my personal brokerage company to United Yacht Sales has been pretty good! I have closed a few deals over the years with UYS and they were very efficient. The owners, marketing, social media department, and administrative staff have great enthusiasm. I feel confident knowing they have been in this industry for years. It is wonderful to see a team come together. The closing staff is particularly strong and I feel confident there is probably nothing that they haven't seen. Just as important as getting an offer on your client's boat is making sure it is closed properly and quickly.
Q: Tell us a little bit about EL CHUPACABRA, the Merritt 80 you have for sale.
A: The boat is gorgeous and now priced to sell. She runs beautiful and has a great platform for fishing and/or cruising. She is equipped with a sonar scanner, which is the latest and greatest for fishing tournaments.
(Seen below: EL CHUPACABRA, an 80-foot Merritt listed for sale with Michele.)
Q: What are some of your most memorable boat sales over the years?
A: There are a lot of different customers that come to mind over the years, so it's hard to really pinpoint one specific boat that stands out. There was a 2008 68-foot B&D (Buddy Davis Yachts) where I was working with the buyer who was from South Africa. I'd never met the customer before, but he trusted me to represent him in the transaction. His mechanic friend came to look at the boat and the client purchased it. I did all of the provisions for him and put it on a ship to Africa. I met him 7 years later and fished with he and his wide in Madeira.
I also had an excellent listing in a 2011 Hatteras Yachts 68 Enclosed Bridge. It was originally listed with another broker, but the seller was not satisfied with the level of attention he was receiving. I not only listed the boat for him, but got it under contract within 3 months and represented both the buyer and seller in the deal. This was a very complicated transaction between a developer and a builder, with the owner financing a short-term loan. We stuck with it and sold the boat for over $2 million.
Another memorable boat was a 2012 60-foot Spencer that was a foreign-flagged vessel. The seller lived in Panama and I had never met him before. This was another case where I took on the listing after another broker had it and had not done a great job, so the owner was looking for results. The boat had gotten a lightning current from another boat down the dock, and the owner had paid the broker to fix the issues which were never repaired. I handled everything as professionally as possible and got the boat back to 100%. The new buyer was extremely satisfied with the boat, gave it a tower, a new paint job, and is now off fishing!
(Seen below: The Hatteras 68 Enclosed Bridge sold by Michele.)
Q. What different certifications have you received or professional organizations have you joined that you want to mention?
A: Over the years I have tried to stay as educated as possible, as well as stay involved in the industry. I'm a current member of the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA) and a Florida notary. I've completed the Viking Yachts Master's Program, I was a recipient of a Top Salesman Award in 2008, I've received both MAN Marine Diesel Certification and Volvo IPS certification. I'm also very familiar in terms of product knowledge for both CAT and Detroit Diesel engines. I also like to attend the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) events.
If you want Michele hunting for a buyer for your boat, or to find a boat for you to buy, she can be reached at 1-954-444-9230 or by email at Michele@UnitedYacht.com.
(Seen below: Michele out gator hunting in Okeechobee.)
With over 250 yacht brokers worldwide, United Yacht Sales has the largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry. We focus 100% of our efforts and marketing budget on our clients' listings, not new boat inventory or trade-ins we own. The result is a personal experience with our expert sales and support teams that will leave you excited to get on the water and satisfied with your experience. United Yacht Sales welcomes Michele Renick to our team and we look forward to many years of a successful relationship.