Webinars have been around since the beginning of the internet. They are a convenient means for a presenter to provide information on a topic to a large group of people who can listen in and learn from home on their own computer.
Jeff is on the CAC Board (Certificate Advisory Committee) leadership council for the CPYB (Certified Professional Yacht Broker) program. One of his duties as a board member is annually provide content for one E-seminar – either to find a speaker, or to conduct a one-hour e-seminar on a relevant topic.
On January 22nd, 2020 Jeff was slated to give the first CPYB webinar of the decade. His topic was: “Attracting Buyers and Sellers to Select You as Their Yacht Broker” and was only open to CPYB’s and CPYB apprentices.
Nearly 100 CPYB brokers signed up for this webinar. Jeff conducted this talk from his hotel room in Seattle during the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show. CPYB brokers who sat through the whole event earned three continuing education points towards keeping their CPYB credential active. One of the best aspects of the CPYB is that you need to gather continuing education points in order to renew every three years. Points can be earned through webinars, attending yacht broker association events, etc. A side advantage of acquiring points is that the knowledge learned helps keep these elite brokers in touch with the ever-changing brokerage market.
Jeff conducted the webinar using the ZOOM platform and said it is really easy to use. There were no glitches, the shared screen was crisp and the audio clear. Each webinar participant was able to type in questions or comments which Jeff answered at the end of the hour. The time flew by and Jeff received many compliments for his presentation and was especially grateful for these two testimonials from highly respected industry peers:
“Jeff Merrill’s e-Seminar is a great refresher for the professional yacht broker. His presentation is excellent, and you are guaranteed to learn some new skills”.
Michael Myers, CPYB, Boston Yacht Sales
“Jeff Merrill’s e-Seminar was one of the best I have ever attended, it was like how to become a successful yacht broker in 45 minutes. Excellent content that any broker, regardless of experience level, can benefit from”.
Don Finkle, CPYB, RCR Yachts
Vin Petrella, then Executive Director of YBAA (Yacht Broker Association of America), was also impressed with the Webinar and invited Jeff to give an encore presentation in March to YBAA members.
For YBAA, Jeff changed up the talk a bit, added some photos and had another fun time sharing many of the “secrets” he has learned as a yacht broker. His March 25th YBAA e-seminar was entitled: “24 Broker Tips to Keep You Competitive and Improve Your Success.”
In reflection, the amount of change in the world between the two talks is staggering. The first talk was given from a boat show hotel in Seattle, WA, the second from Jeff’s home in CA. As we go to press, much of the world is or has been on lock-down. Life as we know it has been postponed until further notice. We are living through some very interesting times that have created a severe economic crunch.
The way we socialize; going to the movies, attending church, running errands, shopping in stores, sitting in class at school – all of that has changed. Something as traditional as a firm handshake is now done so at your own risk. It’s bizarre and we are all hopeful that things get back to normal soon.
Webinars, videos, websites and other means of sharing information to a large audience without actually being there in person will most likely become more popular.
The JMYS.com website, our You Tube channel and our active promotion through social medial channels has been building momentum for years and we will continue to invest in ways for our clients (buyers and sellers of tugs and trawlers) to interact while accepting the new reality that in-person meetings, especially large group gatherings, are going to be less common.
Staying active, remaining involved and giving back are all attributes a true volunteer aspires to achieve. JMYS is committed to our clients and to our professional associates and we strive each day to connect and inform.