Read as Rene Banglesdorf talks about her career as an Aircraft Broker. Find her at www.wepushtin.com and on the Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.
What do you do for a living?
How would you describe what you do?
I help people all over the world buy and sell aircraft—or just buy trips on private planes.
What does your work entail?
Working with aircraft owners, buyers, the FAA and other civil aviation authorities, attorneys and maintenance centers to make sure that aircraft transactions are equitable and run smoothly.
What’s a typical work week like?
Lots of phone and email work, some travel.
How did you get started?
I got started by doing marketing for a similar company.
What do you like about what you do?
I love that my job is different every day and that I meet people from all over the world.
What do you dislike?
I don’t like how much my industry is affected by the economy.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
How much money do aircraft brokers make?
This is a very high-risk, high-reward job. You can live off of peanut butter and jelly one month and lobster the next. It’s important to be careful how you spend because you can’t plan when you’ll get a big commission check.
How much money did/do you make starting out?
About $24,000 per year.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
Lots of tenacity, people skills, and the thick skin to hear no two thousand times before one yes.
What is most challenging about what you do?
The sales cycle can be several years.
What is most rewarding?
Hearing about how people’s lives have changed using private aviation, like rescuing people stranded by earthquakes or flying a cancer patient to treatment.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Have some other sales experience first.
How much time off do you get/take?
Even when I go on vacation I work, since I own the business. I work about 50 hours a week normally—more when there are lots of sales going on.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
People think that only rich people fly in private planes. The fact is that many owners of aircraft are small and mid-sized businesses that use them as a competitive differentiator to grow their businesses and create more jobs.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Being one of the biggest and the best—beating my competitors.