Mar. 4, 2016


Fernando Bertie

Peru

Fernando Bertie

Director, Lima Marina Yacht Club

"When we started Lima Marina Club, there wasn't much infrastructure available for yacht owners."

BIO

Fernando Bertie has been working in real estate for the past 19 years. After starting out as a marketing and sales manager for the country’s biggest building company, he developed his own company and has worked in retail, residential, commercial, and mixed projects. He has been in the marina business for the past 10 years with his current project. He is developing several more of these projects in different areas, with a close involvement in marketing and sales.

What is the current status of the nautical industry in Peru?

When we started Lima Marina Club, there wasn't much infrastructure available for yacht owners. Because of the economy and regulations that we have in Peru for importing yachts and large boats, there was a lack of equipment and services for these boats. Back then, around 80% of the fleet was more than 20 years old and small. Starting from 2008, things started changing; we had around 20-25 boats being brought into Peru every year. That is when we started this project. We have since been a big part of the growth in the yacht business. Everything you could need as a boat owner is available here; vessels are secure, clean, and perfectly maintained.

What are some of the main features of this marina?

We started operations in 2010. We have the same facilities as the best marinas in the world. All of our equipment is brand new and all of the floating docks were imported from Spain. We have the best and newest equipment available. We are located within the city of Lima, where you could not find places to moor a yacht before. From facilities like ours, yacht owners have access to the ocean and all of its merry nautical activities, including visiting bays and islands. Lima is even more beautiful seen from the ocean. We provide easy, secure access to the seas. Ours is a small marina compared to other marinas in the world. We have about 100 boats here. We could not have designed it bigger because of the restrictions regarding the currents and movement of sands. It has a positive impact on the coastline because we have gained a new beach here. We reclaimed land from the ocean, and with that we created a new beach.

Who are you targeting as members?

Most of our members are Peruvians that were not aware of the possibilities of having a boat or are looking for a premium club. We have 700 members now and hope to reach 900 by the close of 2017. Of those, 170 have some kind of boat. Many members love nautical sports and activities, and they have both small and big boats. We have all of the social members that were looking for a club with this kind of high-end drive. We also made a strategic decision to have our own chef and kitchen. Most of the clubs outsource this work, but we did it in house because we want to be different and well perceived. We have 500 members who are here just for this—to be with their friends and family in this exclusive ambiance.

What is your strategy to consolidate the business and distinguish the marina?

We have been working with a low profile marketing approach; that is what our members like, as do our potential members. We promote ourselves by ensuring that our members totally satisfied with everything they find here. We conduct satisfaction studies every six months in which we ask members to rate us 1-5. On average, we receive scores between 4.3 and 4.4, and sometimes even a full 5 in certain areas. We study and work to be excellent in all the aspects of the club, from decorations to security. We see between seven and 10 new members a month, which is a lot for a club this size. That is the most important part of our marketing plan—to maintain the loyalty of our members so that they will bring us referrals and friends. We like operating in this manner.

What are your targets for 2016?

One thing that we are doing well compared to the rest of the market is maintaining our new members' monthly level, as most of the real estate business is low right now because there are a lot of questions concerning the political situation; people are waiting to see what will happen. This club is doing well because we are not a kind of real estate investment, and people know what we are about. Most of the projects that I have been involved with are more in the planning process. Investors are not convinced about launching projects in the market because of the state of politics and the economy. We have a lot of projects, like tourist projects in Cuzco and the north of Peru that are well conceived and well prepared, and we are working on a second residential project outside of Lima, as well as marinas in different parts of the city. My specialty is always doing something unique, not just investing and selling, but something special. Those are always the most difficult projects to sell.

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