René Banglesdorf never expected that she would end up selling business jets. Even after following her husband into aviation, and flexing her marketing skills, she never expected that a few years later, she would complete her first sale of a Gulfstream G450.
Now based in Austin and heading Charlie Bravo Aviation with 15 specialised jet brokers under her wing, René has also built a reputation as someone who is dedicated to helping other women in the industry.
“The challenge is that some men are chauvinists and they do not take women seriously,” she says. “On the flipside, there are some people who believe a woman to be more honest and conscientious.”
Was aviation something you were always interested in?
“No, it wasn’t. My studies in college were in journalism. The reason I loved journalism was because it was something new and different every day, and honestly that it what appeals to me about being a jet broker.”
What do you think your younger self would say if she was told that she would end up selling aircraft for a living?
“I think I would have asked the person who told me that if they wanted another drink.”
Do you still get a satisfaction once you have sold an aircraft?
“Absolutely, I wouldn’t class myself as a sales person – I would say I’m a leader, an executive and a strategist – but there is something about closing a sale that doesn’t get old.”
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a broker?
“I think the most important thing is to have good knowledge, to not take rejection personally, and to be yourself. So many people put up airs and act like they are something they are not, but there are some very savvy people in the industry, and that’s not going to work with them.”
What makes a good aircraft broker?
“You need to be able to relate to all sorts of people and speak on a number of levels. You need to be able to tell a CEO about the financial benefits of an aircraft, the technical details to a pilot, and the residual value to a potential buyer. A good broker is involved and specialised. Many brokers know a little bit about every type of aircraft, but my employees know a lot about certain types of airplanes.”
Do you come across much unethical practice in the industry?
“I think there are more snakes than there are people with integrity.”
Does that affect people’s perceptions of you as a broker?
“It does. I’m working with two clients now where that’s the case, because they have been burnt by other brokers.”
Read more profiles of business jet brokers on Corporate Jet Investor.