Chad Anderson, Jetcraft


Chad Anderson speaks at Corporate Jet & Helicopter Finance Americas 2013.

Coming from a strong numbers background, Chad Anderson has been the president of the Jetcraft Corporation since 2005.
Chad Anderson speaks at Corporate Jet & Helicopter Finance Americas 2013.

Chad Anderson speaks at Corporate Jet & Helicopter Finance Americas 2013.

Chad Anderson got into aviation through the aircraft finance route. After graduating from the North Dakota aerospace programme, and working for Cessna and Bank of America, he was perhaps a little surprised to find himself in a sales job.

“The strengths I’m lucky enough to be told I have is being humble, being honest and being kind,” he says.

Although he believes his experiences are constantly schooling him in the complexities of the market, Anderson is modest enough to not overestimate his negotiation skills. “The people we negotiate with are masters of their art,” he says. “I wouldn’t pretend to think that we are better than them, but I would say that our ability to connect with those buyers is unique, and that is why Jetcraft has so many offices around the world.”

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a jet broker?

“I’m not sure, but I think it would have to be in aviation. I do not think I could do anything else. When I was younger I always told people that I wanted to be a bartender, but that was only so I could talk about aviation.”

What is it about aviation that appeals to you so much?

“You get a miraculous opportunity to talk with pure leaders. The people we sell to are all leaders of their industry and wonderful types to learn from.”

Are you interested in the actual aircraft?

“Well, I’m a pilot, so I can understand the front of an airplane as well as the back of it. You can always tell a pilot when they step onto an airplane. A pilot will get on and look left, where as everyone else looks right.”

How many aircraft do you sell on a yearly basis?

“I can answer that specifically. Last year we sold 54 aircraft (2011). This year, we’re on track to sell 66. Last year was a high, but we should be able to better that.”

Is that because you’ve got better at your job, or because the market has improved?

“It’s probably both. I like to think we get better with every deal we do. At the same time, the good brokers are all growing, where as the one man shops are all shrinking. That’s good for our industry.”

How else has the market changed?

“The complexities of closing a deal are getting ever more complex, because we now deal with so many different countries, clients and authorities.”

What’s the difference between a good broker and a bad broker?

“A good broker is going to give guidance and advice. It seems really simple but it is frankly uncommon. It’s very important that you always take a consultative approach whether you’re dealing with a buyer or a seller.”

What mistakes have you made in your career?

“The biggest lesson I learned was from a time when I was helping a client sell his Beechcraft. We had an offer come in and I recommended he sold it, but he wanted to wait for a higher offer and I followed his lead.”

“Three months later, we received another offer for $150,000 less and had not much choice other than to take it. I had dinner with the client after we had made the sale, and I remember him saying: ‘Chad, you did a good job. The only thing you did wrong was that you should have been harder on me.”

“I think that’s really important – to give directions to clients who are used to giving directions themselves.”