High-tech jet sales firm home based in Cape Coral
The newest way to buy your own personal aircraft online may be coming from the place you might least expect, a small office building in the middle of Cape Coral.
Started by a pair of local commercial pilots in 2016, Aircraftsales.US is a tech startup looking to capture its share of the growing online market for buying and selling planes. In many ways, modern consumers are starting to get used to the idea of regularly purchasing big ticket items like furniture or cars online, and it looks like the market for aircraft may be making the same shift. Cameron Schwartz, a spokesperson for Aircraftsales.US, said that online sales listings for planes have existed for many years, but were mostly treated as an afterthought from established publications. The Cape Coral based firm is looking to take advantage of a buying process built from the ground up to utilize the potential of internet commerce.
“It seemed like there was an opportunity to improve the process of buying and selling, especially when it came to the marketing of airplanes,” said Schwartz. “For decades it was advertise in a magazine, and in the last few years they have just thrown them online, too. In the modern world no one is looking at publications for information on what the airplane market looks like anymore, but customers are still paying for it. We’re going for a 100 percent tech focused online site and because of that, we can offer much more competitive rates.”
The site offers modern features that have been previously gated-off from customers by the competition, like allowing users to create and edit their own listings at will instead of going through an agent. The site has also focused on social media integration, allowing users to share their listing on all the major platforms and maximize potential outreach. One of the largest features setting Aircraftsales.US apart, according to Schwartz, is the amount of information available in each listing. The company views the site as a learning tool which not only presents the aircraft for sale but also provides the potential buyer with information about performance and other aspects that allow them to compare aircraft on the fly.
“In the past, you would have to visit several different websites to compile the information and compare aeroplanes,” said Schwartz. “As we add aircraft in, we include all that information and, as people add their own aircraft, all of those really important specifications are auto populated, and as time goes on more aircraft enter our database and it becomes more robust.”
The site first went live in its beta form in January of 2017 and now features more than 800 listings from classic single-prop aircraft to multi-million dollar luxury jets. Schwartz estimates that those listings represent between 8 and 10 percent of the total market share, and with listing and traffic consistently up month after month, expects to see that number continue to grow.
The online marketplace has allowed Aircraftsales.US to exist in Cape Coral in a way that it probably could not a decade ago, and Schwartz sees that growth as a way for the city to diversify its economy in a way the local politicians and business leaders have been trying to do for years.
“It’s kind of exciting that it can be done anywhere in the world, and I think companies like this are actually great for Cape Coral. The complaint about businesses in the Cape has always been it’s so far from the interstate, this and that, but the simple fact is there are a lot of great people in the Cape that need work and, if it is an internet or digital style business, this is a fantastic place to do it. The neighbor on our floor is also a technology software company so it’s almost like we have a mini Cape Coral incubator going on here.”