We’re very happy to be joined by Dan Lockyer to continue our Meet our Client Series. Dan is the Managing Director at Dream Yacht Charter the World leader in Yacht Chartering.
Tasked with developing a brand new WordPress website for Dream Yacht Charter we pushed the boundaries of API development, becoming the first agency in the world to directly implement the SEDNA API. We leveraged WordPress Multisite to build five regional sites and this will support Dream Yacht Charter as they continue to scale their international expansion. Other key features of the site development included connecting regional specific payment gateways to ensure seamless payment processing for end users and a CRM integration.
We caught up with Dan at The London Boat Show and asked him to share some news from Dream Yacht Charter, what it’s like working with Moove Agency and his role as Managing Director.
Quick-Fire Questions: About Dream Yacht Charter
Q. Can you give us an introduction to Dream Yacht Charter?
We offer yacht charters and sailing holidays worldwide, as well as selling yachts into charter management.
Dream Yacht Charter & Moove Agency
Q. We have worked together since early 2016, what has your experience been of working with us?
It has been great; we had a clear idea of what we wanted on the website and how it should work. Your development team understood the yacht management system SEDNA pretty quickly which is no mean feat! Your understanding of our objectives is great, your responsiveness is very very fast, and we feel we are making really good progress. There is a lot more we will be working on together moving forward.
Q. What was the reason that you wanted to work with Moove Agency on your website project?
The project was unique and complex – we knew we wanted a WordPress front-end and highly bespoke development on the PHP database in the backend. The proposal that we received from Moove Agency at the start showed that you clearly understood what we were looking to do and we felt confident that you were able to deliver.
Q. Having developed your new website from scratch, has it had an impact on the amount of new leads that Dream Yacht Charter receive?
It has, we’ve already seen organic traffic engagement go up by 85% and not only has it generated more leads, but they are also more qualified leads. The client interaction is much higher, the average time that people are spending on the site is better and the bounce rate has lowered. The new website puts the user in control so that they can see the fleet availability in real-time, see the pricing and make a decision to book.
Q. How did you build up Dream Yacht Charter to the world leader in yacht chartering?
The company grew through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions; there are a lot of companies that make up the group now. We expanded the fleet by selling boats into management so that we can have private owners owning the boats. We are unique in the industry in that our split is about 50/50 between boats that we own and boats that we manage on behalf of owners.
Your Role as Managing Director
Q. What’s your career background?
I was a yacht captain in Greece in the late 1990s, I decided that I needed to get a real job and sit behind a desk, so I started work for a charter agency selling charters. I then went on to build Charter Agency as the market leading price consolidator of the yacht industry, and in 2015 I sold Charter Agency to Dream Yacht Charter. I had always worked very closely with Dream Yacht Charter as a partner of Charter Agency and had an excellent relationship with the CEO and so I joined and we applied what we had learnt from the Charter Agency organisation to Dream Yacht Charter’s current operation.
Q. What challenges do you face in 2018?
The biggest challenge is to grow brand awareness and charter sales. The plan is to take more of the business direct from charter clients and to have less reliance on charter brokers.
Q. How do you decide what new features to develop for your clients?
Our programmes are constantly evolving; we are always adding new destinations and investing in the fleet. From a technological point of view, we are very focused on having a good user experience within the site and putting the user in control.
Q. What has worked well for you in growing marketing outreach?
Very simply, partnerships. We do a lot of shows, we run email campaigns and PPC and SEO are also key for us.
Q. What are your favourite sources of information that help you stay on top of the latest industry trends?
I have quite a few Google News alerts set up, and we have signed up to a number of industry newsletters which keeps us up to speed with the developments. The boat shows are a great source of information and that’s where we learn the most; it’s a very small world and everyone knows each other.
Q. And finally, what’s next for Dream Yacht Charter?
Continued growth: break the 1,000 yacht barrier and grow our market share. We’re also potentially looking at a few acquisitions and the Italian site will go live in the immediate future.
Thanks, Dan! Here’s to our continued collaboration!
Read more about our successful collaboration with Dream Yacht Charter in our case study.
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