Meet the Team: Tanja Schmid
In this Meet the Team feature, we speak to Ocean Independence Charter Consultant, Tanja Schmid.
Meet the vibrant and dynamic Tanja Schmid, the latest addition to the Ocean Independence family. With a successful career spanning the worlds of luxury real estate and yachting, Tanja seamlessly combines a deep understanding of her clients' practical and emotional needs with an undeniable passion for the yachting industry. We dive into her story as she shares her pathway to becoming an exceptional Charter Consultant.
OI: Can you share some key moments or turning points in your career that led you to the luxury yachting industry?
My career in the luxury yachting industry came about unexpectantly when I was approached to take on a Charter Consultant role with a small charter brokerage focused mainly on sail catamaran charters in the Caribbean.
Knowing very little about yachting, I was initially unsure if it would be the right fit for me, but my background in luxury real estate sales certainly helped and I quickly came to realise that many of the skills I have honed over the years were an ideal fit for this industry.
OI: What inspired you to become a Charter Consultant?
I love learning and thrive when I get the opportunity to experience something new and unique. Being a Charter Consultant gives me that opportunity every day, and it has opened a whole new world to me that I find absolutely fascinating.
I also love helping my clients plan special and unique experiences and I find that with every charter I learn something new. No day and no charter is ever the same.
OI: How do you feel your experience in luxury real estate complements your role in yacht charter? Are there any surprising similarities or differences between the two industries?
I find there are quite a few similarities between the two industries. Firstly, clients are looking for homes or yachts based on practical considerations – location, budget, amenities, size. Once those are met, they lean into their emotions and what “speaks” and “feels” right to them.
Understanding my clients' practical and emotional needs is always my goal so I can meet all their expectations. Similarly, clients come back to me brimming with excitement after they have moved into a new home, or when they return from an amazing charter, I take so much pride in knowing that I have genuinely understood who they are.
OI: You are dedicated to developing strong client relationships. Could you elaborate on your approach to understanding and meeting clients' needs?
For me, understanding my client’s needs and developing strong relationships is the key to success and like any good relationship gaining trust is important. This comes by taking the time to ask the right questions, to learn about who they are, what they enjoy, their hobbies, family life, and past experiences.
Often when chatting, our discussions will drift into a wide variety of topics which might seem totally unrelated to finding the perfect yacht for a charter. While in reality, what I learn from these discussions really helps me hone in on what I think will suit their needs and expectations. The key to understanding someone is to actively listen, and the picture will paint itself.
OI: Are there any trends or developments in the yachting industry you’re particularly excited about?
Having started my yachting career in the sailing yacht industry, I have a developed a love for luxury catamarans. I get excited when I see sail catamarans that rival in luxury to motor yachts. New design concepts in sail catamarans are capturing a new audience of charterers that dream of barefoot luxury, a more intimate yachting experience or sometimes it comes down to more sustainable factors which are increasingly important to charterers. At the end of the day, I think there is a yacht to be found for anyone.
OI: Can you tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?
I didn’t grow up on the ocean, but instead spent my summers on a freshwater lake at my family cottage. I love the water and have been an avid boater my whole life. My earliest memories are of waterskiing behind our speedboat and spending every daylight hour out on the water.
OI: What are your goals and ambitions for your new role at Ocean Independence in the coming years?
My goal is to learn something new every day about the yachting industry that helps me to grow and develop as a Charter Consultant.
OI: What is your favourite quote? Do you have a work motto?
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome - Arthur Ashe.
To learn more about Ocean Independence's Yacht Charter services, click here.