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Our Relationships Make Us Stronger – Aviation Associations

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National Aircraft Resales Association Aviation AssociationNBAA - National Business Aviation AssociationDallas Jet International (DJI) is a member of several professional and aviation associations.

We’ve heard the criticisms – some brokers are of the opinion that associations are a waste of time and money.  “Why would we spend money and time going to association meetings to share ideas with our competitors?”

We’ve found the exact opposite is the case – here’s why:

The Benefits of Aviation Associations

Transactions in the aviation industry depend on personal relationships and trust. DJI works with other brokers all the time; even our competitors are “friendly” competitors – we recognize the need for a healthy industry.   Every private aviation consumer that has a good experience, whether it’s with us or with our competitors, strengthens the industry. It is in our best interest to do what we can to improve the profession.

We’ve found that association meetings and conferences are a great use of our time.  As we may have the best intentions to go to lunch with associates, schedules intervene and we are rarely able to see even our local partners and associates in person on a regular basis.

However, when we’re all in the same city for the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) conference, as an example, we can meet with several clients, prospective clients, partners, other brokers and other professionals.

NBAA also offers excellent resources, information and publications.

NARA (National Aircraft Resale Association) and NAFA (National Aircraft Finance Association) are smaller, more specific organizations, but in many ways they are equally valuable. NARA has 75+ member companies, 35-40 of which are broker/dealers and others, which are associate members.  I serve on the Board of Directors at NARA as  the treasurer.

Members of both associations provide services to broker/dealers such as financing and insurance, and it certainly pays us large dividends to spend time getting to know the players. Many relationships and friendships are solidified when we meet periodically during the year to spend time working on joint objectives; indeed, many times we are able to get to know one another’s families.  Building these strong friendships benefits our clients because we have a wide and varied network of people we can call on for different needs.

As an example, last Wednesday, we received a call from a potential client for a CJ3. This person was referred to us by an associate member that we met at an association event more than a year ago.   This potential client had questions about a 1031 Like Kind Exchange, which is a very specific transaction type with some TVPX) on the phone (who we also know through an association membership) and he was able to answer every one of our potential client’s questions about this exchange strategy.

These relationships not only brought us the potential customer, but also helped us be more helpful and valuable to this potential customer.

This one exchange involved two long-standing, trusted relationships that we would not have had the opportunity to develop without our participation in the industry’s associations; and it’s certainly not an isolated example.

Long-term relationships are worth the investment.   We spend time, work and capital on building relationships, and professional associations provide us with an invaluable means of doing exactly that.

Brad Harris

Brad Harris is founder and CEO of Dallas Jet International. Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Aviation and Airway Science and a Masters Degree in human resources from Louisiana Tech University. Mr. Harris entered the aviation industry in 1989 as a corporate pilot for a Fortune 500 corporation. In 1993, he started a successful aircraft leasing and renting company which expanded to a successful aircraft management company in 1995. In 1993, Mr. Harris began his aircraft sales career and, in a very rapid fashion, became one of the most highly respected aircraft brokers in the World. In 1998, Mr. Harris started an aircraft sales, consulting, and brokerage company that is known today as Dallas Jet International. Mr. Harris is a current airline transport pilot who is type-rated in ten (10) different jet aircraft including the Gulfstream 550, 450, 350, GV, GIV, GIII, GII, Hawker 125, Falcon 10, Citation 550/500, Beechjet 400, 400A, Lockheed Jetstar II, Diamond Jet and King Air 300/350. In the many different aircraft markets, Mr. Harris parlays extensive hands-on knowledge and experience into clear results for his clientele. In addition to Mr. Harris maintaining a career focus on aircraft sales, he also has extensive experience in aviation consulting and management. Included on his client list are several clients for whom Mr. Harris and his firm have set up flight departments, consisting of aircraft crewing, aircraft management, aircraft maintenance and aircraft operating budgets. He and the firm are currently managing a Gulfstream V, a Gulfstream IV, a Falcon 50, a Citation II, a Citation ISP, a Citation Mustang, a Hawker 400XP, and two King Air 350’s.What most people do not know about Mr. Harris is that he possesses significant entrepreneurial experience in real estate and commercial insurance. This business experience, combined with his unparalleled experience in all facets of corporate aviation, has been the foundation of success for Dallas Jet International and its clients.