USA Aircraft Brokers was established by Keith Latour who started out as a flight instructor and charter pilot in 1974 and by the end of 1975, with an average workweek of 60+ hours, he had owned, operated and developed three successful flight schools, all in different cities.
With the sale of one his small aircraft to a flight student, Keith began to realized that the profit from that sale was as much as he would have earned from 4 to 5 months of hard work flying. From this point he actively began to pursue aircraft sales as a primary occupation.
Keith begin to look at developing an aircraft dealership, but through trial and error of trying to inventory aircraft for sale, the exposure of significant liability, the need of a credit line to be established to allow the purchase of aircraft, having to locate aircrafts, travel time, ferrying the aircraft, insurance and paying interest until the aircraft sold, it was determined an aircraft dealership was going to be very time-consuming and costly venture. The cumbersome process associated with maintaining the inventory severely limited the number and size of aircraft that could be managed and as a dealer inventorying was not as profitable as the initial sale that had inspired him to enter the aircraft sales business in the first place and making the dealership a non-feasible option.
Form Keith’s previous experience in real estate several years earlier had been lucrative enough to allow me to purchase most of my flight training in a relatively short period of time, it had occurred to him that the principles used in the real estate industry may apply to aircraft sales industry as well. With this principle in mind, Keith sold all his aircraft and began brokering, which quickly became extremely profitable. His first aircraft sale with the brokering concept was an aircraft listed at $100,000 and when sold made an $8,500.00 commission without having to invest any of his own money. The realization of not having to go to the bank to borrow the money, not have to insure any aircrafts, pay interest or accept product liability on the aircraft after the sale, was the prefect business opportunity the he was looking to develop a career. Within a few months he had a large number of aircraft listed and was able to live comfortably from brokering commissions.
Over the years Keith Latour began to envision a nation-wide aircraft brokerages similar to what the Remax Corporation had accomplished within the real estate industry. In 1991, Keith established USA Aircraft Brokers. Inc. with the goal of developing an aircraft brokerage company based on the same Remax real estate principle used within the real estate industry and becoming the first nationwide network of aircraft area brokers under the USA Aircraft Brokers umbrella. With computers becoming more affordable and the Internet coming of age in 1990’s, he began to see the potential fulfilment of this dream.
One of the most satisfying aspects of aircraft brokerage, in contrast to real estate or boat brokering, is that an aircraft has to potential to sell fast. An aircraft is one of the first things an individual or company will buy when their income increases. It is also the first thing they must sell when their cash flow changes. Aircraft dealers will pay the owner wholesale prices, but a broker can get top retail dollars for the owner.