Navigating the Global Network: Belen Martin on Leading the World League of Agents
In the world of maritime services, where efficiency and reliability are paramount, the World League of Agents (WLoA) has emerged as a symbol of excellence. Belen Martin, the founder of WLoA, shares her insights into the organisation’s formation and its remarkable journey of providing services in thousands of ports and marinas worldwide. Discover how this unique network of well-established agencies prioritises customer service and cultivates lasting partnerships to ensure a consistent, high-quality experience for clients across the globe. Join us as we explore the vision and dedication driving the World League of Agents in this exclusive interview.
What inspired the formation of the World League of Agents, and what is the core vision driving your coalition?
The inspiration came from our clients right from the start. We were constantly getting requests from our clients about companies similar to Evolution in other areas of the globe, equally our clients were talking to us about great experiences they were having and recommending agencies in Croatia, the Caribbean, Italy, etc. We started hearing the same names from our clients and understood that the clients in Spain who liked what Evolution was offering were recommending the same companies in other cruising areas so it was just a matter of connecting with these agencies. In terms of our core vision, we are all 300% client focused, so it’s as simple as providing excellent customer service and keeping the client at the forefront of our businesses.
Can you elaborate on how the World League of Agents manages to provide services in thousands of ports and marinas worldwide?
There is only one member of The League per country, each agency is well-established – operating already for at least 10 years – and offers comprehensive services to support all departments onboard in all ports. This means that each time a new member comes onboard (so to speak) The World League of Agents is expanding its services by a whole nation!
What sets your yacht services apart from others in the industry, especially in terms of tailoring to individual needs?
The fact that the people driving the agency services are all local and 100% committed to providing the best service, in all member agencies you will find the founders of the company present and available. All companies have grown with the market so have been through the trials and tribulations of understanding what the client needs and what/who the best resources and service providers are. We all value the personal touch, so view every captain, every vessel, every guest as unique in their
wants and needs.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in coordinating such a vast network of services, and how do you overcome them?
That is the best thing about the World League of Agents, there is very little “co-ordination” as such, we are all independent companies working and thriving and our aim is to just keep it that way! The power of this network is based on the power of its members individually. We don ́t need help from each other when in our own territory but we need each other when our clients request help in foreign countries.
How do you ensure a consistent and high-quality experience for your clients across different global locations?
Again, this high-quality service and experience is the priority for all the companies so now we are accountable to each other to keep this up but the reason each member is here is because this is exactly what they offer. They don ́t depend on the success of this network, but our own success makes this network stronger. Let ́s say that we go the other way around to what the industry is used to in terms of agency.
Could you share insights into your in-house concierge and VIP services and how they enhance the yachting experience?
We are all service companies, even if we are providing spare parts or caviar, at the end of the
day the client is looking for optimum service so we don’t look at concierge and VIP services as “enhancing” the yachting experience, they ARE the yachting experience. The most valuable insight I guess is that we always answer the client directly and promptly, the client needs to know they are tended to so they can move on with all the other thousands of things they have going on. Everyone can deliver a tomato, but not many people can deliver that type of tomato, at that exact time and at that specific location.
How significant is the role of legal and customs support in your service offerings, and what unique challenges do they address?
Legal and customs departments are becoming more and more relevant year after year and, yes, they bring lots of challenges. Vessels nowadays are more capable and sophisticated so are their support systems and needs. Cruising international borders at a moment’s notice and on a regular basis means that you need to have a good contact in every corner! If we have a client asking for help at the other side of the planet, thanks to the connections and high standards of the WLoA, we can ensure today that we can help at all levels.
How does the World League of Agents plan to expand or enhance its services in the near future?
We receive enquiries from all over the globe about new companies that want to join the WLoA but we take this selection very seriously. It ́s all about strategy and priorities. We tend to observe the industry first, and then decide where we should go and where we should be. Inviting a new member is the easiest part of this League. The strength of each member makes other countries want to be part of it. We just must hit the nail on the head.
In an industry that is closely tied to marine environments, what measures does the World League of Agents take to promote sustainability?
As an organisation we don’t dictate what each member does, we are all leaders in our field and so yes the questions of sustainability is familiar to us all, along other very relevant issues such as waste management, crew well-being, professional development, transparency, etc. To maintain our leading position in the market we each have to confront the challenges of today in our area as well as on the global front.
As the owner, what has been your most rewarding experience in leading the World League of Agents, and what future goals do you have for the coalition?
The most rewarding experience has been getting to know all the members in person. This
reinforced my conviction that they are indeed the ones to be part of this network. We all have a good story behind us and we still have at least one hand on the helm! Although we all have different personalities, we all share the same goals. For futures goals of the network, please stay tunned.