Uncovering Prospect Wealth: Airplane and Boat Ownership

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts (see: how to research doctors and nurses), many facets exist when researching prospects, especially prospects with prominent or successful careers. One thing you’ll want to look for is whether the prospect owns luxury items, such as airplanes or boats. While this might sound daunting, it’s actually pretty easy if you know where to look. Below are the resources I use when researching airplane and boat ownership.


via David Spinks

Does the prospect own an airplane?

If you have access to paid resources, such as LexisNexis and KnowX, you should be able to determine whether a prospect has a pilot’s license. If the person does have one, then it’s likely that he or she owns at least one airplane.

However, don’t worry if you don’t have access to those resources; this information is also available on a few free websites. The first website, Aircraft One, allows you to search for planes in the United States in a variety of ways, including by company or individual name. You can also use this website to look up planes owned by individuals within a certain zip code, which is an excellent way to find new prospects.

The second resource, Rego Search, allows you to search for planes in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States. To search for an owner’s name, simply use the advanced search. (Unfortunately, the owner search isn’t available for Canada, but you can still look planes up in Canada via the other search boxes, such as manufacturer, model number, and serial number.)

What’s the value of the airplane?

Once you’ve determined that your prospect owns an airplane, you can estimate the value of the airplane using one of the many free websites on which people post airplanes for sale. My favorite websites include Aircraft Dealer, Controller, Global Plane Search, and Aircraft Shopper Online. These websites allow you to search by manufacturer, year, and location in order to find planes comparable to the one you’re researching. To arrive at a number, I usually average the sale prices of planes similar to the one I am researching.


via Wikimedia

Does the prospect own a boat?

Researching boats is quite similar to researching planes. The best website I’ve found to determine whether someone owns a boat is Boat Info World, which allows you to search by company or individual name.

What’s the value of the boat?

To figure out how much the boat is worth, you can go to a variety of websites, including iboats, the American Boating Association, Boat Trader, and Yacht World. Simply average the sale prices in the same way that you would estimate the value of an airplane.

I hope this information is helpful as you research new prospects! If you have any tips or suggestions on valuing airplanes and boats, or on finding airplane or boat ownership, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at eheinlen@iu.edu.

Emily Davis began as a research associate at the Indiana University Foundation and was promoted to development analyst in 2011. In addition to assisting her science- and health-related clients with research, she has completed research for the IU and IU Foundation presidents as well as on international prospects. She received her undergraduate degrees from Ball State University and her master’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington. In her free time, she enjoys completing freelance editing and formatting work when not watching Thomas the Train with her toddler.