An art brokerage is an exciting and adventurous business. It is also a dream job for many people, especially those who love arts. Like many businesses involving art, it is a passion and knowledge-driven business, but it is also time-consuming and requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
If you have decided to start an art brokerage, there are a few things you need to know first. It requires a lot of hard work and time exploring for new pieces, as well as time spent studying them. You will spend much of your time learning because you need to have vast knowledge in the area you have chosen to specialize in.
However, these things should not scare you because if you are passionate about art, you will not view them as difficulties. Also, the good news is that you do not need any qualification or degree to be an art broker, but you must possess the ability to recognize the value in a piece of artwork and the uncanny ability to sell it. If you are still interested in setting up an art brokerage, the tips below will aid you in becoming successful.
1. Collect Unique Art
Successful art brokers recognize and collect art pieces with value. Do not just be a broker who sells to receive a commission. Instead, you can buy unique art directly from emerging artists and put them on show in your gallery. You make more significant profits when you purchase art directly from an artist and sell it to your clients.
The only downside to collecting unique art is that you will have to spend time studying it, and you will need to make sure there is a demand for that type of artwork.
2. Get Finance
Art Brokerage, like all businesses, requires investment capital. You need money to collect art, to travel the world seeking rare items, to attend local art events, and more. You also need investment to host art shows and pay for an office or gallery space.
To get finance for your art brokerage, start by seeking investors in the art world. These can be some of the contacts you made from the past art shows and events you attended. However, if you can’t find any, consider joining crowdfunding platforms or borrowing from family and friends.
Applying for a loan is also another option for business financing. Usually, to get a loan, you must have an excellent credit score. However, there are some loans you can get even with bad credit; they are called bad credit business loan. You can apply for such loans from companies like Bonsai Finance.
3. Network With People
As an art broker, you must know the major players in your specialization such as fellow brokers, artists, museums, and collectors. You can start within your neighborhood, be a regular at local museums and art galleries. Introduce yourself to the staff and discuss art with them. Starting a conversation with fellow art enthusiasts is easy as you already have something in common.
Another way to build your network in the art world is to work as an intern at an art museum or gallery in your community. If there are no jobs openings at your local gallery or museum, you can offer to volunteer.
Also, attend as many local art shows and events, especially the ones focused on your specialization. Once you are a regular at art events around your locality, shift your focus to contacting collectors of art in your specialty. You can even use some of the contacts you have established at the museum and local events to know where to find useful pieces of artwork for your collection.
4. Travel The World To Find New Rare Pieces
A considerable part of an art brokers’ jobs involves continuous studying of art. The internet has made everything easy; you can also learn about art from different parts of the world by searching online. However, it is essential you visit art museums and galleries in different parts of the world for a more intimate study.
Having a vast knowledge of art is always an advantage because it will help when convincing a client to purchase or sell a piece. So when you travel, you can also discover unique art exhibitions and rare items and get to know their real history from the people who created them. You also have the advantage of buying pieces at cheaper rates, with better profits to be made, instead of the small commission you would have made.
Aside from finding and buying rare items, another advantage of traveling the world to explore art is networking. You will have the opportunity to meet brokers, collectors, and artists at these destinations. Introduce yourself, start a conversation, and you may find yourself a new client.
5. Specialize In One Area Of Art
Art is broad, and it will be impossible to be a master in every genre. To be a successful art broker, aim to have a focus. Choose a period in art history, or a particular kind of artist, and make that your unique selling point. This will help in narrowing your business, and you will not be targeting any collector but collectors of art in your specialty.
Specialization also helps you master a field of art, making it easy for you to convince clients to make a purchase. When choosing a specialty, it is advised to pick one you love rather than one that seems profitable because it is easier to discuss something you are passionate about. Also, don’t forget to choose a specialty you have easy access to.
6. Become A Good Salesperson
To have a thriving art brokerage, you must learn the art of selling. Your job as an art broker is to convince people to purchase. A good broker should not only be able to convince a collector to buy their work, but you must also have a good reason why you are the right person to buy it from. In other words, why should they trust you? You must also possess the talent to convince buyers that the artwork is just right for them.
To develop the ability to convince people to sell and buy an art piece, you can work as a salesperson in local stores or study some basic principles of selling. It can also involve using family and friends for practice.
Overall, if you create a successful brand identity, structure your business correctly, and use all the tips listed above to establish a collector base, you will be on your way to having a thriving art brokerage business.