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Old 28-12-2014, 19:26   #16
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

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Originally Posted by Summitfun View Post
Julie,
Good luck with your search. Do you remember the clown's name by chance? My shopping starts after the boat show">Miami Boat Show. It may just save me a trip to MD.
Thanks,
Mike
I think rereading the thread and a very quick Google will answer that for you.
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Old 28-12-2014, 19:33   #17
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

summitfun,

She wrote the name of the good broker, right there in her first post! It is Jim Ireland in Annapolis.
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Old 28-12-2014, 22:18   #18
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

My first contact with a broker was 18 months ago, that was a very disappointing experience. For instance when I asked a sketch of the layout below decks, this what I got.FD50.pdf
Needless to say the last asking price (a year after that) was 40% below the initial marketed price.

Since then I met face to face with 7 brokers, and every single one was hard to contact, to extract information from. What do they want, details of my bankaccount? And in those 2 cases I really wanted to buy, they were not very helpful. Out of these 7 brokers one of the brokers have followed up with a phonecall and another one with an email.

Yes, I can relate to Julie’s story meeting brokers with tanned arms, brilliant white shirts and a sailing history to be envied (if one believes that). And the story form Jim Cate? Again, we had a similar experience, travelled 6000 km to a tropical island to find something very difficult to buy. Just as well we had booked a weeks’ accommodation and made some sort of a holiday out of that trip.
In fact I wrote down my experiences with brokers in my blog.

One other experience: A largish brokerage (with 3 or 4 people employed) boasts their selling skills in the testimonials: “…sold boat 3 days after listing”. Hmmm, I had contacted them for 2 different boats 12 months apart and each time it took them 2 to 3 emails and 2 phonecalls to respond, and that process took 10 to 14 days. Sold in three days? Don’t think so. Physically impossible.

Brokers do not take any risk whatsoever, except that they invest in a phone (to answer a call to make luncheon dates), computer (to answer an email occasionally), and a swish waterfront office.

My professional background is selling, maybe not in big ticket items as in boats, but retail management. And indeed I know that qualifying a buyer is nearly an art form. I am sure the Web inundates the brokers with keel-kickers and day-dreamers.
In the end I wonder how all those people can earn a living. And certainly a commission as a straight percentage of the selling price is in my view not a correct way of rewarding the little effort of the brokers. Of course for any good, hard working, ethical brokers: that shoe does not fit you.

I believe the commission of brokers should be rewarded along the following lines:
1. - Correct initial marketing price (hmmm, this is not a valuation, as often these days valuation is much higher than the price a buyer can get for his boat in that geographical location)
2. - Final selling price is close to that, the further the selling price is removed from the initial price, the less the broker gets, and this reduction should be not linear as it is now!!
3. - Quick sale is rewarded, if it takes longer to sell the boat, the commission is reduced.

How many brokers are there? Thousands in a small country like Australia. I can't see they add value to the boat. They all feed on the buyers/sellers!!

Last point: in theory they are getting paid by the seller, so they should act in the best interest of that party. However it seems that often the broker wants to sell the boat at a very low price and convincing or pressuring the seller to sell at a price lower than he /she expected/wanted. For instance, for the broker a 8% fee of $!20k is still $9,600 and is better than a no-sale with a potential fee of $12,000. For the seller the difference in his pocket is 120,000-9600=$110k (close enough) as opposed to 150,000-12,000=$138k.

Back the to initial post: No, I have not met a prize wining broker.

Any brokers on this forum, wishing to comment?
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:37   #19
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

i spent a week in florida looking at boats we ran into the same thing ,, rented a car must have looked at 50 boats in florida ,, waited until i came to panama ,, bought from an individual much cheaper
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Old 29-12-2014, 13:02   #20
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

I had a broker in Florida get upset that I asked the engine hours on the vessel, then after numerous unsettling e-mails, he told me that he used to be a collection agent and would ruin me! He looked up my information and posted it on FaceBook for all to see, phone number, home address everything! I looked up his name and he and his Texas collection company was sued numerous times for collecting money and not forwarding the proper share to the clients that hired him! His collection company went out of business and now he sells boats in Florida!
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Old 29-12-2014, 17:45   #21
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Ok so i had a great experience with the buyers broker that i used in Kemah Tx.-- Kent Little of Little Yacht sales. When i first went to see Kent, i explained our needs, my experience level, and what we were looking for. I gave him an idea of what we wanted to spend and he started searching for me.-- Ilived very close to his office and probably went on 50 different boats with him while he explained plus and minus for each boat from his viewpoint. He also took time to explain carefully what exactly the financial ins and outs were and what to expect from a buyers broker. Eventuyally we settled on two different models of boats that my wife and i were interested in. Kent then began searching diligently for one of those two that he thought would meet all of our needs- we looked at several without finding the one that was going to be "our boat". He never lost patience with us and stayed in consistent contact. He actually found our boat while on a trip to Fla with another client. He called me from FLa and asked if i would be interested and offered to go by and check it out for us initially at no charge. I took him up on the offer and he said it looked good. He recommended three surveyors from the local area in Tx and told me to interview them and pick the one I liked. I did and the surveyor, my wife and I flew out to the boat and looked it over-- it passed with some issues that dropped the price considerably due to the surveyors diligence ( Lou Stahlberg). Kent then helped line up a delivery skipper to help bring the boat back. It all went without a hitch- he has since been free with advice and with sharing his extensive list of boating contacts. It has been two years since we bought "Time to Go" our Gulfstar 51 but I have yet to see another boat that I have liked better that was remotely near our price range. Keep trying till you find a broker that works for you and WALK AWAY if you dont like them- you are not looking for a personal friend but for a business partner. Also finding a reputable surveyor was key. Kent never says a bad thing about another vendor/yard etc. He just says - "well this is who I use and I have heard so and so is good too. Incidently he did not make a ton of money from our boat sale- we did not have that kind of budget but he certainly earned a great reference.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:49   #22
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

[QUOTE=You likely wouldn't turn down a boat you really liked because of a broker, or buy a boat because you liked the broker, so these types somehow survive.[/QUOTE]

No, but I did buy a boat once where I refused to deal with the seller's broker and hired my own "buyer's broker" to do the deal instead.
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Old 29-12-2014, 21:22   #23
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Brokers generally aren't bad folk in my experience but because there is not a common certification but usually only a brokerage owners opinion that a particular individual is knowledgeable, competent and motivated, you end up with a boat load of turkeys that have trouble finding their ass with both hands!
A personal reference is probably the strongest recommendation you can get so ask around who has done the best job for someone you trust. The number of stories similar to the first post are uncountable hence the crappy reputation brokers are working to overcome.
I've used a couple of brokers with whom I had good or great experiences on the delivery end of the business but had many more really bad encounters with brokers who frankly didn't know the blunt end from the pointy end of a boat!
Both buyers and sellers should beware! Phil
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Old 29-12-2014, 22:14   #24
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Some many years ago, a friend of ours in the SF area had a bad divorce and lost his business and most everything else as well. He was a sailor, and talked his way into a job at a fairly big brokerage. It was hard times in the used boat biz, and our friend set out to sell boats. In the first quarter he worked there, the owner and the other three salesmen sold some dozen boats between them. Our friend sold nearly forty. I asked him what his secret was, and it was pretty hi tek: he listened to what the customer said he wanted, and then set out to find it for them. Didn't try to push them up the budget slope, didn't try to sell what was in stock, didn't try to influence the customer unless asked. Worked the telephones a lot (long before internet), listened to the bush telegraph and was very successful. His workmates just hated him...

There's a lesson there for brokers to learn, I think, if they would only pay attention.

Jim
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:24   #25
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Absolutely Jim..... Even in the Superyacht price range..... The lack of work ethic of some brokers is amazing.

As an owners rep I gave them all the same well defined brief and the successful ones listened and delivered.
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:07   #26
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

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I asked him what his secret was, and it was pretty hi tek: he listened to what the customer said he wanted, and then set out to find it for them. Didn't try to push them up the budget slope, didn't try to sell what was in stock, didn't try to influence the customer unless asked. Worked the telephones a lot (long before internet), listened to the bush telegraph and was very successful.
An article I read recently quoted a broker as saying how hard they work and that their time is precious. I could only think of one broker we've met who didn't come across as having a lot of time on their hands. They seemed to take a very passive approach. Some had retired and were doing this so they had something to do.

Jim, your friend's approach to selling boats is just common sense yet so few brokers I've met practice that. A sales trainer once told me, "Sales is the easiest low paying job and the hardest high paying job." From what I've seen, most brokers seem to take the former approach.

I've come to the conclusion that I will have to do pretty much all the work involved in finding the right boat: determining if the condition warrants the cost of a survey, engine inspection and rigging inspection; determining what the right offer will be; deciding how to handle the results of the inspections and if we should proceed through to the purchase.

I'm not expecting the broker to have any valuable input in the process. If they do, great, but I only expect them to show me the boat and hope the questions I ask about it are answered honestly.

I've also learned along the way to never put much stock in the pictures and description given in a listing. From what I've seen, I would never buy a boat sight-unseen unless someone I trust saw the boat and took pictures for me. If brokers want to improve their reputation, making the listings current and accurate would be a good place to start.
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:35   #27
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

It took me several years of looking, and watching various boats I was interested in get snapped up, before I was able to get pretty much what I was looking for. I talked to numerous brokers, flew distances to look at "turds", eliminated other manufacturers as I went along. Some brokers I would talk to again, others made me pretty angry.
I used to be a surveyor so it was pretty easy to see what was being glossed over, and those were the insults that made me walk away.
The most absurd - at an in-water boat show, we approached a sailboat we'd been researching. The salesman was sitting on the deck, in lotus position. He was meditating and asked us to wait until he was done.
My comment - if you have a specific boat you want, brokers will figure that out and be less flexible in pricing. Be somewhat open minded as to manufacturer and features and be ready to pounce when "the one" comes along.
Happy shopping.
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Old 30-12-2014, 08:54   #28
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

"I've come to the conclusion that I will have to do pretty much all the work involved in finding the right boat: determining if the condition warrants the cost of a survey, engine inspection and rigging inspection; determining what the right offer will be; deciding how to handle the results of the inspections and if we should proceed through to the purchase."

Exactly! & although a lot of work/time involved etc.....you'll be very satisfied when you find what your looking for.
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Old 30-12-2014, 09:17   #29
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

OK, now my broker story. When I started shopping for my latest (last?) boat I found one on the internet that sounded interesting. I called the listing broker who answered the phone, was very nice but told me that boat had just sold. So, what is it you're looking for he asked and I'll find something else.

My reply to him: +/- 40', cutter rig preferred but might consider a sloop no other excpetions, center cockpit/aft cabin, modified fin keel with skeg rudder.

So a couple of weeks later he sent me a listing for a full keel, aft cockpit ketch. At least it was 40'.

By the way, 30 years ago I was a yacht broker and saw the business from the inside. I met a number of honest, hard working brokers but also plenty of bums, drunks and outright liars as well. One guy who was my boss for a very short time heard me talking to a customer and severely criticized me for being to honest about a boat. I was told to say anything the customer wanted to hear to get them to buy the boat.
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Old 30-12-2014, 14:14   #30
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

" If brokers want to improve their reputation, making the listings current and accurate would be a good place to start."

Boy, Julie, you got that right, and maybe to simply tell the truth would help.

Skipmac, what an awful position to be put in! your honor or your livelihood. What a scumbag boss!

Ann
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