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Old 09-09-2012, 07:06   #16
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

Also ... in the US ... if something isn't up to ABYC spec I prefer to know about it up-front ... not when my surveyor tells me.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:27   #17
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Having recently purchased a boat, I will provide two answers...

What should a good brokerage website include? Photos- thumbnails that link to full size photos. A full 360 video on U-Tube showing all parts of the boat would be nice. All statistics on vessel- SA/D, HP/D, etc. honest evaluation of electronics, for sample, I have a Ray ST3000, work fine, many do not need the latest VHF or auto, just one that they know works.

What should a good buyer/broker website include? All the above and an honest appraisal of the boat. Since the buyer will often be traveling a distance to see the boat, tell them upfront that the deck core is mush where the chainplate goes through. Or that if you take the engine to the normal RPM it blows so much white smoke it looks like a new Pope was elected. Or that the water tanks leaks if you fill it all the way (I have experienced all of this and more). In a perfect world the broker requires a survey before listing the boat and then discloses the survey and what was fixed to the buyer. The documentation and/or information would not be made available as part of the normal website, or even to tire-kickers. Only potential buyers that have demonstrated that they are ready, willing and able to buy. The buyer would still have to do his/her own survey for insurance and liability- but the buyer would not be blowing a chunk of change to discover something the seller and broker knew, but did no disclose. The state of the vessel information would differentiate the broker and could become a powerful marketing tool. BUT I recognize that the odds of this paragraph becoming reality are marginal!!!

Please PM me a link to the final product, it will be interesting to see the final product.

Bill
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:59   #18
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

Plan layouts, even sketched and scanned. And make them in a large enough photo to be read on the computer when you view them. Walkthrough videos are also wonderful, and perhaps even better than a plan view if the camera is panned slowly. Then you see the actual configuration and precisely where everything is and what condition it's in.

If the broker can't be bothered to take 10 minutes for each boat he's listing to make a video with a handheld digital video camera and upload it to YouTube then he doesn't want to sell the boat in my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:56   #19
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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Originally Posted by WebWench View Post
What often bugs me is when brokers either only list the standard description of what the normal layout and features of a model are or if they mix specifics to the boat into that description.

I would like to see two sections:
Standard model features
Upgrades, additions, changes that apply to this particular boat.
Ok. Whilst still early days on the actual content - my feeling is that this won't be fully possible for every boat (at least not pn a formal 2 sections basis), partly because for some vessels no one will know what is standard and what is not and because it costs time (and therefore money) for someone to research - with no guarantee of a definative answer.........so rather than leaving a empty section (that IMO simply screams NFI ) then better to meld all that into some general commentary about the features.

.....but notwithstanding that, I would envisage that any material non-standard modifications that were identified by Vendor or Broker would be mentioned. i.e. that the feel keel was shortended by 3 foot or the head was now located somewhere else (on deck? ).........but not that a tea towel rail had now been fitted .....obviously lots of stuff in the middle of those examples, but I think the decider will be a) how noticeable the changes are (badly done?!) and b) how material they are.

But certainly upgrades / replacement of equipment will be mentioned (where known)....a bit more on that in a following reply (when I have written it ).
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Old 09-09-2012, 13:17   #20
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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Originally Posted by Coops View Post
Pics are important, especially for those a fair distance away. Also, a walk around tour with a video camera is an excellent and beneficial sales tool. Circle the boat first on the outside and work your way all over and down below.
Yeah, some youtube is on the agenda - I figure if someone is having a look at the boat it only takes a few more minutes to shoot some video on top of snapping some pics. In 2012 IMO almost becoming an ommission not to.

The plan is to write a basic script (?) so each video follows the same format. Like you say, outside first, then deck etc and inside. Some standard(ish) commentary but probably not much.

This is pretty much what I am thinking, including in length (a couple of mins).



(Not my boat - a sistership)

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Having worked as a broker on two occasions my advice to you David is be prepared to spend a lot of time with dreamers and those who have no clue as to what they want. You will be amazed at how many of those there are.

Coops.
I would not be amazed. Punters . But don't worry. that end is totally sorted I ain't doing any of that . The idea of a decent website listing is to cut down on the (unplanned) work for the Brokerage - but am under no delusions that it will make much of a dent in the numpty punter end of things, it's about helping actual buyers (if a boat sells a tad quicker then for that boat will be less numpty opportunity).

Just FYI, this project has 2 stages. The first is the Brokers Website listing revamp and only if that goes well enough (for both) and with some prospect of being future benefit for both will there be a 2nd stage (I always like to have an Exit Stategy for everything before I start ).

and even that 2nd stage won't involve me getting hands on with the Punters, at least not on the standard Jersey brokerage side (that won't ever be my business - and I ain't looking for an actual job as a full time anything, let alone as a broker - more on the stuff that will hopefully overlap nicely for me later ).

But nonetheless I might well end up doing some boat visits to snap the pics and write up the details - but that is partly "paid" for by enjoying poking around boats and is of course stuff that can be done at my conveniance. or not at all .
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Old 09-09-2012, 13:42   #21
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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A link to a flow chart of the buying/ selling process and each step involved,will inform buyers a bit more and make your life easier too.
Yeah, I like a flow chart and certainly agree that done well will make the Brokers life easier (which is of course a large part of the purpose of this project - but nontheless just to say that IME making own life easier (quicker / more profitable) is not exlusive to providing a better / cheaper service to the Punters, in fact IME the two are closely linked........and to acheive that often enough requires getting everyone singing from the same hymn sheet - for which you of course first need a hymn sheet (or a flow chart ).
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Old 09-09-2012, 13:49   #22
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

Hi David - Interesting thread.

You mentioned that you thought the Yachtworld service was too expensive, so let me ask, then - for a basic listing system with roughly the same data, with an easy-to-use form page for entering boat details and uploading images, what do you and your 'client' think would be a fair annual price?

Reason I ask is that I'm a web-application developer and I do this and similar work almost daily. For a related personal project I spent some time analyzing YW and other listing systems. Your feedback would help me determine whether there's enough demand to market something simple that any broker might want.

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:02   #23
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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One thing I hate is " radar, Hf, Vhf, auto pilot ect, ect new 2001 when it is 2012.
It should say all electronics working but need upgrading. New should mean just that or at least still under warranty.
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When I look at boat ads, I LOVE the pictures, they tell so much. Also, when listing the equipment - if you can list how old the item is - a 5 month old radar is MUCH nicer to have on a boat than a 10 year old one. It will give the person an idea of how much it will cost to re-equip or repair in the future. The more information you can give on a boat, the better.
The plan is to list every last bit of equipment - apart from helping a buyer (to buy!) - a list will need to done at time of sale. To my mind just makes sense to do that from day 1 when both Vendor and Broker are still interested! plus of course having all the equipment listed saves aggro later whe folks get "confused" over what was sold with the boat and what was not.....and when that involves the broker it costs time (which is of course money - even though no cheque involved).

On the age, condition and servicability end of things I will say a bit more on that in a subsequent post - but bottom line is that any Broker will be in the hands of a Vendor(!!) for that information. Nonetheless it would be my intention to state at least whether the equipment is claimed (by Owner) to work. and age / model types where possible. But with some things the owner will have NFI.

Regarding whether boat equipment needs upgrading, to my mind that is a judgement call solely for the buyer to make. Obviously if the port winch does not actually work then the answer is yes, it needs replacing. But if they are both servicable (and no funny sounds!) but are single speed with no self tailing and are 25 years old - do they need upgrading? It would obviously be nice? but needed is a judgement call (and no doubt reflected in price - especially if comparing against other vessels that have been "upgraded).

The same being true for electronics - does an old (working) radar need upgrading? 10 years ago it was the bees knees (and sold as such). Newer is likely better, but that not the same as need. Indeed, even if it is no longer working then doesn't mean a buyer cares.

Of course I too chuckle at the adverts that say new in 2001 . But nonetheless that is useful to know, probably the best words are "installed" or "upgraded" or "replaced".
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:06   #24
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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Also ... in the US ... if something isn't up to ABYC spec I prefer to know about it up-front ... not when my surveyor tells me.
I am not sure what ABYC spec is? (Not applicable as not in the US - but am nosey and too lazy too google ) - I am guessing some sort of basic seaworthiness standard? Is that at design only? or an current thing?
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:23   #25
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

Oh another pet hate is "SISTER SHIP".
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:28   #26
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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What should a good buyer/broker website include? All the above and an honest appraisal of the boat. Since the buyer will often be traveling a distance to see the boat, tell them upfront that the deck core is mush where the chainplate goes through. Or that if you take the engine to the normal RPM it blows so much white smoke it looks like a new Pope was elected. Or that the water tanks leaks if you fill it all the way (I have experienced all of this and more).

In a perfect world the broker requires a survey before listing the boat and then discloses the survey and what was fixed to the buyer. The documentation and/or information would not be made available as part of the normal website, or even to tire-kickers. Only potential buyers that have demonstrated that they are ready, willing and able to buy. The buyer would still have to do his/her own survey for insurance and liability- but the buyer would not be blowing a chunk of change to discover something the seller and broker knew, but did no disclose. The state of the vessel information would differentiate the broker and could become a powerful marketing tool. BUT I recognize that the odds of this paragraph becoming reality are marginal!!!
Yes, you are 100% right .........

......the odds of your suggestions becoming reality are marginal. if that .

But I do understand exactly what you are saying. Certainly my intention in the "numpty guide to selling a boat" page (probably be called something else ) is to suggest that a Vendor having a pre-sale Survey completed is both a very useful marketing tool and a way of holding up the price (by fixing stuff a buyer or surveyor will later spot, except Vendor gets the chance to fix at own conveniance - which is usually cheaper).

But at the end of the day a pre-sale survey is a Vendors own judgement to make (and cash to spend) - and to be fair, depending on value of the boat and / or condition not always important. But certainly will be trying to get copies of any and all old Survey reports (whether 2 or 20 years old!) as they all contain useful info on what went wrong and when and how well (or if!) ever fixed. Won't be in the public listing, but nonetheless available to anyone who gets in contact (Broker needs to keep some cheese!).

Nonetheless, I think you have touched on a fundamental point and a pet frustration of pretty much everyone who has ever dealt with a Broker and visited a boat less than accurately described ....and then wondered WTF did they waste their own time???!!! let alone yours .

At the moment I can't say for sure how all that will be dealt with (not my business so not my final call) but I am thinking that an honest assessment (see my previous comments on grading boats on condition from 1 to 3) is a time (and therefore money) saver for the Broker (as well as the Punter), however delivered. Personally I think that the backstop answer is simply not to list a boat if the asking price is wildly disconnected to the condition and the (less than ideal) condition cannot be accurately described. Of course I have no problem with listing anything - whether mint or a pile of poo , just makes no business sense to pretend the latter is the former.


Quote:
Please PM me a link to the final product, it will be interesting to see the final product.

Bill
I will post up a screenshot of the starting point and an actual link to the finished product (well, the mark 1 version - no doubt it will be a WIP). The Mods can then decide whether to give me the black spot at that point .
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:31   #27
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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Plan layouts, even sketched and scanned. And make them in a large enough photo to be read on the computer when you view them.
I would love to do plan layouts - even if not exactly to scale.

But a) I don't know how (quickly and easily) and b) at the moment I can't be arsed to learn ......but I have seen it done well, so definately on the Radar as is very effective.
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:33   #28
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

Look at what real estate brokers are doing for their photos: they use a special camera that takes a 360 degree panorama and then show it to you on their website with a web interface that lets you tilt, pan, and zoom. The interior of a boat is a lot tougher to shoot than the interior of a house, but if you could make it work this would be a good sales too.
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:35   #29
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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Oh another pet hate is "SISTER SHIP".
+1

But I suspect that their are circumstances where it is neccessary. and is better than SFA. Ideally only a temporary measure, although I am only too well aware that "temporary" has a way of taking root .

To my mind would be acceptable(ish) if came with an explanation as to why no pics of actual boat - and that was only a temporary thing.
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:48   #30
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Re: Content Ideas for a Broker's Website - Ideas Wanted!

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+1

But I suspect that their are circumstances where it is neccessary. and is better than SFA. Ideally only a temporary measure, although I am only too well aware that "temporary" has a way of taking root .

To my mind would be acceptable(ish) if came with an explanation as to why no pics of actual boat - and that was only a temporary thing.
We see this all the time. Don't do it ever. It's bait and switch. The other and similarly misleading pics are the ones from the factory brochures or websites. Also no cell phone pics. But that was covered earlier in the high resolution part.

I am constantly amazed by 'professional' brokers that can't even give engine hours. Geesh. Done ranting.
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