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Old 17-02-2017, 05:15   #16
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Location: Southern Maine
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Re: Career Change/Advice

If you are mechanically inclined, and interested in the field, then I believe you could write your own ticket as a marine mechanic. There are lots of old-timers who are aging out of the workforce, and good, reliable new mechanics are few and far between.

We're a little farther North (Just over the line from NH in Southern ME) but that's exactly what's happening at our marina. The old guy we all loved and trusted is sort of fading, and a new yard nearby who was courting our business lost favor after ripping off three of our members. The only other two yards in the area also have less-than-stellar reputations. We're dying for someone fair and honest to show up.

Yes, there's a bit of a learning curve. But don't sell yourself short. Mechanical ability, and a willingness to learn, is more important than being the fastest on the job. Just showing up when you say you will puts you miles ahead of the competition around here.

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Old 17-02-2017, 05:31   #17
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Re: Career Change/Advice

Marine industry is just like any other industry - you are always better off growing up within it than making a career shift.

This much said, to become a boat broker you want to get sound education in:

- basic boat survey techniques,
- valuation techniques,
- sales & marketing,
- etc.

Probably all of these you can study online. And unlike before, today you can act without a shop window.

When ready, establish a desired kind of business (many are one man - self employed style) get your tax number and other legalities done. Get an insurance cover for your little company too.

Then simply approach people with boats and offer them your services.

The hard part. The hard part is finding a buyer. This is what tells the successful broker from a broke one.

At a point you may opt for associating with one of the big players BUT beware this may bring more work load and limitations than you may like. So think twice before you do.

Good luck in your undertaking!


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Old 17-02-2017, 07:36   #18
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Re: Career Change/Advice

To be successful as a broker in the internet age you must get listings.

Mostly gone are the days when clients would call with generic requirements and looking for information. Before the internet, knowledge of what was for sale and where was valuable.

Today most buyers simply click on one of the many internet sites, select what looks interesting and call the listing broker directly. Without listings you will never get that call.

If you do get listings, service them well and learn the comps. When you do get that call you will know a lot about the market and might gain a client for a different boat if yours is not suitable.

Always work to understand the client’s needs and priorities even if he/she isn’t yet sure. Listen and listen some more. Observe.

It goes without saying that you must be honest, knowledgeable, professional and well spoken. Always be available by phone and always place the client’s time first.

Don’t use the well worn but rarely accurate clichés such as “Your first offer is usually the best one” or, “Why don’t we meet in the middle?” Worse yet, “How can I earn your business today?” That’s what the bad car salesmen do. Don’t be that guy.

At a minimum you will need to be on YachtWorld. That is $444/month for under 20 listings. Yacht Closer is very helpful for all your paperwork. That is $60/month.

Add in local/state fees and licenses, insurance, web site, other MLS sites, business cards, office supplies, professional associations, etc.

Don’t forget travel and auto expenses.

As an independent broker or Schedule C broker at a brokerage you will be paying Self Employment tax in lieu of Social Security. This is about double the regular SS.

Add it all up and it’s an easy $1,000/month, every month on top of your personal living expenses.

Some of that goes away by working at a brokerage but then you give up half your commission.

As a broker you are a salesman but also a consultant. Always put your client’s needs above your short term commission potential.

As in any sales situation, a very few do most of the business. Read up on that. A large mistake many salesmen make is not asking for the order or doing so prematurely. Read up on that as well.

Be realistic. Most people that you randomly speak with will either not but a boat from you or not buy a boat at all. Don’t worry about that in the beginning. Showing boats allows you to look and learn about inventory while making yourself known to other brokers.It's also a way for you to refine your skills.

Finally, a successful career largely depends on repeat and referral business. Obviously you have to do a good job to get that. Doing a good job is defined by the client, not by you.

Good luck.

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