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Old 18-09-2018, 13:17   #1
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here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

So my wife and I have committed to a plan of pulling the kid from school for a few years and sailing west.... not going to go into details there, but it's exciting, scary, fun, whimsical, invigorating and a whole host of other things. A very exciting time in our life and I'm going at it full throttle.

It's a wonderful feeling.... With the exception of one dam thing. Brokers.

I am digging the web looking at boats online, trying to build out a short list and make a travel plan to go visit and inspect. However, it seems that the brokers all have made enough money to not worry about responding to emails, answering the phone or to go beyond "check the website" in efforts to answer simple questions like "how old is the rigging" or can the owner date any of the equipment...

Realtors buy cars to haul buyers around to look at homes. stock brokers send flowers on anniversaries and baseball tickets for birthdays. Boat brokers can't get off their asses to take another photo with a cell phone.

what gives? is this a hobby market issue? possibly folks trying to close out a sale or two a year by luck so they can pay the slip fee here and there?

I just can't understand why so many brokers have been so miserably communicative and not even remotely helpful.

frustrated beyond belief.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:34   #2
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

If you'll play the "Quick Pano" drinking game, a boat broker will make it all better. ;-)
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:35   #3
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

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Originally Posted by jhkm12345 View Post
So my wife and I have committed to a plan of pulling the kid from school for a few years and sailing west.... not going to go into details there, but it's exciting, scary, fun, whimsical, invigorating and a whole host of other things. A very exciting time in our life and I'm going at it full throttle.

It's a wonderful feeling.... With the exception of one dam thing. Brokers.

I am digging the web looking at boats online, trying to build out a short list and make a travel plan to go visit and inspect. However, it seems that the brokers all have made enough money to not worry about responding to emails, answering the phone or to go beyond "check the website" in efforts to answer simple questions like "how old is the rigging" or can the owner date any of the equipment...

Realtors buy cars to haul buyers around to look at homes. stock brokers send flowers on anniversaries and baseball tickets for birthdays. Boat brokers can't get off their asses to take another photo with a cell phone.

what gives? is this a hobby market issue? possibly folks trying to close out a sale or two a year by luck so they can pay the slip fee here and there?

I just can't understand why so many brokers have been so miserably communicative and not even remotely helpful.

frustrated beyond belief.
Simple logic. Spark the brokers' interest, and make it easy. Tell the brokers you just won the lottery, and that you've now got more money than God. Tell them you don't care how much the boat costs, and that you don't even care if it sinks mid-Pacific as you live out your dream fantasy. You'll quickly get replies, probably a ton.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:38   #4
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

Because they chase 100 Phones calls and another 100 E-mails before they find one person who is seriously shopping. The marine brokerage business has an outrageously high volume of tire kickers who just want to wander around boats.
Similar to why people ignore the "Dock is for Boat owners and guests only, no trespassing" and still wander down the docks looking into windows.

My honest guess is if you are not getting called back, you are not being taken as a serious buyer. Look to yourself and ask why that is.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:43   #5
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

As someone who just went through all of this, thousands of miles driven, disjointed communication from brokers -at best-. The few that did respond lied worse than a rug.

What did I learn in regards to the brokers "who cares" attitude?

The bracket of boat (IE: $$$) was not any kind of commission they were interested in and therefore invested exactly that much effort.

It depends on the market I guess. In my area I learned it was near impossible to get an answer back from a broker with any boat worth less than 40k. I'm not sure your budget, but when you talk about Realtors driving folks around to sell houses we are talking normally alot more money than the average used boat. I know in my area people regularly drop 150-500k on a "used house" but when they hear you spent 30k on a "used boat" their minds are blown.

Just my thoughts, idk your budget or the bracket you are shopping in nor the market for your area. But food for thought.


PS: The boat I finally bought was a private sale from a Canadian version of the Craigslist template, Kijiji. Love the boat, best one I saw, no lies, no bad communications, S O L D.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:58   #6
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Because they chase 100 Phones calls and another 100 E-mails before they find one person who is seriously shopping. The marine brokerage business has an outrageously high volume of tire kickers who just want to wander around boats.
Similar to why people ignore the "Dock is for Boat owners and guests only, no trespassing" and still wander down the docks looking into windows.

My honest guess is if you are not getting called back, you are not being taken as a serious buyer. Look to yourself and ask why that is.
Maybe brokers should try to write reasonable ads and put all relevent information there in the first place. Then there will be less calls and e-mail. Most brokers ads contain very little information and whatever is there copied from boatbuilder site. Take a look at how many details regarding the boat and its condition people put on this site when they trying to sell their own boats and compare it with an average brokers ad.
QUOTE Look to yourself and ask why that is.[/QUOTE] What that's suppose to mean? You suggest that your "hard working" broker can do character assessment by the single request for the information
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Old 18-09-2018, 14:03   #7
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

Bah, just ignore the weasely used car salesmen and buy from owners. Sooner or later those guys will all go the way of travel agents.
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Old 18-09-2018, 14:21   #8
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

I've had the same problem from the other side. Sold a $100,000 boat. Listed with a broker. Waited weeks and weeks with only one lead.

Took matters into my own hands and fired the broker.

Got about a dozen leads in a week and sold the boat to the first person who looked at it.

Had me questioning why the broker seemed allergic to money. Did absolutely nothing to attempt to get a $10,000 commission. Low hanging fruit. Probably chasing that $50,000 or $100,000 commission, but closing nothing.
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Old 18-09-2018, 14:36   #9
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

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Originally Posted by alex_sauvage View Post
Quote:
Look to yourself and ask why that is.
What that's suppose to mean? You suggest that your "hard working" broker can do character assessment by the single request for the information
Ease up cowboy, nobody is calling your baby ugly. I'm not a broker and I don't have a broker. But I would say "Yes". They're not working to NOT make money. I would say they react based on their experience. My guess is if the broker isn't responding, you are being perceived as a tire kicking waste of time.

I can tell you that I've had very good luck with "I'm calling to schedule an appointment to view "XYZ". Then ask all of my questions in person. I always get a callback.
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Old 18-09-2018, 15:19   #10
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

TLDR, your rant is pretty much completely justified.

I had this exact same experience when searching for a $120-200,00 catamaran. I actually had CEO of The Multihull Company tell me that they just don't make enough money on a $200K boat to put any effort into them, along with some condescending tripe about how little I knew about the boat buying world. That was after they couldn't be bothere to show up at the boat at the arranged time, after I flew 3 hours just to see it. We were told to just let ourselves in. Clearly didn't give a crap about selling the boat, it was still for sale a year later. Also sent two different emails over several weeks finally followed up by a phone call on another boat. Broker said he recognized me from the emails, which again couldn't be bothered to respond to, but was waiting to hear from the owner. Emailed me the next day saying the boat was sold! WTF, a broker doesn't even know when a boat under their listing has been sold?

I too ended up finding a boat on my own without a broker through a combination of this board and a French version of Craigslist (leboncoin.fr). They ended up hiring a broker to represent them because the boat was in Martinique and they were in mainland France and I was in the U.S., and the broker was helpful at that point. Otherwise I'd say that the advice that they aren't taking your seriously is pretty worthless because nothing you can do, including letting them know you're flying 3 hours to specifically look at the boat, makes them take you seriously. Only buying a $500K and up boat makes them take you seriously.
I'm an entrepreneur and as a retirement job I'm seriously considering breaking the yachtworld/broker monopoly on selling boats because the current system is seriously broken for sub-$500K boats. Unfortunately I have to do it as a retirement job because the addressable market is so small, which is why they get away with what they do.
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:00   #11
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

Shrew is right maybe it is how you are aproaching the broker that is the problem.
One broker I know just rolls his eyes when a customer starts asking about the $20,000 sailboat then also asks about $200,000 Lagoon and then wants to look at both. Really, and then there is just the really stupid questions like what is that tall thing sticking out of the middle of the boat or even asking if that $20,000 sailboat has alll new sails rig and motor.

What makes my eyes roll as a surveyor is the new salt who has watched youtube read it all and once he has learned to sail is going to circumnavigate. At least with me I am being paid to inspect the dream ship while the broker may have shown you 20 boats before you finally have made the decision.
As for dating the equipment you have obviously a very understanding wife or never owned a sailboat. My wife has no idea how much the big ticket items cost on our yacht as those receipts all vanish into a black hole and I have no idea when I purchased them.
Even if you do not know much keep the silly questions to yourself until you are at least onboard the sailboat.

Cheers
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:00   #12
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

If you know the name of a US flagged boat, you can get the owner's name and an address. If you're good with Google you can probably find a phone number. Has anyone tried that with boat which broker just isn't in to making a sale? Would you as a seller consider that an invasion of privacy?

I haven't, but I've thought about bypassing a broker or two because they just... Would... Not... Send... More... Photos!

Not a single interior shot in the ad, just said it needed work and didn't care that I wanted to see pics before deciding to drive 7 hours, one way.
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:47   #13
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

Brokers can be equally lacksdaisical in composing listings. I went to look at a cat that the broker's listing said had a generator, when it did not. This is one of the reasons I recommend for sale by owner when the time comes to sell your boat. How much of a commi$$ion do you want to pay to a guy who doesn't return prospective buyers' telephone calls?
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:51   #14
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
Shrew is right maybe it is how you are aproaching the broker that is the problem.
One broker I know just rolls his eyes when a customer starts asking about the $20,000 sailboat then also asks about $200,000 Lagoon and then wants to look at both. Really, and then there is just the really stupid questions like what is that tall thing sticking out of the middle of the boat or even asking if that $20,000 sailboat has alll new sails rig and motor.

What makes my eyes roll as a surveyor is the new salt who has watched youtube read it all and once he has learned to sail is going to circumnavigate. At least with me I am being paid to inspect the dream ship while the broker may have shown you 20 boats before you finally have made the decision.
As for dating the equipment you have obviously a very understanding wife or never owned a sailboat. My wife has no idea how much the big ticket items cost on our yacht as those receipts all vanish into a black hole and I have no idea when I purchased them.
Even if you do not know much keep the silly questions to yourself until you are at least onboard the sailboat.

Cheers
While I appreciate your opinion regarding the challenges brokers face, I take objection to your view on new sailors. There are more than a few people that have done just that.

And some of them post the challenges the face on YouTube. Not everyone is an old salt. And yes some people,any people have the dream and fail along the way.

But the eye rolling surveyor is not one I will be looking for when the day comes for my purchase.
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Old 18-09-2018, 17:24   #15
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Re: here's a rant for you all to discuss... brokers. Yuck.

Feeling your pain, I guess Iím what you would call a flat lander from MN (kind of). So every trip to the coat is 600-1000usd canít do too many of them before it gets prohibitive. I donít want to throw in the towel but there has to be a better way... private sale? Also I am getting the feeling that the seller is getting stuffed somewhat because they are paying for storage while the agent is waiting for top dollar (I know thatís a double edged sword).... Just needed to get that off my chest...
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