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Old 04-11-2014, 07:19   #16
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Yup the boat broker industry is super broken.. Most brokers seem to be stuck 10 years in the past as they do nothing through e-mail. A hard working honest person could make a killing in that industry. Simply listen to customers, do the actual research and use the modern tools. Damn, its not rocket science.

A couple of months ago I e-mailed a broker (listing broker) about a boat I was interested in. I asked for more information and higher resolution images. He sent back a boilerplate e-mail with the exact same information on YW and asked when I could come and see it. I just shook my head and moved on..
One broker just sent me pics that were already posted on Yachtworld. Some of the mistakes in listings are priceless. "Great liveaboard, there is nearly over 6 feet of headroom".
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:26   #17
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

This listing is for a 70's bluewater boat, original teak deck, original electronics, original engine. No mention of any type of refit ever. No holding tank!

".....and has been lovingly maintained by her current owner for the last 18 years. Come see her!"
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:43   #18
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say



"I have something you might be interested in..."

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Old 04-11-2014, 07:44   #19
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

To be fair... We do know how much emotion sellers have tied up in their boats, even if they are a heap of sh!t. I can't imagine the some of the boats that the brokers have to list. I'm sure they could tell stories.

That still isn't a excuse for some of the behavior though. If any broker reads this, here is some advice.. KEEP THE ORIGINAL PICS YOU TAKE. Yatchworld reduces the resolution to an unusable level. You can forward the originals to any customer that requests better pics.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:24   #20
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

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True but part of the process as a broker is to separate the tire kickers that are eventually going to buy from those that are just playing. Not always easy. I had a few customers that kicked tires for a couple of years or more and eventually bought a boat.




I have to admit I have the same experience with a lot of sales people and not just in the boat business. Not sure if it is all due to laziness or if they just see too many tire kickers and just assume that anyone showing up that isn't holding the checkbook isn't serious.
I worked for a friend of mine for 6 months selling used cars in HI, and it was a real eye opener. He was a very intelligent guy and after years of experience, could tell you quite a lot about any person just from body language and nationality. We would tell him what nationality the person was, and he would tell us exactly how the buyer would act, he was right probably 90% of the time.

One thing he drilled into us: if a married guy was on the lot without his wife, he was just window shopping. He might even go as far as a test drive, but less than 10% of them were going to strike a deal without the wife present to make the final decision. The toughest part of the job was talking the guy into bringing the Admiral in to look at the car without letting him know we knew he didn't have the authority to buy the car on his own.

The best part about the job was the boss really didn't need the money, so he bought lunch for everyone every day, you could take off as much as you wanted, you could practically give a car away as long as you didn't mind the hit on your commission, he paid all expenses gave a very generous 25% gross commission, no pack, so we gave a lot of great deals to buyers.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:30   #21
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

In defence of brokers - (1)they cant make you buy anything (2) A guy who wastes my time running me around the harbour showing me boats and chatting cheerfully on one of my favourite subjects while hes doing it cant be all bad...never met a broker I didnt like.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:40   #22
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

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The best part about the job was the boss really didn't need the money, so he bought lunch for everyone every day, you could take off as much as you wanted, you could practically give a car away as long as you didn't mind the hit on your commission, he paid all expenses gave a very generous 25% gross commission, no pack, so we gave a lot of great deals to buyers.
If you also don't need the money a commission based job can be sweet. One of the brokers I worked with was semi-retired and was selling boats to supplement his income a bit but as much for something to do as anything.

He spent most of his time hanging out at the bar down the street and just had the secretary tell customers to call him there (this was before cell phones). He did a reasonable business and only showed up at the office a couple days a week to check in.

On the other hand, his bar tab was significant and at some point I think he realized he might be imbibing a little more than was healthy.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:02   #23
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

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I will probably get some flack for saying this but I wonder why anyone would use a broker today. Everything for sale is on the internet. If you are a seller and have maintained your boat (or you are willing to pay someone to put in in "sale" shape) yopu have access to buyers world wide through the internet. There is no better spokesperson for your boat than you. Just don't leave it filthy and smelly (as I have seen lots of "for sale" boats) and expect it to sell. When I sold my previous sailboat the prospective buyer called, fixed on a single brand/model, and told me of the 5 for sale (including mine) he had already looked at 2 of them. I told him to look at the other 2 before seeing mine since I was sure that it was the best maintained and equipped of the lot. He checked out the other 2, flew half way across the country to see mine, and in a matter of minutes confirmed that it was the bast he had seen and signed the purchase agreement that day. He was an experienced boater who knew what he wanted and recognized excellent maintenance and quality equipment.
You use a broker to sell because you are far away from the boat.
You use a broker to sell because they advertise.
OTOH: Many brokers just seem to discount that people who are window shopping are buyers. Most people aren't out there wasting their time unless they are at least a possible buyer. They just need to find the right boat.

I've actually told a broker to go to the boat when it's convenient and call me so I can ask questions while he is on the boat. It's like pulling teeth, but one actually did call me. There's a lot you cant see in pics. I asked questions like "on a scale of 1-10.. how powdery is the gel coat?" as he was walking around the deck...
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:16   #24
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

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I've been on both sides of this table and indeed when I was a broker ran into a few buyers that were, well unpleasant. No sociopaths but some that were close. My favorite was a guy that came in a few times over a 2-3 year period who, when I finally pinned him down admitted he had no intention of ever buying a boat, just liked to look at them when he was in Florida on vacation.

On the other side, when I started shopping for a boat I found one I liked listed with a broker. Called the listing broker but that boat was already sold. So I gave him my list of requirements. Cutter rig only, maybe a sloop but nothing else would be considered. Center cockpit aft cabin only, modified fin keel, skeg rudder. So a couple of days later he sends me the listing for an aft cockpit, full keel, ketch. Needless to say, I never called him again.

On a side note, just to illustrate how careful one should be dealing with a broker. One manager I worked for gave me hell for giving an honest but negative appraisal of a boat to a prospective buyer. I was told that I should say anything a buyer wanted to hear to get the sale. I refused and told him if he didn't like it he could fire me.
When I started looking for a boat, I had contacted a number of brokers by email. If there was a reply, and that is a big IF, half advised they would "work with me if I signed an agreement" that I would only deal with them.

WTH???

Many years ago I worked for a company that trained sales staff at car dealerships. The first thing we taught was that the saleperson had to develop a rapport with the customer. You can well guess I never bothered visiting those brokerages when I was in their area.

The lack of professionalism with the vast majority of brokers I had contact with astounded me. Yes, there were a very few good ones, but they were far and few between.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:31   #25
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

I used a broker when I bought my last boat and feel that he was both very helpful and added a lot of value. He was happy to tell me both the good and bad aspects of any boat he had listed, and was willing to use his personal relationships with other brokers to get the skinny on them. He would visit boats that were far away from me and take hundreds of photos and give me his personal impression, which I came to trust. I ultimately used his brokerage as an escrow agent for repairs (whole other story). If I am ever in the market for another boat, I would certainly use him again as a buyer broker.

On the other hand, the listing agent for the boat was useless. He not only knew almost nothing about the boat, but what little he said about it was misinformed. He was rarely available (this wasn't his full-time job), and would take days to return requests for very simple information.
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Old 04-11-2014, 17:27   #26
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

You know, I would like a thread on how to tell a good broker. I seem to fail to find good car salesmen, brokers I think would be even tougher.
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Old 04-11-2014, 17:42   #27
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

Boat listed for sale at $400k.

A week or two of questions about the boat in which getting info from the agent about the boat was anoyingly slow, then the selling agent tells me he made a mistake and the boat is actually $450k. 2 months later it has come down to $430k.

Also, what's the go with selling agents asking me to make an offer before I have had a chance to inspect the boat? Seems a bit strange to me.
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Old 04-11-2014, 17:45   #28
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

Here's another one (more of a joke though, and I actually agree with it for the most part):

Me: A lot of things I've been reading say you need a heavily built old boat to go offshore.

Broker: Oh yeah, I've read some of those books too. I think all the sailing books out there must be getting written by people with old boats because they're the only ones that have time to write books.
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Old 04-11-2014, 17:54   #29
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

My favorite line....

"You really don't need a survey because..."
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Old 04-11-2014, 18:11   #30
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Re: Crazy $%#@ brokers say

It can be difficult to run the gauntlet of purchasing barriers. In my case it's a case of vested interests who wanted the boat attempting to kill the deal in an attempt to drive the price down thru substantial delay. The broker was a pissed as I was. Folks who lacked the cash interfered with things like surveys, Insurance, repairs etc. Strangest transaction I have ever done..the hostility went on for four years.
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