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Old 31-07-2011, 15:06   #46
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Thanks to Sid at SailAway for giving us the 'other' side of the brokerage discussion. You sound like the kind of broker who many of wish we had found years ago. I'll bet you survive well in a down economy while some of your fellow brokers sit and complain about business and do nothing to improve their lot . Cheers, Capt Phil

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Old 31-07-2011, 15:37   #47
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Re: Disappointing Broker

M&B When you do find your boat. Think of this scene

you will have the last laugh!

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Old 31-07-2011, 16:10   #48
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Me-and-Boo - Being a woman I have experienced all to well the condescending attitude. Probably doesn't help that I always wear jeans too. Doesn't really matter if I am house hunting, car buying, or boat buying. I'll tell you what though brokers or sellers are a dime a dozen. You did the right thing to take them off your list.

As you already know he could have explained that he was tied up at the moment but would be happy to help you if can wait a few minutes.

I am not going to assume you have no clue of what you may like but if you don't there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone here can offer suggestions of what to look at. I have personally never used a broker. I tend to find them useless. Now an experienced inspector or someone you trust is worth their weight in gold. is a very good site for researching. There are many more sites available to help you narrow your field. Trust me this is a fun project. Don't let anybody put you down. Go have fun and find your dream boat.
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Old 31-07-2011, 16:11   #49
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
M&B When you do find your boat. Think of this scene
‪Pretty Woman : Big Mistake Hugh (Shop Scene)‬‏ - YouTube

you will have the last laugh!
Thank you! That is the best flick off scene.
It didn't sink all the way - you can still see the mast
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Old 31-07-2011, 19:46   #50
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Originally Posted by smj View Post
Sid, you sound like a sincere and good person and I wish you the best in your brokerage business. Having said that the worst experience I have had with a broker was with who I believe is your boss. Cashing our 10% deposit which shouldn't even have been put into an escrow account as a contract hadn't been agreed upon, then taking 3-4 months to pay it back in installments was enough to piss me of. What really got me after it was all said and done is he never apologized or admitted to any wrong doing. If you think I still have some animosity after 8 years you are right. Any chance I get I tell this story to someone who is looking for a catamaran. So to sum it up, a bad attitude from a broker can definitely lead to a loss of business over time.
I can't answer to what happened 8 years ago as I wasn't in the business at that time. What I can say is, if I had that experience I'd be pissed too. I would have the same attitude as you. Who could blame you? In a word of mouth driven business why would you want to alienate your customers? It only takes one "ah crap" to wipe out alot of "atta boy's".
For me it's easy to be upfront and honest with people in general. Why? Because I like to sleep at night and I have a higher authority to answer to than my boss!
Having said all that , it can be a tough business. You hear alot more no's than you do yes's. You have to love people, love boats and just enjoy hanging around boats. We get to help make people's dreams come true, and hopefully make a friend along the way. How many jobs can deliver that?
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Old 31-07-2011, 20:07   #51
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Originally Posted by Me-and-Boo View Post
I recently checked my calendars to make sure they all showed 2011. I did not need to correct any of them this late in July (July 30). Well this afternoon I felt like I walked into 1959 (yes I did see 1959 on my calendars the first time). I was touring marinas in the Annapolis area this afternoon and happened to see a boat brokers door open. I thought that was nice I will go in and talk about buying a boat.

Sitting near the door was a man and an obvious man woman couple. I waited a little and then said "I am interested in buying a boat". I believe that sounds normal for someone wanting to buy a boat talking to a boat broker. What I got back in return was very disappointing.

The arrogant, self-important (you fill in the rest) starts with, "do you have an appointment?" Cute, obviously the jerk knows I don't. I replied in the negative. He then proceeded to talk down to me as if I had no clue what a boat was or even looked like. If I had been last Thursday I would have shredded the idiot's face, fortunate for him it is not.

I am a large, older woman, always blond, with an accent that is more heard in the high plains deserts of the west, 1,000 miles from any water of note, than on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. But, he has no idea of my background nor me of his. I do know now he will not have my business.

Now, are there any brokers I should talk to in the Annapolis, East Shore area who will talk with me, not down to me?
.....Being the Devil again…..

When I read your opening post, my first reaction was that this person has had issues of “disrespect” before and maybe after waiting a bit for that broker to acknowledge her… was primed to hear some more.

Sometimes, we hear what we expect to hear, even if the speaker sincerely meant it another way.

We have all been there !!

Don’t let it spoil the fun of searching for your boat.
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Old 31-07-2011, 20:09   #52
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Sid, I think you have a great attitude. Sorry about the rant it wasn't directed towards you at all. Maybe one of these days I will get over it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:03   #53
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Re: Disappointing Broker

I've also experienced the "tut-tut, little lady" attitude from brokers but my worst experience was during our first week of living on board. We returned from a shopping trip to find the broker down below trying to sell our boat to another customer! We were newbies and he was sure we wouldn't last. Years later I'm still sorry I didn't have him arrested for trespassing or have his license pulled.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:52   #54
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Got off the phone with a broker the other day. Was asking about a boat listed on yacht world with his contact info. Boat in question was listed as a pilot house. Broker kept telling me it was not a pilot house boat. When asked about the steering station he kept telling me there was only one and it was a wheel. i explained that the diagram showed a tiller and that the photo showed the wheel in the pilothouse. He had no idea what I was talking about and kept insisting that the photo were not correct and he knew the boat very well. when asked why they were listing it on yachtworld as such he replied he had no idea.

boat is still listed as such 4 days later. Nice advertising. Wonder what else is incorrect in the listing if the photos are wrong.
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Old 06-08-2011, 14:09   #55
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Jack and Sharon Malatich, Gratitiude Yachting, Rock Hall, MD. Experienced, honest, nice people.
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Old 06-08-2011, 14:29   #56
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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth
I feel some empathy for boat brokers, having spent 25 years in retail. Time wasters are a huge problem for any salesman and "time waster" is exactly what you are if you don't have a specific boat purchase in mind. Having said that we ran up against some genuine pricks while shopping for Gray Hawk. If I really wanted to see the particular boat that the broker was representing then I would put up with a lot. On the other hand if I was at all indifferent about the boat I usually would succinctly explain the meaning of "recession" and "buyer's market".
I disagree completely reference time waster's. If you don't feel like taking the time to help a "potential" buyer then maybe you should find a new job. Every person a broker talks to is a potential client, the broker's responsibility to keep or push away. I guess I am a time waster. My wife and I shopped for a broker first before we shopped for our first boat. Brokers have a huge responsibility to their clients and they all aren't up to the task (technically or ethically).
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Old 06-08-2011, 14:50   #57
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
Having said all that , it can be a tough business. You hear alot more no's than you do yes's. You have to love people, love boats and just enjoy hanging around boats.
I swear the broker I bought Honeysuckle through was on Prozac. Maybe that's why! I did like the guy though and the deal went well.
“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

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Old 06-08-2011, 15:28   #58
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Many years ago I sold sailboats in Annapolis for a large brokerage firm. I was new to the industry but had spent 15 years owning a manufacturing company in MA prior to moving to Annapolis.

There were nine brokers and most of them did not even want to deal with walk-ins’ for various reasons. I saw that as an opportunity for me as I didn’t have a client base so I worked pretty much seven days a week so that I wouldn’t miss anything. These were the luxury tax days and business was slow.

Long story short I had six closings in eight weeks in the 40K-80K range. Not significant sales but enough to get the hang of it.

As others have said my “secret” was in talking with and listening to what people had to say. There were a LOT of tire kickers and credit criminals but you just had to sift through all that while treating everyone professionally.

In this case there is no excuse for rudeness from either party but sometimes it is hard to get the flavor of these things when you are only hearing one side and you know there are two more.

FWIW, ask any broker and there are plenty of “buyer” stories as well.

Here is an actual conversation that took place years ago:

Walk-in: I’m here to buy a boat.

Broker: Power or sale?

Walk-in: Not sure.

Broker: What size range are you thinking of?

Walk-in: Doesn’t matter.

Broker: Do you have a budget in mind?

Walk-in: Depends on the boat.

Broker: I have a great deal on a Swan 65 down on the dock.

Walk-in: Too big and too expensive but I’ll sea trial it if we can do it right now.

Broker: We would have to have a contract and deposit first.

Walk-in: Clearly you don’t want my business. (Leaves in a huff).

Life is as fun as you make it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 15:55   #59
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Re: Disappointing Broker

So I asked him how he did it? He said it was simple: He listened carefully to what the customer said , tried to figure out what they really wanted, and then showed them around boats that actually matched their desires. Didn't try to move them upmarket, didn't try to sell them the dogs to get them off the list, didn't waste their time with the boats that were easy to get to but didn't match, treated them like a friend... pretty simple stuff, and it worked!
This is the answer to being a good broker. Too bad most don't operate this way.

I have met a few good brokers, but they are far between. My basic advice is that you have to ignore the broker most of the time. Chances are very good they know less than you do about the boats you will be looking at, and they are mainly interested in moving whatever will maximize their income. That is understandable, but it is one of the huge problems with commission sales. All the incentives are to move the most expensive product at the highest price possible--not to help you find what you want and need. I can go on and on about bad broker experiences.

If at all possible, get in touch with the actual owner of the boats you are interested in. They will provide you with much better information, and in my experience they are much more willing to deal than the brokers. If I find something I am interested in I usually look up the boat in the USCG documentation database and find out the owner's home contact information if the broker won't give it to me. You can usually get the broker to reveal this information by asking him to see the documentation papers, which is a worthwhile thing to do anyway. The owners have never been mad that I have contacted them directly, and they often tell me that they were wondering what the broker was doing as they never heard from him/her. I frequently tell the owner what a lousy job the broker is doing to sell their boats and they are grateful even if I don't buy the boat.

In the Annapolis area you can frequently find good boats by just patrolling all the boatyards. Brokers don't have all the listings, they are prone to show you their exclusive listings only, and often boatyard workers themselves know of boats for sale.
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Old 06-08-2011, 16:28   #60
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Re: Disappointing Broker

Good feedback. All brokers should read CF for this type of thread.
Makes me understand exactly how to provide the best service.
I think the best rule is to treat clients like they are real people -- because they are.
Life as a yacht broker is more fulfilling if you think this way.

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