When you have decided to sell your boat the first and most important decision to make is which yacht broker will market your boat for you. There are over 1000 Yacht Brokers and salespeople licensed in the State of California. Many of them are in San Diego. Personal experience and recommendations are the best way to find a good Yacht Broker and Company. If you personally have a favorite yacht broker and he treated you well when purchasing your current boat or helped you successfully sell your last boat then by all means be loyal and give that person your business. If on the other hand, your past experience was not that good and you believe that the person handling your sale or purchase performed less than you have hoped then you should look elsewhere for a new broker. Start with friends or dock neighbors and ask for their suggestions for a good professional broker for you to contact. Call or personal visit these brokers and talk to them about how they would market your boat and the efforts they provide to move your boat through the sales process. Do they have the expertise and knowledge about your type of boat? Will your boat get the attention it will need to sell among all the other types of boats listed at the brokerage? Ask how they will advertise your boat through print and/or internet media. Ask how they will process inquiries about your boat as they come in from the phone, internet or walk in business. Do they participate in local boat shows and do they think your boat would benefit by being presented for sale at an upcoming boat show? Do they discuss with you the condition of your boat and suggest ways to improve the salability and chance you will receive a good value for your boat? Make sure the broker you choose does the research and provides you a complete market analysis of the model and year of your boat. Pricing your boat in today’s market is extremely important. In a previous article, I cautioned that the selling price of your boat will have nothing to do with how much you owe the bank and very little to do with all the money you have spent on equipment and improvements in past years. Your broker should be able to give you educated advice on pricing your boat. Placing your boat on the market at an inflated price hoping someone will want it so bad that they will pay over market is wasting your time and the brokers and hurting your future efforts to sell the boat later at the correct price.
Do you have a favorite yacht broker?
If you are thinking of buying a pre-owned boat for yourself the decision about how to find this boat and how you work with the yacht broker s involved is sometimes a confusing process. Many potential buyers do much of the searching themselves through the internet and, less so than years ago, sometimes still find an interesting boat through print advertising. Buyers sometimes can set themselves up for uncomfortable situations when they contact each broker of every potential boat that they may be interested in. Most brokers will be very happy to show you any boat you may have an interest in through their ability to co-op with other brokers throughout the state and the country. This will save you the trouble of scheduling to see potential boats with multiple brokers and all the complexity of meeting a broker and seeing a boat and then moving on to the next broker and the next boat. This can be very time consuming and confusing. It also does not help the broker do their best job for you. Most brokers would like to see you get the boat that is the best fit for you regardless if it is their company’s listing or another broker’s listing. If you limit the broker to just their one or two listings then they will usually only offer counsel that will encourage you to purchase their listed boat. However, if you find a broker you like and let him know that you would like to work with him as your “buyer’s broker “ then they can look beyond their in house listings and find you the best boat for your purpose and budget within any distance you are willing to travel. If you do find a broker that has demonstrated their knowledge and desire to help you and you decide that you would like their help to find and purchase a boat, please make sure that if you contact another broker, that you mention early in the conversation that you are working with another broker as your buying broker. This way the listing broker will be aware of your intentions right up front and there will be no misunderstandings and conflicts between the brokers involved. I am sure you can understand that a broker that has worked with you for awhile would be disappointed if you found another boat to buy at the last minute without involving them. Also the unsuspecting broker that answers your call or e-mail inquiry and works hard to follow up with information only to find out later that you will be making an offer on their listing through another broker that they were unaware of would be upsetting to that broker and to his company. Here in California, the brokerages are, for the most part, members of the California Yacht Brokers Association and as such enjoy a high level of expected ethics between themselves and promote the business enhancing opportunity to be cooperative with each other. Cooperative agreements between California brokerages are simple to initiate and very common. They make for a very comfortable and professional working environment for the brokers and a pleasant experience for boat owners and buyers. When you find a broker that you like and works hard for you, please give them your loyalty and everyone will enjoy the experience of finding and buying that dreamboat.
Do Less, More
We are about a month or so into the New Year and I am sure by this time most of us have given up on all those New Year’s resolutions we made with great conviction and determination to do in the coming year. Lose weight, work more, make more money, do this, do that. Perhaps it is because I am sailing back from Catalina after a few days of relaxation, sun and fair winds that I am proposing that you join me in a new resolution for 2010. Do Less. This is a good year to spend less and worry less. I also advocate doing more of those rare times we do less. This year do less, more. We all love boating and make a living helping others enjoy the boating lifestyle, and for some reason we never spend much time boating ourselves, at least, not as much as we should. Sea trials aside, let’s resolve to get out on the water and relax. If you have a boat or need to borrow a boat, or join a friend on their boat, take the time off to get out there. Recharge your batteries and relax. You will reacquaint yourself with the reason we love this business and are so good at helping others find their piece of paradise out on the water. You will add to your sea stories and have new tales to tell your clients. Need to combine a little work along the way? No problem, cell phones, e-fax and laptops keep you connected to the potential big deal. And don’t be shy to join your boat owners for a day sail, a trip to Catalina or short delivery. What about the upcoming rendezvous or later this year the Jazz Festival and Buccaneer days. Add some romance in your life and have an adventure. Go Sailing, fishing, racing, bay cruising or just slip sailing with a cocktail and some friends. It’s all good, and it’s important this year to find the balance in yourself physically, financially and mentally. Remember, we all know that our cell phone rings every time we are maneuvering a boat in a tight fairway or just about to cast off, so my plan for increasing the number of client calls I get is to spend as much time on a boat as I can this year and keep myself busy doing less more.
It has been a pleasure serving as the CYBA President this past year and I look forward to continuing on as one of the Past Presidents and Chairman for some of our important Committees.
Good luck to you all this year and I will see you at the boat shows, on the docks and out on the water.
In a recent article I referred to the best parts about being a Yacht Broker and I am sure each of us has our own personal list of reasons and history that brought us to this lifestyle. I would like to suggest that an important component that binds us to this profession is the co-operative nature of our relationships with other brokers and salespeople. Can you imagine how uncomfortable and unfriendly our relationships between each other would be if we did not co-op our listings between ourselves and other brokers. The strength of our business is supported by the fact that we function as a group. You bring clients to my boats and I bring your listings to my buyers. The purpose of being a group and of our co-operative agreements is to provide a process to improve the volume and consistency of each of our businesses and of our incomes. Your membership in the California Yacht Brokers Association facilitates and improves the co-operative nature and enhances the trust between you and the other broker members. If your business is like the average, more than half of your sales come through co-ops. Either your listed boat is sold by another broker or your listings did not match with your buyer needs but you were able to find a suitable boat for them within the listings of a co-operative fellow broker. If listing sharing was not a part of our brokerage business each of us would be in a much more competitive environment. Each of us would be pushing our clients to pick one of our exclusive listings as the best boat for their needs. If we were unsuccessful in that effort, we would be stuck and our clients would be forced to establish another relationship with another broker in the search for their perfect boat. We would not have any reason to talk to each other, help each other, or encourage each other. We would mistrust and avoid each other and some might potentially open themselves to unethical practices in order to pursue business. Most people and families wanting to enjoy the boating lifestyle will decide that a used boat is the right choice for them. Pre-owned boats offer variety for the buyer and the choice of potentially perfect boats is enormous. Fortunately, the brokerage community does enjoy a history of friendly co-operative sharing of listings between brokers. The CYBA helps keep transactions friendly and professional by providing a secure process for those brokers wishing to increase their opportunities by working with other brokers and salespeople. Our buyers have a much better chance of finding their true dream boat and our sellers have more opportunities for a quick sale and good price when we all co-operate. Plus, we all make more sales and more income by co-operating with each other. The best part of our co-operative nature, of course, is that this business becomes an enjoyable and prosperous lifestyle for all of us.
Good Selling to you all,