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Honest as the Day Is Long


Now the boat-broker business has taken some hits in the recent past, let’s be frank. Just like any boom time, the years leading up to 2007 saw many younger, spirited individuals join the ranks of that profession—just as we saw the same personality types gravitate to the ranks of real estate sales and high-end automobile sales. There’s a self-assuredness there (not always entirely unfounded) that can grate on those of us who have been around the block. One broker I know referred to them as a group as the 30-30-30s (“Thirty years old, 30-inch waist, makin’ 30,000 bucks a year…”) and they were certainly to be found sprinting across the lots of auto dealerships, and making laser-like eye contact in open-house living rooms devoid of furniture around the same time as they began prowling the docks.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that way. Were I to lump them all together, I would be no better than any others who choose to trade in stereotypes. We’re all young at the beginning of our careers, and it’s what you do with that energy and eagerness that counts. Plenty of the younger guys get the job done, learn from the seasoned brokers, listen well to clients, and grow into the next generation. You know who you are. And you should keep striving.

And, lest we forget, there are plenty of older brokers who have basically given up, and act as though any amount of effort is too much. They’re just as bad. And they know who they are too.

But there is one thing everyone can do—and it starts with the brokers but it reaches the clients too. Everyone can be honest. “Find a broker you trust, take their advice, and let them sell your boat,” says Capt. Steve Castellini, a broker with United Yacht Sales. “I’ve flown into places to look at boats, and have seen boats that are just not what I was told they were. I’m very disappointed in the broker. You spend a lot of money to fly look at boats and it just isn’t what they said.” Now every broker who is listing a boat should be able to figure out, based on the questions the buyer’s broker asked, what the buyer is looking for, and should know whether his boat is going to fit that criteria, or has a chance to, or has no chance to fit. No one’s going to buy a boat they don’t want. Nor should anyone want that.

By the same token, a broker may begin to show boats to a prospective buyer that push the upper end of his price range, and some that push beyond it. Just as the buyer expects to be treated properly and squarely, the broker should be able to expect the same treatment. Don’t encourage a broker to get you looking at boats you can’t buy, no matter how fun it is. Be honest with the broker, and, since you trust him, know he’ll be honest with you. Everyone will waste far less time, enjoy the process more, and the result will be what you want with far less heartache.

Think about this as you make your resolutions for 2016.

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