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Old 04-19-2014, 06:10 PM   #1
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A broker's rant (yes we're allowed)

Don't do this to your broker. Broker's pay their bills, buy food, put their kids through college, buy their own health insurance etc. when they participate in a sale. The rest of the time every single thing they do or spend is uncompensated. Brokers pay to advertise your boat. Brokers pay for access to information ie: Yachtworld. Good brokers drive tens of thousands of miles a year showing boats. Good brokers answer phone calls late into the night and exchange emails at all hours.

I just, as sometimes happens in this business, learned that a client of mine that I have been exchanging emails (104) and phone calls with for two and half years up and bought a brokerage boat without ever saying a thing to me. One of the many disappointments are when you are working with a client and educating them about the boats etc that they then take those dozens or more hours of work and use that knowledge to make a better informed decision without ever seeing that you are compensated. The well found decision then results in the listing broker receiving the commission for the work done by the buyer's broker. The typical response to this type of brutal gut punch is "sorry I didn't realize".
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that, Mark. It has to hurt. And yes, you're allowed.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:23 PM   #3
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Mark: That really sucks! What, the guy never heard of a co-brokering agreement?
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:01 PM   #4
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It really sucks and is very inconsiderate, but it also sounds like you never made it clear to your client what the "deal" was.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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Mark, it's unfortunate, but the mistake was yours. Owned a scuba store for 20 years. You don't make squat for teaching scuba classes. The money came from the sale of scuba gear. Learned early that students would buy elsewhere on a whim after I certified them. Realized that it wasn't malicious on there part. We just live in a big impersonal world where no one thinks anything of stopping at Lowes in stead of Home Depot. As a result, I explained to my students on the first night of class that the sale of equipment is what kept the business open and how we greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with them if they should want to buy equipment in the future. This made a big difference. Sure I still lost some sales, but the people who appreciated the time I spent with them almost always would buy whatever they needed from me.

You need to explain to people what you can offer if they are looking at boats listed by another broker. Also good to explain how a commission works on the boats that you broker, and that it is the seller who pays your percentage. Presented propperly, it's not offensive to the customer and helps them understand that you are a small business and this is how you make you get paid.

Sorry you had this bad experience. Hope you can use some of the above to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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Old 04-19-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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I had worked many years in the boat business (engines, slip rental, etc) and finally a broker friend explained to me how the co-brokerage thing worked. Up to that point I had no idea exactly how it worked. It is not obvious to most.

To the OP, there is a good chance your "client" was the same as I, simply ignorant of the workings, and not malicious.

This might be a good place to explain how it works. I suspect ignorance such as mine is not unique.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
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Mark,
If the cost of "educating" your clients dosn't support your bottom line then what are you doing it for? Just because you're in business dosn't mean your clients should help pay your bills. Someone else FOUND a better boat and that service was paid for. Some of your clients could probably post a rant about how little time you spent on their deal and how much money you made. Everywhere in commission sales most of your time dos'nt make a buck. I think if you considered how much time you spent at your work and how much money you've made you'd be pleased w the numbers .... or you wouldn't be doing what you're doing. And if you're not pleased you should sell TVs, cars or real estate. At least you should evaluate the cost effectiveness of "educating" your clients. Perhaps you should spend more time finding boats so they'll buy from you and support your bottom line ... If that's most productive. Do whatever leads to sales ... of your boats .. or boats you're connected to commission wise.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:32 PM   #8
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Mark, it's unfortunate, but the mistake was yours. Owned a scuba store for 20 years. You don't make squat for teaching scuba classes. The money came from the sale of scuba gear. Learned early that students would buy elsewhere on a whim after I certified them. Realized that it wasn't malicious on there part. We just live in a big impersonal world where no one thinks anything of stopping at Lowes in stead of Home Depot. As a result, I explained to my students on the first night of class that the sale of equipment is what kept the business open and how we greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with them if they should want to buy equipment in the future. This made a big difference. Sure I still lost some sales, but the people who appreciated the time I spent with them almost always would buy whatever they needed from me.

You need to explain to people what you can offer if they are looking at boats listed by another broker. Also good to explain how a commission works on the boats that you broker, and that it is the seller who pays your percentage. Presented propperly, it's not offensive to the customer and helps them understand that you are a small business and this is how you make you get paid.

Sorry you had this bad experience. Hope you can use some of the above to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Ted
Thank you but that is always one of the first things I do when acting as a buyer's broker. I make very sure that my clients understand the "business" end of things. My intent in ranting was to educate those who might not have known this.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:47 PM   #9
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A year ago we sold a house. The listing broker said that if the buyer was not represented by a broker he would charge us only a 3%, and not a 6% commission. That is how it worked saving both the buyer and seller a great deal of money.

Two years ago when boat shopping we did not have a buyer's broker and in the cases where offers were made the listing broker automatically reduced the asking price by 1/2 the commission -5%- before negotiations started.

In your case Mark, maybe it was nothing more than simple economics. I assume you did not have a formal agreement with the buyer?
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:26 PM   #10
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I spent some time with a broker I liked. He showed me many boats and I ended up buying from someone else because I found a boat on my own. In fact, I did not like the broker "attached" to the boat I bought - no rapport at all.

I did not know I could use the original broker. Just didn't know it worked that way and I felt pretty stupid when I was told. My poor broker only got an apology and a bottle of wine for his efforts.

Your efforts to explain how it works to us who are focused on the boat and not the process will help do away with ignorance and misconceptions and hopefully make this industry better.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
Thank you but that is always one of the first things I do when acting as a buyer's broker. I make very sure that my clients understand the "business" end of things. My intent in ranting was to educate those who might not have known this.
Opps, sorry. The buyer now more resembles the ass at the restaurant who doesn't tip his waiter because the waiter's livelihood isn't his concern.

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Old 04-19-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Yep I agree it could be all a misunderstanding that a broker can be used even outside what he/she have been pushing. Mark, do you ask your clients if they have been using a broker somewhere else before you start the path to a potential sale? Sometimes that standard can save many of a disappointment. I agree the focus is on the boat of choice and not the business of the sale. Sorry too Mark that you were disappointed with all the effort you put in. I had an Electrical business and wouldn't do work in another county unless I knew my client didn't have a quote from one of the contractors in that area. Actually I did background checks to make sure. I just had enough work in my own area and fighting off the competition was done by better customer care.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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OK. So I'm the ass it would appear.

Mark and I did talk on the phone a few times and we did exchange many emails quite awhile back. I did go look at a boat he had listed in MD and didn't like it, like maybe a year ago? Really didn't hear from him much after that and I figured that was that. We did talk about him being a buyers broker, but we never had any formal, written agreement, and I don't remember him EVER sending me any boats, but I could be misremembering.

Since then I've looked at quite a few boats (and posted them up here) and did not use any buyers brokers on any of them or talk to Mark, and never heard from him. I really didn't think we had any agreement.

I'm a little surprised he is going off on me now, but I do (and did) apologize because now I feel like I've f$&ked it up somehow, so I understand his frustration.

I'm in sales so do get it, but I don't tend to whine when shit doesn't go my way.

Don't want to start a pissing match, but wanted to respond.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #14
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Ya not a good place carry out an exchange on a misunderstanding although we get the point and I am sure both of you learnt a good lesson. Three sides to every story. The point is sometimes we forget how what we do may affect others in the process, contractually or not. Feelings go deep when hurt happens.

My 2cents
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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Mark,

It was obvious to me that you were only trying to educate some people here on TF that weren't familiar with how the system works and not looking for advice on how to be a better broker. I know how the commission system works and I've been in your situation before so I sympathize with you.

For me, it's quite alright that you ranted about this.

For others on here, apparently it isn't. It seems that they think you're a rookie, or not very good at what you do, and instead want to point out where you went wrong and tell you how you can be a better broker.

Someone always know better, or, knows more, even if they're not in the business. Unfortunately, this is typical of many TF'ers.

By the way, I'm not necessarily talking about the posters on this thread only, but alot of TF'ers in general.

This is not a sympathetic, nor a very nice place much of the time. But, maybe it's not supposed to be and I'm just naive.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:06 PM   #16
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I have found out the hard way that although there are many stupid people out there, they're are even more that plead ignorance when convenient.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:34 PM   #17
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This is not a nice place much of the time. But, maybe it's not supposed to be and I'm just naive.
It's the nature of forums. I think TF is a little better than most but much has to change or else it's going to die. As proof to that, I offer this question: how many women participate here? 2%? If that? Women won't put up with much of the crap that goes on here. It can't continue over the long term unless and until women are a part of the conversation (remember that quote!).

To the subject...

I think the OP has a right to rant. I think his perspective is enlightening. And as someone who's owed businesses for his entire career, I sympathize with the idea that he spent a lot of time educating his customer and nothing came of it.

I also think it's nice that some others here have shown sympathy. And I sort of feel bad for his time loss but my feelings end there. I'm sorry but it's the way business happens. If the broker was going to act as a buyers broker, there should have been a contract. That wasn't done here.

If the client isn't willing to sign a buyers broker contract, then the broker earns income by finding a boat for the client to purchase. If he doesn't do that, someone else will. And then that person deserves the commission. The question is, why didn't the broker find the boat that was finally purchased? And I totally understand that YachtWorld throws a curve into all of these traditional ways of exchanging information. Trust me, I totally get that - that type of thing is all I've done for the last 3 decades. But come on. Welcome to 2005 with YachtWorld replacing brokers for finding boats.

All of that said, the really nasty thing here is the subtext of what this thread is really about. It seems that the broker knew the client was a contributor here. It's kind of obvious that this whole thread was an attempt to create a sideways slap in the face to the client.

And that just sucks.

I challenge every reader of this thread to show it to your wife and ask her what she thinks about it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #18
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OK. So I'm the ass it would appear.
Bahahahaha.
This is why I love the internet. I'm in construction and I wouldn't be caught dead in a construction forum. I hope this thread is not about you but if it is I wouldn't worry about it. Mark, I have loved your post in the past but if this post was just to single out a fellow TF'er I hate to hear it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:02 PM   #19
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:31 PM   #20
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I don't think Mark meant to call out anyone anymore than Cardude meant to be someone to call out. It might be a case of one or both being unconscious of the other's intention (or investment for that matter), but sh-t happens. Mark's post has me thinking about whether I covered all the brokers that I may have milked for info. I'd also send Cardude a bill for info, but the truth is that I've learned as much from him as he has from me. Chill---
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