Choosing the right yacht broker can make a world of difference in how quickly your boat sells and for how much. Today, there are over 2,000 yacht brokerage firms active on Yachtworld in the United States, with nearly 900 of those being in Florida. Selecting the right one can feel like you're trying to find a needle in a haystack, but there are some things you can do to weed through the masses and find the perfect one for you.
Whether you are new to selling a yacht, or looking to move on from your current broker, there are a few things you can do that will ensure a successful experience.
1. Asking Friends For Referrals. Look For Owners Who Have Used A Broker Multiple Times.
Asking a trusted friend, captain, or marina acquaintance who they recommend can often lead you in the right direction. United Yacht Sales broker Greg Graham finds that the vast majority of his customers are either repeat clients or referrals from those clients. "I stay close with my customers and their captains," said Greg. "I find that word gets around the docks when you make your clients happy by selling their boat. Boating is a close-knit community and referrals end up being a huge part of our business. I have my captain's 100-ton master license so I'm insured and capable of moving my client's yacht in case of an emergency. Most brokers can't do that and it sets me apart by being willing to do that extra mile."
Captain Al Gagnon runs the MALA CHICA (now called Brennan's Grin) a 2011 F&S custom sportfish, and was very confident about referring the owner of his boat to Greg. "I chose Greg Graham and Chris Peters because I know they are experts at selling custom boats. They fish them, they sell a lot of them, and I know they are going to take care of the owner," said Al. "I know Greg probably even has a buyer lined up. I chose them because custom boats are their niche. Greg did everything in his power to make that deal happen as it pertained to certain issues that came up in the survey, even fixing some of them personally." If your potential broker cannot produce referrals like this, it may be best to consider moving on to someone new.
The MALA CHICA pictured below.
2. Ask: "Does Your Yacht Brokerage Firm Spend 100% Of Their Budget On Selling Their Customer's Boats?"
"A lot of claims are made today about who spends the most money at marketing, who has the most pages in the magazines, or sells the most boats," said Rob Bowman, UYS marketing director. "What good does spending the most money do for the sale of your boat, when much of that budget is used for marketing the company's new boats or trade-ins they own? At United Yacht Sales, 100% of our marketing budget is devoted to selling YOUR yacht."
That's where our focus is and it's how United has sold closed on over 6,000 yachts. Our attention, and our investment, is devoted to your boat. Before you sign your listing agreement, find out exactly how the firm plans to market your vessel and how much of their budget goes towards advertising their listings.
When UYS broker John Blumenthal started discussions with the owner of EURYBIA, a 60' Jim Smith custom sportfish, he was in competition with several other brokers. After reviewing the thorough United marketing plan with the owner, John won the listing and the UYS support team went into action immediately. After creating a comprehensive video walk-through, complete with professional photography, EURYBIA was all over social media, listed on every major yacht-classifieds website, a targeted search engine marketing campaign was launched, email blasts were sent, and when the dust settled EURYBIA had been seen by nearly 10,000 people within a few days. Within 3 weeks of hitting the market EURYBIA is under contract.
"There's no doubt that the presentation of the boat, combined with the marketing efforts of our support team, helped my get this very customized sportfish under contract," said John. "The difference between United and other brokerage firms out there, in my experience, is the personal attention. I can text or call the support team and they work to promote my listing immediately.
Seen below: The video walk-through of EURYBIA.
3. Ask: If I Find A Boat I Like, Will You Be At The Survey?
Finding a boat on the pre-owned market isn't difficult. United has over 6,000 yachts for sale listed on our website. But finding the right yacht broker that will guide you through the process, help you select the right boat, and be there every step of the way so you feel confident, is not always as easy.
"There is no question that you should be with your client at the time of survey," says Mordy Miltz, who currently has 20 listings. "To advise my clients properly I need to understand what the surveyor is seeing, what he believes may be an issue on a boat. There's no greater importance to me than the personal level of customer service we provide at United. I know it makes my clients feel better to know that I'm there and learning about any deficiencies. This is important during the negotiation process."
Seen below: Behind-the-scenes cell phone footage of UYS brokers Mordy Miltz, Marcus Raiano, and Greg Graham all 3 attending the survey of MOLLIE K, a 60' Viking Yachts Convertible currently under contract.
4. Ask: Who Is Going To Be Doing The Closing?
United Yacht Sales has always prided itself on our support for our brokers and their customers. "We've got the best closing department in the industry," says Peter Schmidt, founder of UYS. "There is nothing they haven't seen. We close 600+ transactions every year from 20-foot boats all the way up to 200-foot superyachts. Our team is as experienced and thorough as you can find anywhere."
United's closing department has 4 full-time closing agents that have more than 60 years in combined experience closing boats and yachts of all sizes. From offshore closings, to coast guard documentation, to title registration services, the UYS closing team is here to make sure your experience doesn't fall short at the time of sale.
With over 200 yacht brokers in 104 different locations, United Yacht Sales has the largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry. Our strength in numbers provides an incredible number of potential buyers for your boat, before it ever even hits the market. Whether you are interested in selling your boat, or purchasing a new one, call us today at 1-772-463-3131 to be put into contact with a local UYS broker that specializes in your boating needs.