How does a good broker make sure buyers get the boat they really need as opposed to one they think they want, so they don’t come to the realization in a year that they bought the wrong boat?

I think in most cases buyers come in with an expectation. They say, “We want this. We’ve seen pictures online.” And that’s great, because they’ve done their research. But nothing — no pictures, no online videos — takes the place of setting foot on the boat. Usually they’re looking at the cheapest one or a smaller size boat because of price and the slip they can get, and you take them to that boat and they usually bump themselves. In most cases, if they’re starting at a certain size, they’re going to end up at a larger and more expensive boat, because they’re going to go and look at a boat they had found online, and when they get to it, it’s not going to be what they thought. Or you go and look at the one with the lowest price and there are all kinds of maintenance problems. In those cases, the difference between a good broker and a bad broker, is the bad broker, if the client is ignorant, will just keep them going. Me, I’ve gone to the extreme and told people — I’m sure a lot of brokers are like this — “We’re not buying this boat.”

In some cases I’ve had to tell people, “Hey, look, I don’t know much about anything in life, but this is what I know. I know boats, and I’m telling you, this is what we need to do.” That’s usually when everything they’re telling me directs me to one model but they’re on something else, and you just have to have a heart-to-heart conversation with them and say, “I’ll help you do whatever you’d like to do, but I really feel you should be going this direction.” And maybe it’s a boat they don’t even know exists because they’re been so focused on one boat.

A good broker is more of a buying companion and a source of education, a resource, rather than someone trying to sell you something. He should be on your side looking out solely for your interests. It should be more of an experience where every time something is found wrong he’s not trying to convince you it can be fixed cheaply. He should say, “Let’s investigate and find out and see what we can do there,” and really be a resource and a guide to help you.

A lot of my job is really slowing people down instead of speeding them up, and making them really think.

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