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Old 01-03-2001
slebowitz slebowitz is offline
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A word of warning about an Annapolis broker

My colleague, Jill Griffin, the broker Mr. Reynolds referred to, asked me to post the following reply that she wrote:

Re: URSU warning about Annapolis Yacht Broker
A Response!

Libel and/or the harm done by irresponsible posting of unjust/unfair/defamatory information on the Internet is one of the more difficult issues users have to deal with.

In responding to John Reynolds gripe list and warning about “an Annapolis Broker” I ask that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Buying a boat should be an enjoyable experience and brokers can play a crucial role in assuring a boat buyer a happy outcome to his boat hunt. Prospective boat buyers should not be discouraged from using a yacht broker. As the broker criticized by Mr. Reynolds I want to bring some perspective to his comments and also defend the proper use of a yacht broker.

1. First, I did let Mr. Reynolds down the weekend before Christmas. However, it would appear Mr. Reynolds was not specifically traveling to Annapolis to look for a boat, but rather squeezing in some “boat inspections” during a weekend trip to Philadelphia. People often do! Although Mr. Reynolds indicated he had a weekend available, he was unable to meet with me, the broker, on Saturday when I was free and willing but only on the Sunday afternoon it turned out. I told him I was having a Christmas Party that Sunday for 50+ people and couldn’t show boats – only if he were prepared to be available early in the morning on Sunday could I consider it– he was not.

2. Yes, I was unprofessional! I was unprofessional in the manner in which I tried to accommodate Mr. Reynolds. I should not have agreed to get him on board two of the boats I was representing, without a broker being present. This action is not, in my opinion, either professional or responsible, I have very rarely resorted to it in the over 25 years + that I have been a yacht broker and dealer and, believe me, I shall never again, regardless of the circumstances.

3. The boat Mr. Reynolds supposedly wanted to see was sold in the week prior to Mr. Reynolds visit and was removed by her new owner who took advantage of a weather window to sail away 3 days before Mr. Reynolds arrival.

4. What can a boat buyer learn from Mr. Reynolds experience?

* If you want help finding the boat you want to buy, select a yacht broker that has product knowledge in the area of your interest and be prepared to interview several brokers before selecting the broker you want to represent you.
* If you are looking for a productive relationship with the person who is going to locate the boat you want to buy, know that a first appointment during the Christmas holidays doesn’t often work for either of you ….. So be prepared!
* Be open and candid with your broker about your needs – a yacht broker is only as good as the information you give him/her. Be willing to sit down with your broker and give him the time he/she needs to properly service your interests.
* Be flexible in your schedule. A yacht broker has his client’s interests uppermost but he/she can’t pull boats out of a hat and if boats are sold days before you come to look at them be prepared to accept the disappointment. Be prepared to travel to where the boats you want to see are located.
* Be reasonable. You get what you give! Yacht brokers often work seven days a week trying to accommodate their clients but they also have a life away from work especially family commitments around such a major holiday as Christmas and New Year’s – if your broker can’t match your schedule, either ask for a recommendation of another broker, find another broker yourself or adjust your schedule.
* Follow your broker’s directions. You hired your broker because of his knowledge and competence so you can’t complain about the outcome if you fail to do what he/she suggests.

5. Yacht brokers can do an excellent job for their clients, in locating product, in fitting boat and client, ensuring fair and equitable treatment at every step and, in general, smoothing the rocky path on your journey to happy boat ownership and subsequent years of pleasure.
Remember to treat your broker well and you will enjoy every benefit you deserve.

Jill Griffin (jill@wagnerstevens.com)
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