You as a boat buyer should be aware of a growing practice known as PLS searching which is being used as a means of generating leads thru confusion in its best light but deception if the truth is to be told. Boat brokerages put an easy search screen on site and are allowed to basically serve the consumer the entire market of boats outside of their own listings. This service requires the use of a small disclaimer at the very bottom of the page but allows them to cut off the contact information of the brokerage and agent who has the listing. For those who pay for this ability the goal is simple. Lets build a site for search that looks great and we can get people to call us thinking it’s our boat.
Knot 10 Yacht Sales offers every boat we list as available for co-brokerage. This means other brokerages can sell any of our boats and in almost every case are paid a 5% commission to do so. That’s an industry rate and we have co-brokered with the biggest and best agencies on the market. Every listing you see on our website is our central listing only, not a global search tool meant to generate leads.
The truth is real co-brokerage is when you desire a broker to represent your interest and guide you thru the process. That broker has access via the MLS system, which allows us all to search all boats available for co-brokerage at one time and contact the listing broker to narrow the path for the client. Brokers never use their own website to search the market, we use the broker only MLS system. That’s true co-brokerage in the spirit it was meant.
A small disclaimer that is only seen at the bottom if you scroll to it gives the legal cover but there is simply no debating the design is such that the PLS company can give the appearance it’s a listing of theirs so that an unsuspecting buyer contacts them. The result had lead to buyers being represented by those who have zero knowledge of that listing and in most cases never have seen it or ever will.
It happens all the time. Buyer from Virginia calls into a brokerage in Florida for a boat that’s in Boston. Then the broker in Boston gets a call from a broker in Florida who says “my client wants to see your boat can you show it for me I have a previous commitment”. Now the real listing broker drives all the way to Cape Cod on a Saturday and meets the client. In showing the boat the client says “I never met that guy but we called him since we saw the boat listed on their site and he said we could see it and called us back after setting it up”. It happens all the time every day.
PLS search has made the spirit of co-brokerage and the true representation of the client damaged as its usage has spread.
So the next time you are shopping for boats look for the listing brokers contact and ask yourself WHO’S LISTING IS IT ANYWAY?