Category Archives: Market Pulse

KNOT 10 HIRING BROKERS FOR ALL LOCATIONS

Knot 10 Brokers Wanted

Are you experienced in sales and have the organizational skills and self-drive to be the best?  Then we want to hear from you.  If you think selling boats is easy or sounds like the fun way to pay your bar tab, then apply elsewhere. To be clear, we are only going to hire top talent for these opportunities.

At Knot 10 you will experience:

-Full office support staff -All of your photography, data entry & closings are completed for you by Knot 10′s professional support staff. All you do is focus on listing and selling!

-Branded National Advertising and Promotion - To generate listings and leads we use a comprehensive, expensive approach that includes direct mail, boat shows, and both print & web advertising that create more opportunities.

-Unique Compensation plan that creates more income for top performers - Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you make less because we charge less! Our minimum commission structure and the fact that we sell more of our boats in-house means our average sale earns you more than most 10% brokerages on each sale. The power of big inventory means you have 250-350 prime Knot 10 listings to work clients thru. This generates higher in house sales commissions versus having to go out and sell outside broker’s listings for less.

-Owner/Management That Does Not Compete Against You - No cherry picking the best leads and opportunities from upper management.  You are fully supported and not competing against an owner looking to take the best & hottest leads for his/her own.

-The Power Of Brand & Difference - Knot 10′s brand and our message has resonated with buyers and sellers from day one.  Having a difference allows you to promote and walk the docks with confidence that you are not just another broker but part of something unique.

Again, let’s be clear.  After eight years, of proven performance, we want true performers who strive to earn a long term, six-figure income. You will take ownership of your business, clients, and future with the power of our system and difference backing you up

DO YOU HAVE WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR?

 

 

 

DOES YOUR BOAT ATTRACT MICE?

DOES YOUR BOAT ATTRACT MICE?

The values of brokerage boats are seeing a slight stabilization as the U.S. pulls out of its most recent economic meltdown.  However, when looking at values, it is important to remember that these pleasurable toys are not appreciating assets.  In fact, they have a steeper depreciation in their first year than cars.

When buyers choose to shop the brokerage market versus the new boat market, it is most likely for economic reasons.  They logically say, “Why pay $400k for a new 35′ boat when I can buy an older one for 50% less.  I’ll go find a clean, well maintained, used boat and save some major $.”  In addition, brokerage boats have added value due to the increasing cost to build today’s new boats.  Their costs are accelerating due to technology, oil cost and supply and demand equations.  The ever increasing price differential between new vessels and your slightly loved boat is driving more and more buyers, who would have purchased new in the past, to steer in our direction.

DOES YOUR BOAT ATTRACT MICE is meant to grab your attention.  It refers to the listing price of your brokerage boat which is especially relevant when it comes to brokerage buyers who are shopping value.  An attractive price is equivalent to cheese in a mousetrap.  Customers or “mice” are drawn to the boats that are well priced.  In order for someone to buy your boat, they have to notice it.  When we list an incredibly clean boat, we know it’s going to sell if we can get an average of three buyers aboard.  If you price high, it’s like having a mousetrap without any cheese and customers will not notice it.  On the flipside, if a customer is drawn to a boat due to pricing (cheese) and they find it in good condition, they are in the trap.

Regarding condition, in today’s market a vessel that is just average or below average in condition equates to having cheese that a mouse might sniff at but won’t like enough to nibble on.  This is why paying attention to your broker’s suggestions is important and can save you money.  Making improvements to condition prior to coming on the market is far less costly than having your boat grow stagnant on the market.  Ultimately, you will drop your price tremendously because your boat’s condition does not compare to its competition.  No one wants to wait around incurring marina, insurance, and numerous upkeep fees longer than necessary and still have to reduce their price.

When the exposure and immense marketing package that we offer combine with your realistic listing price, the cheese attracts the most mice.  The more mice we’ve drawn to the trap, the greater your likelihood of success.

If you’ve been on the market for more than six months give us a call.  However, before doing so, take a look and see if your boat has the right cheese to attract that one mouse.

BUYERS YOU SHOULD ASK “Who’s listing is it anyway?”

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?

Increased Stress For Boaters

Do you often find yourself saying “we are heading to the boat, time to relax?”
What exactly does boating mean to you? Boating can be about warm weather, flip-flops and wetting a line. It can be relaxing time spent reading a book in the sun or quality time spent fishing and playing cards with family. Others enjoy travelling by boat and exploring portside towns and restaurants. There’s the whole social aspect of marina life that involves potlucks and sitting out on the stern talking until the bugs start biting. This sure sounds like the life!

Sounds?

• Ring-ring,
• You have mail,
• The blazing speed sound from Bejeweled Blitz

So much for time away from the office! The stress from work has followed you. So, is it preferable to put the “work fire” out immediately or be confronted with it and likely other problems first thing Monday morning? It sure is convenient to have the phone to call ahead and make dinner reservations. Of course, we want to be able to be reached in the event of an emergency but not work.
E-mail falls under the same umbrella. Check it in the am to keep up- to-date if your family tends to sleep-in. However, don’t stay in the cabin Googling your life away. There are interesting dock mates to converse with and the sky is clear this evening with a gorgeous full moon to view.

Bejeweled Blitz represents all phone games, laptop games, instagramming, tweeting and limitless other electronic forms of recreation. The question would be: “Is this the time and place?” Are your kids or even your spouse interested in the slower pace of fishing or card playing? Mind you, this slower pace is what usually relaxes us and stimulates conversation. Yes, conversation with other human beings versus a row of Candy Crush. On the flipside, it sure is great to take a picture of your “catch of the day” and quickly post it online for friends to see. Then again, you no longer have the excuse of The One That Got Away… Kind of like the old way of boating…

Cold Spring Warm Market Better Than Warm Spring Cold Market

In my travels out to photograph the fresh listings we get in I encounter many a marina owner and people milling about working on their boats. Just this week I had two marina owners say the same thing, “Boats really aren’t selling anymore are they?” Believe it or not I hear this or something similar all the time. To which I always reply “incorrect sir we are selling more boats than last year and far more than the year before that, but the boats have to be priced correct for the market and correct for condition”. A deeper conversation usually reveals they make this comment based on a few languishing boats they have in their marina’s that have been for sale by the owner or another broker for 3-4 years many of which are in the corner and covered in pollen and cobwebs. They are basing what they say on a very narrow scope of view and applying it to what they perceive is the market as a whole.

As a company Knot 10 is up significantly in settled sales over 2012 which was a record year for us. Our YTD settled sales are up 48.4% in units and 25.3% in total dollars Jan-April 2013 vs 2012. For the markets we serve the SOLD boat data for all reporting brokers was:

Mid-Atlantic SOLD:

Diesel Units Settled
Jan 1-Aprl 1, 2013 2012 2011
238 227 205
Gas Units Settled
Jan 1-Apri 1 2013 2012 2011
791 941 920

Florida SOLD:

Diesel Units Settled
Jan 1-Aprl 1, 2013 2012 2011
702 597 704
Gas Units Settled
Jan 1-Apri 1 2013 2012 2011
1125 1102 1142

New England Region SOLD:

Diesel Units Settled
Jan 1-Aprl 1, 2013 2012 2011
213 209 189
Gas Units Settled
Jan 1-Apri 1 2013 2012 2011
742 961 825

**interesting that the gas units are down in Mid-Atlantic and New England in almost the same ratio equal to the slow but steady diesel sold rates**

For buyer and sellers its important for you to know Knot 10 is always here and that the only thing all of us earn our income on is selling boats. No part time brokers who bartend at night, no service business or marina operations/gas docks etc. All we do is sell brokerage boats 7 days a week and not one of our salespeople earn a dime in salary or base + commission. Sell a boat earn money, then start at zero and sell another one. With the exception of our office Admin & Closing staff (who are quite exceptional!), not even our management team have a salary. Personally the last sales/marketing job I had with a salary was when I was 23 years old. I was earning $40k a year doing marketing for a physical therapy multi office practice. I hated it so much that I would usually dump the marketing materiel in the trash so it looked like I called on a bunch of accounts and sit in a parking garage listening to talk radio killing time. Not something I was proud of at all, but the point was I was getting paid regardless and hated what I was doing. Thankfully I quit after 3 months and took a 100% commission opportunity selling for a Nikon medical equipment dealership. It opened my eyes that without a ceiling on earnings coupled with doing something I enjoyed you could have an environment that provided the hardest workers with the greatest income and freedom. It’s a much longer story then many of you want to hear but it formed the basis for how I think all capitol equipment or high end sales teams should be structured to produce the greatest results. Pay people well, strip away the mindless call reports and “who did you see today spreadsheets” that big management companies paying sales bases and salaries brings and you end up with more peak performers pulling in the same direction. Sell a boat and start back at zero every pay period is an environment where if you don’t perform you will starve and eventually realize this is not the work for you. I’m proud of our team and assure you selling is what we do and while its not always easy or as quick as you may want there is no incentive for our team to not want to sell each and every boat we can.

Boating Needs To Be Cultivated

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the longer term growth of boating as a lifestyle and recreational outlet. NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Assoc) has for years promoted a “grow boating” campaign aimed at doing just that. It’s certainly something I see as a long term issue which can effect a recreation that to me offers so much and continues to bring families together in ways other recreation can not.

The spark that ignites boating passion for many (me included) and needs to stay alive is the introduction to the water and boats at a young age. For many boating spans generations and the kids/grandkids of boaters are likely to catch the bug and remain passionate about boating into their adult age and so on. For me for example my dad bought a 21 Bayliner when I was about 12-13 and while he kept it only for 2-3 years I remember those times as vividly as any childhood memory. There was something about his coming home from work early mid-week and us going out fishing near Sandy Point in the Chesapeake humidity that seeped in my blood and stayed with me for good. I recall how the boat looked, how it ran, hitting a crab pot and pushing it to the beach to unwrap it from the drive like paintings in my mind. Then the boat was sold (my Mom was not a big boat lover) and I was deeper into high school sports and off to college. Late in my twenties and gainfully employed I woke up one day with spring fever and could not get the images of those times on the water out of my head. I decided then and there that I wanted that for my family and announced to Judy “hey I wanna get a boat”. Years later I have two kids who the first warm day in Feb/March start asking when the boat is going in the water and why its not already there ready to go. The bug might be genetic it seems.

For boating to prosper and thrive will require people to continuing to experience all that being on the water offers and exposing future generations to it as well. I’m not sure how that happens in today’s overly expensive cost of living where even to go to the grocery store seems more expensive by leaps and bounds versus 5-7 years ago. Boating like many things in our society has become more of a have and have not proposition. It has not always been that way but the tremendous increase in the cost of new boats and the fuel to go in them makes it far harder to justify as anything but a luxury item. Heck even going to a baseball or football game as a family takes a major amount of disposable income.

Hopefully this trend is more cyclical and at some point in the future the industry can find ways to put boats and boating within the reach of more people. You don’t have to own a 75’ Sunseeker or 42’ Sea Ray to enjoy and reap the rewards of the salt air and memories that last a lifetime. We just need to find a way to put more people on the water which will create a stronger industry not to mention families that will smile more and enjoy the bonds with family and friends boating creates that nothing else can match.

BREAKING NEWS “REALTOR’S ANNOUNCE 10% COMMISSION RATE”

Knot 10 is celebrating its five year anniversary Feb 1st and I want to take a moment to thank all of you for giving us the chance to sell your boat, choosing our company and participating in our growth. When we first started as a company in Maryland our competitors simply patted us on the head and said nice try but you will fail within a year. They took us as nothing but a discount (my most hated term) operation that won’t have any legs and will be here today and gone tomorrow. What they failed to realize was how comprehensive our approach was for the seller yet how simplified the message was for us to get across. As we grew in listings, sales, employees and location the market realized oops they are not only here to stay but leapfrogging every company out there.

We anticipated what our competitors would say about our concept and the myths they would try and propagate to customers. A few of my favorites that played out exactly as expected were:

-Knot 10 does not show the boats

-Knot 10 is just on the internet and does not have an office or staff

-Knot 10 does not have anybody with experience (funny)

-They can’t survive charging 7% (last time I checked 7% of $25million is more then 10% of $7 million?)

-Other brokers won’t show their boats since they don’t co-broker (news flash we pay industry rate on co-brokerage and alert all brokerages in direct email to this fact. In the last 30 days we have been the selling broker for transactions with the 2 biggest brokers in the US. Seems other brokers have no problems selling or showing our boats)

Our concept was to simply charge 7% instead of 10% commissions to sellers yet do it with 100% full service. There is nothing discount about what we do, the only discount is that we charge less then what brokers considered their industry standard set in stone rate. Other brokers cut rates on a sexy listing, or to make a deal happen after the fact all the time. We just decided make our message clear to customers that you can get all of what we offer and pay 7% not 10 (hey Knot 10 that sounds like a good name).

Fast forward five years and we are growing every year with big plans for 2013 and the future. As we enter new markets the difference is people know we are here to stay. Competitors now like to tell us directly and to industry groups my new favorite “Knot 10 is ruining the industry”. Imagine if you would the following.

BREAKING NEWS FLASH

“REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY MANDATES A 10% COMMISSION ON REAL ESTATE SALES”

If the real estate industry tomorrow moved all rates from 6-6.5% up to 10% what would the effect on that industry be?

-Sellers would immediately be further under water on their mortgages and would raise prices to offset the increased commissions on the property.

-Buyers would see less attractively priced homes to pick from

The end result is realtors would sell fewer houses as buyers would all of a sudden see houses that where not priced attractively as sellers would price in the 3% commissions to the sales price, have shrinking equity or have to write bigger checks if they are underwater on their mortgages.

The real point to make with this statement is that the old guard says “we are ruining the industry and bad for the market” when in fact we are the direct opposite. Ask yourself what would happen to the health of our industry if all brokers charged 7%? Sellers would be in a better price position and more aggressive, buyers would see more attractive deals and the net effect would be brokers sell more boats not less. Are 10% brokers for a healthy industry or part of the problem holding it back? Knot 10 is not ruining the industry but simply providing a disruption that long term will be proven to have improved it.

Shopping will never be the same

The continued up trend in leads and shoppers was no better no worse last week. We completed a sales meeting in Maryland which brought all of our offices together for 1 ½ days to go over 2012 and some of the exciting things we are going to accomplish in 2013.

For those who don’t know me I enjoy running early in the morning 3-4 days a week. Its on these runs or shortly afterwards where my most productive thoughts or ideas are formed. On one of these runs the thought came to me about how the world we live in today has become something like never before in terms of shopping. All of which can be tied back to the revolution and pace of technology. The internet opened the door but it’s the ipad, smartphone and walking mobile proliferation that has blown it off its hinges. You can stand in a store and pull your phone or tablet out and shop that item in 30 seconds. This is not going away and has altered the landscape of how people buy.

Never before has it been harder for people who own a small business to sell goods over $1000 if they are not looking out from their zip codes. For those that figured out ways to move outside of that scope it’s also a time when never before could they sell more products to further reaches. Two perfect examples of that came to me from my own experience this year.

1) My lawn tractor was on the blink and my 15 year old said dad we need a zero turn mower it will cut the lawn time in half. He was right and I took a look locally at a few. But then I jumped online and compared brands, specs, and of course prices. My local dealers “on sale” price was $3799 plus tax. On an ipad in the back of my car driving to dinner my son found the exact model in a crate shipped from Michigan in one day for $3149 no tax no shipping from a tractor supply warehouse store. Gave them my credit card on Sunday and had it Tuesday morning. One month later needed a part walked into my local dealer and bought the part for $24.99. Had no interest in shopping to save $1.49 on the part but absolutely when spending thousands.

2) My parents where replacing the range in their home and wanted a very upscale gas range. Knowing what they wanted my wife sent them to a really high end kitchen store. They found the brand, style and options they wanted. Shopped it online over the course of 3 days to 7 different dealers with an email that gave them “hey this is what we want, give us your best price”. The final bid was accepted and the purchase was made based on price and delivery. The high end local store was 18% higher then where we bought it from.

These were commodities where to me exceptional service mattered far less then price or support for who I ended up buying from. I am willing to accept that when I problem occurs I may have to work a bit harder to get it resolved but it’s not as if I need training on how to cut the grass. The exact same example of this occurs in every item out there over $1000 today more then ever before. It’s not everyone mind you but far more then 5 years ago and 15 years ago it was hardly even a possibility. If you have a production type boat where there are 5-10 out there this is why listed price is so vital to make the phones ring and why we wanted to show you some stats to bear this out.

THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO THINK LIKE BUYERS MORE AND SELLERS LESS.

100 Random settlements for Knot 10 in 2012 looked like this:

55% of the boats stayed in state. 45% of them went to another state or country.

55 boats listed in the same state stayed in the same state

45 boats listed in a state that sold to another state or country

Florida to Toronto

Florida to Virginia

Florida to North Carolina

MD To MI, NY(4), PA (2), MA, FL (2),VA (8), DE (2), DC

MD To Singapore

MD To Ontario

MD to Germany

MD To British Columbia

Virginia to MD (2), CA, NJ,FL,MA

Connecticut To NY (2)

Massachusetts To NH

Massachusetts To Venezuela

New Hampshire to MA

Vermont to Canada

When prices are right the end result is shoppers inquiring more about boats farther away as the cost to ship and logistics to do so outshine the local options.