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YachtForums Yacht Sales - Community Based Yacht Brokerage

Discussion in 'The Mile-Out Club' started by YachtForums, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. CaptEvan

    CaptEvan Senior Member

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    Hey Carl,

    Kudos to all the legal issues, and "fraternity" lock out which Ken offered.

    Some of the site's that are gaining huge web-ground in several avenues, ie; "cars-on-line.com" have no specific identity. Yes, you can find what you are looking for, but nearly each connection you are sent to is a different format. So you have to investigate point-for-point what you are looking for. If the YF listing, again holding to the integrity of the site, was consistent in full information for every vessel, and that information mandatory, it would be refreshing to the marketplace.

    Evan
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I think that makes the equation a whole lot simpler. You've designed a great platform, and I think you should be able to benefit from it.
    I appreciate you wanting to include us in your success, but the website is yours to prosper from.
    Now, will I let you buy me dinner every time we go out after you make your millions? You bet!
  3. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Reading the above posts, most believe the compensation plan works against the YF ethos.
    The compensation does not need to be money. Do not underestimate the power of Recognition on Yacht Forums. The compensation could be a YF based plan.
    If money in a commission or referral plan would attract some new members, then these are the type of member we least want.
    Now that I read more detail and see the type of yachts you would target, then it makes more sense and I believe it can work.
    If YF is not diluted (integrity etc.) then this will filter many of the problem yachts in the first place. Bad news travels fast and I don't see a smart broker wanting to expose a lemon for the YF members to tear apart in front of a huge audience.
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I feel you then remove a lot of headaches. This has always been a volunteer offering and Yes, you can do that idea.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Pick up the first cup of coffee when you're thru Jax (before 1800).
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yep, No rolled & sunk during launch will get sold here.
    Thru your world wide supporters, Near every boat in the upper crust has already been commented on. Designers, build yards, travels, services performed and port watchers. You kids know big boats.
    Yep, I'm liking this idea more.
  7. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Hi All,

    My thoughts are to have a section for " YF Boat Sales", split it for Sail and Power, maybe set it up with a PayPal account, and to post a yacht for pre purchase feedback you have to pay Y/F a small fee $50 or depending on boat size, winnings can go to you Carl - it's your site... maybe a new shirt for the members. This could be the best $50 a new/old member could spend really. I pretty much did this with the Bertram and everyone's feedback was spot on... the boat does roll and I do need new motors... but I love it :D
    I wouldn't worry about commission, my pay comes from more people going boating, and I think the reason why YF is so great in the first place is members are happy to help/suggest/recommend and I think if you add money to the game it might turn slightly bias to get a quick buck...

    Cheers

    Chris
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    No opposition here, I feel that this would remove what could easily become the elephant in the room.
  9. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    I agree to a YF brokerage division with no compensation to members or participants. It will be purely a brokerage site, similar to "yachtworld". It should be a supplement to the current YF.
  10. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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    Removing the ability to review the listings also removes a lot of headache.

    Removing the compensation plan also weeds out some drama as well.

    Make the money on posting quality listings.

    84far put into better words the thought I had of how to serve the buyer and get them some information they may need.
  11. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Your responses are a game-changer. The compensation programs were always the hurdle. If we set aside incentive and the resulting dilution, there are some other issues, but I'll address these later. To answer some questions...

    1. YFYS will be nothing more than a basic, stand-alone website linked to YF via banners, describing who we are, what we do and why a buyer/seller will want to work with us. The listings will reside on YachtForums in the 'Yachts For Sale' section. Again, listings will be closed to comments.

    2. Every current and past listing on YF still tops a Google search and in most cases, has been there for years. Putting listings on top of yacht-related keywords is easy. The REAL test was to see if I could do it without the word 'yacht', so I used my own boat for the test a couple of years ago. Sure enough, it went to the top of the search and has remained on the first page of Google results ever since...

    Keywords: "Powerplay Boat For Sale"
    https://www.google.com/search?q=powerplay boat for sale&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    3. We are not competing with YachtWorld. We are simply opening a brokerage division. We will participate on the MLS Services utilized by the brokerage community, therefore we will encourage brokers to bring clients to our listings and we will search outside of our Central Listings for buyers we are working with. Needless to say, we will be licensed and bonded in the State of Florida, as well as members of the Florida Yacht Brokers Assoc.

    4. Regarding referral fees: This is not an uncommon practice and there is nothing illegal it. Mostly, it presents an opportunity for YF members. For a captain to give us the name of a boat and owner coming up for sale, and we get the listing and sell the boat, is that captain not entitled to something more than a thank you email? If a captain (engineer, mate) knows his owner is looking to buy, is it wrong to be compensated for directing him to YFYS? The referral person is not picking the boat, he is only recommending us as brokers. And of course if it is against the boat owner’s policy, it shouldn’t happen.

    Why YFYS?

    Over the past 12 years, we've witnessed the collective knowledge of some very well-versed folks become a resource that will live on forever. I have always credited these folks for our success, but it's also been very long hours for me. I remain committed to YF and continuing improvements, but I need to diversify for 3 reasons:

    (1) The banner ads are the only source of income that YF provides and in recent years, finally passed from loss to break even to almost paying the rent. I refuse to dilute the site with ads from Ford, Geiko, Viagra, etc. I need to establish a real livelihood guys!

    (2) My eyeballs are falling out! I've spent about 10 hours a day for 13 years behind the keyboard. I've become a total recluse for the sake of writing, marketing and monitoring YF, not to mention 100's of emails and PM's weekly. I need to change my daily interface with a keyboard to actual real, live human beings!

    (3) Over the years, I've advised buyers, sellers, brokers, builders, and put together numerous yachts with new owners all as a courtesy to members. Simultaneously, I have passively watched the brokerage business, knowing I could bring something more to the industry; a better way for buyers and sellers to connect.

    Sincere thanks to everyone who is taking the time to provide guidance on this!
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    4. Regarding referral fees. Most yacht owners come from business. Now while much goes on in the business world that shouldn't, receiving money for referring your employer to a business is a serious violation of ethics in every business I'm aware of and would have resulted in automatic termination in any business I was actually involved with. A mail order office supply company built their business by sending small presents to purchasers. They were banned from our company. A trim manufacturer came first to the US from Japan by providing referral gifts to plant managers. They were banned from our company. As to my crew, they are paid quite generously to work FOR ME. Receiving any money from any vendor is cause for termination and clearly noted in their employee manual.

    I would hope and do think that YFYS (Good thing it's not "boat sales" as YFBS doesn't sound good) will merit referrals on it's on. Then it could well be the preferred brokerage for those in the industry.

    Now to your eyeballs falling out. This might be a good time as well to relook at YF proper. It's already the best but it could be better. You do help. And perhaps some other ideas to revitalize the site and move it back closer to your original vision. I notice in this thread several very long time members who post very little. As an entirely separate topic and undertaking perhaps a question for them as to what might interest them in more active participation or conversely what currently might disinterest them in the same.

    And as to those with the banner ads, I would encourage increasing the value of those ads by those same advertisers having more content in threads that are set up for their brands. Maybe even a "paid" new yacht section that can be packaged with their ad. I do believe that as more people come here to look at boats, the value of YF to them increases. But conversely for that to happen, YF can't become all about used boats. Oh, and more reviews.....lol
  13. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    LMAO @ YFBS! Clever. ;)

    Agreed on referrals, but it's FAR more common than you can imagine. Ultimately, YFYS should stand on its own merits, but all of these ideas came from the now defunct compensation plan that was based on being fair and equitable to the members who have helped build this resource. I believe knowledge has value and time is money, so those who contribute to the collective knowledge base should benefit from it too.

    There's no doubt YF could be better, but I already work around the clock and YF doesn't generate enough revenue to hire an assistant! I'm stretched pretty thin and frankly, after 13 years behind the screen, a bit burned out too. I saw the brokerage division as a way to generate the revenue needed to hire help and get away from the keyboard on occasion too.

    With regard to long time members not posting as much, it is the nature of forums for people to float in and out at various stages in their lives. Their interests change. So do economies. But that's not the only reason... some people get turned off by content and seek calmer waters. I did something about that on Nov. 24th! While I'm certain everyone wants to see more reviews, 2013 was the beginning of some very serious challenges for me. I faced some health issues. And if you recall, JF was hi-jacked and it took months to secure the breach. Then there was the migration to a new server, followed by many months to cross-platform our vB based forum to XenForo. I'm trying to get back on track in 2015. We have more reviews in the works.

    BTW, I've disclosed/discussed YFYS with just about every builder in the industry and MUCH to my surprise, every one of them encouraged it. In my eyes, I saw brokerage listings competing with their banners to sell new boats. In their eyes, they saw more buyers and more traffic coming to YF, which only served to benefit them.
  14. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Just so everyone knows, I wrote MANY drafts on how YFYS would work. I'm posting this ONLY for reference. Again, we're NOT doing this...



    The YFYS Compensation Program...


    How will it work?

    We're proposing a program where members will be compensated for their participation on YF and their knowledge on particular brands. Everyone will have an opportunity to make money when we make money. Commissions we receive on boats we sell will be dispersed to members with a minimal post count AND an advisory council we choose for each boat we represent or sell.

    What is the minimal post count and compensation?

    Members with 500 posts or more... $250.

    Members with 1000 posts or more...$500.

    Members with 5000 posts or more...$ 1000.

    It is VERY important to note, we will take a zero-tolerance approach to brainless banter. Simple quips and useless remarks have no place on YF. Never had! Never will! Post count is about relevant, helpful information. If you attempt to increase post count with "one-liners", not only will you be disqualified, you're membership will go 'poof'.

    Who are the members of the Advisory Council?

    We will ask for brief resumes from each of our members based on boats you've owned, boats you've built or boats you've worked on in varying capacities. Each of us has knowledge and knowledge has value. If you are chosen to be part of the advisory council on a particular listing or when we're working with a buyer on select boats where we need your expertise, we will call upon you for your opinion. All it will take is a few minutes of your day to jot down your thoughts and experience, detailing things a buyer should look out for on a boat that you have specific knowledge on.

    How will Advisory Council Members be compensated?

    There will be anywhere from 1 to 3 members selected to council a process. When the deal closes, you will receive a commission check equal to 1% of the commission paid to YFYS. May not sound like much, but this could easily equate to $10,000 for nothing more than a few minutes of your time on each transaction.

    How will YF Yacht Sales be different?

    For Sellers:

    1. The vast majority of searches by buyers utilize keyword specific brands, models, length and names. Like every review we've published over the past 10 years, each listing on YF Yacht Sales will top a Google search. No other broker or classified listing service can offer this.

    2. The reason so many people come to YF (or any forum) is to seek information prior to making a buying decision. This is a highly targeted demographic. YF receives an average of 750,000 visitors a month. They come here for opinions by experienced users, which is often far more insightful than any other source.

    For Buyers:

    1. You will be working with a select team that not only offers a wealth of experience, but will have the knowledge of YF's Advisory Council behind them.

    2. Ever had a bad broker experience? It won't happen at YF! We're held to a higher standard here because we're held publically accountable. YachtForums is live 24/7 and if we screw up, any commission pales in comparison to losing the respect of our readers.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  15. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Oh yeah, there were variants of the logo too...

    Attached Files:

  16. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Plus this one...

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  17. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    If that refers to what I think it does it is a low blow. The posters frustrations were much the same as mine he just expressed then differently.
  18. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    I would not fault you for wanting to start a YF brokerage, If you are intending it as a companion to YF.
    You have a great platform to direct users and potential buyers to your brokerage, and at the end of the day it is a business, although a passionate one.
    As olderboater says with the finders fee/commision/kickback, that is a slippery grey slope that has been around a long time in the yachting business. I for one would never take one from a supplier, provider or brokerage that was doing business with my current employer. Now if someone that is not paying me and asks for a brokerage recomendation and that broker gets the listing and sells the boat, why should I not get something for my referral? As long as it is outside of my normal compensated duties of my present job. In this day and age if someone is asking for your professional opinion/referral, there should be some kind of compensation involved.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  19. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    And therein lies the difference. You treat people with dignity. Nobody likes mean people, no matter how smart they are. And BTW, you are assuming it was only one person. It was three.
  20. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Thanks Randy.

    I probably didn't word the presentation correctly. I wrote it overnight. I hope you guys know by now, I run a pretty tight ship. I'm protective over what we've built. Kickbacks aren't in my vocabulary.

    And yes, if you refer someone, you should be included. That was always the plan.