A day in the life of yacht broker Steve
Steve Booth is a broker at Boatshed Essex. He has always liked water based sports including sailing and canoeing. He started off dinghy sailing, and his first ‘proper’ boat was a Hurley 22. Steve’s been a Boatshed broker for six years and loves the people you meet through boats and boating. He also loves being his own boss.
He says, “Every day is unpredictable. If I expect to do one thing I may end up doing something else. Service businesses need to respond. I might plan my day, then someone will ring up for a viewing: You need to respond and change your plan. Days can be similar though; there is a routine of key tasks that you need to do. I might start the day working at home responding to email enquiries. Then I’ll head into the office for more admin. Then there is the more proactive emailing, contacting customers about price reductions. With email people expect a same day response. Our office opens each day for a core amount of time, and Catherine is there three days a week.
Today I’m off to a yacht club to list a small motor cruiser. I’ll be meeting the customer, taking lots of photos and completing the listing agreement. It’s so much easier to do that on the boat with the owner because you’ll then glean a lot of additional information about the boat, like how many owners she’s had. Getting to know the owners is really important and it’s interesting meeting new people. I make sure I keep in regular contact with the owners.
The number of viewings I do can really vary. You’ll have only two one week and the next week you may have viewings every day. The weather definitely affects viewings, so we expect to be busier in April and May.
Completing a sale can be a time consuming process. You’ll be dealing with surveyors and organising a lift out with a marina. There’ll be documentation signing, a survey, maybe a sea trial. It can take about four weeks from the offer. We’re not just virtual brokers. We do it properly, professionally and we’re thorough.
I would say it’s varied, but also quite routine. You meet all sorts of people from all walks of life and from all different countries. I think sea trials on a nice sunny day are a highlight of the job, it’s good fun going out on other people’s boats!
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