Choosing Your Marina Broker

by / Monday, 03 October 2016 / Published in Marina Blog
Leisure Investment Properties Group Choosing Your Marina Broker image 1

In another article we discussed the importance of using a broker when it comes time to sell your marina, versus listing the property on your own. Now, let’s talk about important factors to consider when selecting the right marina broker to represent you and your marina.
Let’s assume you’ve made a short list of candidates you think may be up for the challenge.  Now what?  How do you narrow the search?  How can you be sure the broker you’ve selected is the one that will maximize the value of your marina?  The goal of this article is to arm you with some important questions to ask both yourself and your broker as work through the interview process.  As you receive the answers to these important questions, you should have enough information to make a confident choice.

  1. What is the broker’s track record in the marina industry? Of course every broker will have some sort of broad claims to this question.  So that’s why you need to dig deeper here.  What companies have they worked with in the marina space?  Ask the brokers for a list of references that can speak to their personal experience in working with this broker.  Are they familiar with all facets of the transaction (financing, acquisition, disposition, etc.)?  Most importantly, ask the broker for specifics on deals they’ve recently worked on within the marina space.
  2. What is their company platform? Is this broker a one-man band advertising marinas for sale or do they actually work for a reputable, national firm that will put a team on the field for you?  This is extremely important when comparing the value a broker can add to your transaction.  The broker’s access to resources and a strong brokerage team will have a direct correlation to the broker’s ability to create a market for your marina and successfully manage the process to a close.  Ask each broker to walk you through their team structure and their firm platform and how they plan to utilize those resources on your behalf.
  3. What is their marketing plan/process? Ask each broker to walk you through their marketing process for your specific asset.  Are they planning on being proactive in their approach (direct to principal meetings/calls) or are they planning to just put the deal on the internet as “marina for sale” and hoping for the best?  Does the broker have specific examples of deals in which their marketing process created real value for their clients?
  4. How did they arrive at the price? There are several marina brokers out there that can’t answer this question.  We discuss how our team accurately and credibly prices marina assets here, because this is a crucial “must-have” in your selection of broker. The last thing you want is for your property to sit on the market because it is overpriced. Naturally, some brokers will try to put a large number on paper to win your business. However, a big number on paper may look attractive from a selling perspective, but most of the time the deal cannot be made, real buyers do not bother looking because they believe the deal is not deliverable, and the broker is most likely going to ask you for a price reduction shortly after hitting the market. Ask the broker to walk you through their pricing strategy, where they got the information for their competitive sales, any adjustments they made to the financials, etc.  See if that broker can defend the price they put down on paper and if they really have a methodology.  If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, what makes you think they can defend that number to a real buyer that is trying to find ways to devalue your property?
  5. Do they have TLC? Finally, you should ask yourself does this broker have “TLC”.  Do you trust them?  Do you like them?  Do they have credibility in the market?

The bottom line is that you need to choose a marina broker that you feel comfortable with and are confident will fight for you throughout the transaction process.  The capability of brokers to either answer or not answer these important questions should give you some real insight into which brokers are wasting your time and which marina brokers can truly impact the process.  Hopefully, when the time comes to put up your marina for sale you can utilize these questions to make the right choice and find the marina broker that will ensure you sell your marina for the highest net proceeds the market will bear.

Published October 14, 2016

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