Meet the Staff: Q&A: Capt. Jeremy Neff

By and Capt. Jeremy Neff
Updated 6:55 PM ET, Sat March 1, 2014
Meet the Staff: Q&A: Capt. Jeremy Neff
Capt. Jeremy Neff

Licensed Regional Sales Executive

Resides: Stuart, FL

Started with POP Yachts: July 2012

Q. How did you get into boating?
We moved to Florida when I was about 4, and our neighbor let us play on his dock and that's when I started fishing. When I was about 14, my grandfather bought us a 14-foot skiff. My dad said that as soon as I could pull-start the engine and I could climb in the boat from the water, by myself, he said I could drive it.

Q. How long did it take you to learn to do that?
[Laughs] About a week or so. From that point on I was out in the boat pretty much every day after school every day on the weekend.

Q. How did you get involved in selling boats?
I'm a fishing guide. I always really thought I'd like to be a yacht broker. I saw the opportunity, and POP Yachts hired me.

Q. What has surprised you about the boat-selling industry?
I realized more about the humanity we're dealing with – people's emotions. You see their real, true being by how they treat their boat and how they treat people. I didn't know it would be such an emotional business. You have to be somewhat of a psychologist.

Q. Have you made any interesting sales lately?
The most interesting ones are international sales. My wife Vanessa helped me sell a 34-foot 2010 Sea Ray to a buyer in Taiwan. We found them a boat up in Tallahassee. We had it surveyed ... ordered a trailer for it ... shrink-wrapped it, shipped and delivered to Taiwan.

Q. What's different about your approach to selling boats?
We've sold probably 30 boats sight-unseen, where the buyer didn't see the boat until the day it was delivered. I take pictures of literally everything. For an 18-foot boat, I'll have 400-500 pictures. Every time I've ever asked a buyer, “hey, did you see the pictures?” they say, "yes, I saw every one of them. Thank you for putting them up.” If you take 30 pictures and you didn't take a picture of a scratch, when they go to see it, they say, “oh, I didn't see that. What else is wrong with it?” Now, all the sudden it's a surprise. There's no surprises when I take pictures of everything.

Q. And you've seen that pay off?
One of my first sales, the buyer flew down from Canada to buy a boat from another company. The broker said it was beautiful, and there were only eight pictures. Well, he gets there and it's filthy. He couldn't believe he flew down here to see this boat and it was horrible. He had also been talking to someone at POP Yachts. He was in Stuart and Brad Butcher told him I was here and had a boat that was a year newer and we had 500 pictures. We went to look at it and he said, “What do I have to do to get this under contract today” because he was leaving to go back to Canada the next day. I asked if he'd looked at the pictures, and he said he looked at every single one of them.

Q. When you're not selling boats, what do you do for fun?
Well, we have 1 ½-year-old in diapers, a 4-year-old who terrorizes him and a 13-year-old who's going through puberty. So we usually hang out with family, and I sometimes go fishing on my own with my buddies.

Q. Where's your favorite fishing spot?
If there's a puddle, I look to see if there's fish in there.

Here's some recent feedback from one of Capt. Jeremy's buyers: Let me assure you, Capt. Jeremy is on the ball. My schedule is extremely filled, and when I do get a little breather, his ideas are waiting for me. That, to me, is top shelf service!!

—John B. from Arcadia, LA, posted on OCT 28
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