Successful negotiation is challenging—in some cases, it is next to impossible. The reason is simple: Two (sometimes more) sides, each with their own goals, agendas, and loyalties, coming together to reach an acceptable middle ground.
What Negotiation Isn’t
Popular culture gets a lot wrong. And the real estate negotiation process is one of them. Many people have the mistaken belief that negotiation is all about power and dictating terms… then beating an opponent over the head until they give in. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Successful Negotiation is Built on 4 Core Principles
While there are many schools of thought on what it takes to successfully negotiate even the most challenging real estate deal, I believe there are 5 core principles to adhere to at all times:
- Gather all appropriate information—Whether you call it data collection, opposition research, or something else, it is important to know your opponent. This is why I spend so much time learning what I can about the other side—their wants, their needs, as well as why they feel the way they do.
- Anticipate wants and needs—It isn’t always possible to know the trigger points for the other side, especially since so many real estate negotiations involve other real estate professionals. (Face-to-face negotiations with the decision-maker is rare.) This means that I have to keep a keen eye out for subtle signs of wants and needs… and how to use them to our advantage.
- Create value—The value proposition is vital to the strength of our negotiating position. If we create value, we make it more likely that the other side will see things our way… or will come closer to seeing things our way than they would have without these efforts.
- Claim value—At a certain point in negotiations, we will have to claim value—by explaining must-have contingencies. If I have done an effective job of creating value, the value I claim on your behalf is more attainable.
- Execute contract—Finally, once we agree in principle to the price and terms, we need to put it in writing for review by both sides. This is sometimes easier said than done—sometimes things need to be renegotiated. The final step is getting the contract signed—sweet victory.
How I Handle Negotiations
I’ve developed a series of negotiating strategies that have been wickedly effective in deals of which I have been a party. It all comes down to intuition—knowing what has worked in the past, and why.
You can’t fake this kind of experience because the other party (or parties) in negotiation can smell a fake a mile away. You either have it or you don’t.
I’ve honed and refined my negotiating skills through hundreds of real estate transactions.
My history is the reason you want me in your corner negotiating on your behalf. I’ve gotten results for others… I’d like to do the same for you.