Every day as a real estate agent you will be negotiating about something. It could be for the listing, advertising, pricing, closing the contract, or some unusual twist of special condition on the contract.
It logically follows that you have to be a good negotiator to succeed in the property industry. The sellers that engage your real estate services expect you to be a great negotiator. They do not want an ordinary salesperson to negotiate their property sale.
Whilst this is a simple fact of the real estate business, it is remarkable how many salespeople do little or no training in negotiation. They think that they know how to do the hard negotiations; the reality is the opposite. Poor personal negotiation skills are the reason for salespeople losing the deal, the listing, the client, the buyer, the advertising money, and the list goes on.
Let’s set some basic rules for negotiation in commercial property.
- A good real estate negotiator knows what they are focusing on from the start. They know what the best outcome should be. They also know what the fall back position will be if they need it. They then set the plan of negotiation in their mind before commencing the process.
- Do not give in too easily in the negotiation when you strike a hurdle. Expect the other party to put you under pressure. It follows from this that some parts of the negotiation should be non-negotiable. On that basis and with those items you should be prepared to walk away from the negotiation if the basic terms are not reached.
- The first offer should be hedged or slowed. In other words do not be too eager to agree to their offer or present your offer. The other party will expect a challenge so give them one.
- Take the negotiation slowly and in stages. Get the other person to talk and explain their position. The more that they talk the better it is for a compromise to be suggested at the right time.
- Ask lots of questions in the negotiation. It keeps the matter moving and ideas following. Ask them to explain their ideas or position more. Talking helps the negotiation process.
- A lot has been said about body language in negotiation. The skill is relevant to the activities and negotiations in real estate. Learn more about body language as it is certainly useful in most of your negotiation situations.
- Take a series of small steps by getting the other party to agree to minor matters in the negotiation. This helps the final big close as you get to it.
- Walk away from the negotiation if you do not get the minimum outcome that you seek. It is remarkable how things change over 24 hours.
Negotiation in commercial real estate is a common event; the more you do it the better you become. Confidence and knowledge are the keys to being a great real estate negotiator.
Some of the most useful tools in negotiation are the use of words and your voice. The best way to improve these is through simple voice practice. You can do this by reading a book aloud for 20 minutes each morning when you first arise. It is remarkable how this simple step can strengthen your dialogue and negotiation potential.
You may not always agree about some of the things you are negotiating, especially if it is an unrealistic price asked by a vendor and you have to sell the price to the buyer. Remember however that it is your skills that the client is paying for, so improve your skills and your negotiation results will improve.
Build your negotiation skills and use your property knowledge to underpin your negotiations. Facts and circumstances are the pillars of good negotiation. Use the facts to weave the negotiation towards you and the results that you seek.