Handling Objections in Commercial Real Estate Sales or Leasing

Objections in the negotiation of commercial or retail property sales or leasing are common place. Everyone will object to something; everyone has to have a win of some type or other. This is where the negotiation skill of the agent or salesperson has significant bearing on the outcome of the transaction.

Whether it is in the price, the rent, or the terms and conditions of the deal, the objections will occur. Real estate agents have to handle the objection and do so very well; confidence and competence are the keys to how you progress the negotiation. Practice and skill is needed to consistently convert and close the transaction.

Now you will not close every deal for the simple reason that some demands are just too excessive or unreasonable. You should however have a base plan for working with and through objections when they occur. Here is one form of ‘objection control’ that may help you.

  1. In the first instance, you should hear them out to see what their opinion and demands are. This also gives you time to think through the various alternatives of response. Encourage the client or the prospect to completely explain their position.
  2. From stage one above you can then paraphrase their position and opinions back to them. This essentially means that you restate their opinion in your words. It helps them to understand and see that you are completely on track with where they are coming from. It also shows your respect for what they’re saying.
  3. From stage 2 above, you can then the question the facts and details of their position. The more questions you ask the better. Drill down and get them to talk about any matters of concern or urgency. It is quite likely that the answers provided will give you an advantage in response.
  4. Given that you now fully understand their points of negotiation, you can give your opinion or position subject to the instructions of the client. It could be that the rent or the price on the property is under negotiation and offer. Having third party information and price or rent comparable evidence from other local properties will help you with the points of discussion.
  5. Subject to the depth of the issue and points of negotiation, you can seek time to consult with the client for their instructions. Sometimes this activity is more strategic than necessary, however it does give you the time to reposition your thoughts and alternative counter offers.
  6. After careful consideration of the matter under negotiation, you can give a distinct and simple answer. Negotiation should always be a simple process. If many points are being negotiated, it pays to have a list process to simplify the counter offer. Work on the easiest things first to get some form of agreement between the parties; the harder and more detailed parts can be handled towards the end of the negotiation after small agreements have been reached.
  7. Every offer and counter offer should be put in writing. This gives some form to the negotiation and allows people to sign off on the matters under discussion. If the transaction is very complex, then some form of heads of agreement will simplify the offer and counter offer process. When the key elements of the transaction have been agreed, you can then bring in a solicitor to document the total contract of sale or lease of property.

You can get more ideas and tips for commercial real estate agents at our website

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.