Negotiation Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

business man and woman negotiating
Plan your commercial real estate negotiation so you are not cut short on alternatives.

When it comes to selling and leasing commercial or retail property today, buyers and tenants like to have some gain as part of the negotiation.  Expect that it will happen and have your facts and fall-back position ready.  Set the bottom line below which nothing will drop below.

Your job is to reach the best solution for your client through that gain that the buyers and tenants are seeking.  Understanding the client’s position and requirements will help you with the negotiation.

Top agents know how to negotiate; they do it all the time.  Practicing the process will help you improve if you believe you have weaknesses in knowing what to say and do.  In commercial real estate we are usually working with some very experienced clients and business people; they know what to say and do to get a better deal for themselves.

When you strike a hurdle in the deal, no matter what the facts or property type, use a mixture of the following strategies to help you move ahead.

  • Ask for more information so you can understand the other person’s situation or requirement.  This process will also allow you some more time to form some thoughts on what you want to say or do.
  • If the issue relates to an offer, get it in writing so you can have something to take to the client.
  • Take notes as the other person talks about their situation or argument.  This is another delay process or strategy to give you some time to formulate a response.
  • Show interest in what they are saying by questioning them deeper on key issues.  Questions will always tell you a lot about how to respond to them.
  • Get them to give you their ‘best offer’ as you may not be able to counter propose.  Their best offer may be the only thing that you can work with.
  • Remain calm no matter what the other party says or does.  When you lose your patience you lose your advantage.
  • Tell them of the client’s preference and the asking price or rent.  If you are ‘poles apart’ tell them so and show them some market facts and information that support the client’s position.
  • Read their body language as they move through the factors that are part of the deal.

Negotiation is not hard, it is just common sense but you can improve your processes by practice and focus.  In the commercial property market we have to be ready for some hard deals and tough clients.  This property market spins out some very unusual offers and counter proposals.

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.

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