Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Networking & Negotiating with Commercial Real Estate Clients Today

When it comes to commercial real estate sales, leasing, and property management, we deal with all sorts of clients and situations.  Here are some tips from our Newsletter for Commercial Agents.

Given that just about every part of the property contact process involves decisions relating to money, price, and rental, the emotion of circumstances and the bargaining’s of the parties involved can be difficult and challenging.  That is why we as agents need to improve our negotiation skills at every opportunity.  

Here are some tips that can apply to the client connection and negotiation process.  The same rules will apply to prospects leasing or buyers purchasing property.
  1. Recognise that you can talk too much when it comes to client interaction.  Most of the conversation should come from the other party, and you should be the instigator of appropriate questions to gain information.  This process is called a ‘Freudian Slip’, and is used by many top agents as a specific strategy in negotiation.
  2. We all will likely recognise the difference between open and closed questions.  They all serve a purpose and are used relative to the challenges and issues we are dealing with.  It is wise to spend some time in role play within your sales team to develop strategies of questioning with different types of situations.  Those situations can be the listing of property, selling the marketing packages to the client, inspecting property types in different ways, and closing on transactions.
  3. If the party to the negotiation presents some problems or hurdles that can threaten the deal, asking specific questions about the issue to get more information.  Invariably you will probably hear the answer in the details that they give you.  I like to encourage a two or three layer or level of questioning.  In such case, you go down two or three levels specific to the problem of the client is raised.  In other words you get a lot more information than you would normally get from a single response.  Good negotiators do this well.
  4. Sometimes it is necessary to transition the deal forward to the next stage.  In such circumstances you can ask a leading question relating to the next stage of discussion.  It is a soft approach to moving the mindset of the other party forward into some momentum and acceptance of current transaction circumstances.
  5. Information and market knowledge will always underpin your negotiations with clients and prospects.  When you can provide specific information regards the marketplace it is very hard for the client or prospect to refute your argument or direction of discussion. 
  6. Always take notes from discussions, negotiations, property inspections and any third parties that you deal with.  There feedback will allow you to condition the client into understanding the property market further.
  7. Rarely will you find that aggression and forceful tactics will close a deal.  If anything they will slow the deal down.  Remain calm under all circumstances and preserve your professionalism at all times.  Some clients can be extremely difficult, but you must not lower your presentation and negotiation skills to their aggressive level.  Remain cool calm and collected at all times.

The process of negotiating involves listening with your whole body and mindset.  The other party needs to see that you are totally connected and understanding of their position.  When you show them respect, they will do likewise in the negotiation.

As mentioned earlier, take notes during negotiations and discussions so that you can support or clarify any potential future disagreements.  It is remarkable how many transactions become difficult for the most unusual of reasons.

When you work with clients and prospects, there is a distinct difference between agreement and understanding.  Both have a place when it comes to negotiating, and both will be used as appropriate.
Top agents are controlled negotiators and have usually gained that experience with different property types and people over the years.  You can do the same and even fast track the process through deliberate effort and practice.

If you want more tips for commercial real estate agents, visit our website at