Consumers expect real estate agents to be skilled negotiators. Unfortunately, clients are often disappointed to discover that their agents’ negotiation skills are no better than their own. Only a small percentage of agents have trained specifically to become better negotiators.
Negotiation expert Tim Burrell sees this all the time.
Before he started in real estate, Burrell worked as a trial lawyer — a position that requires top-notch negotiation skills. Now, in addition to running a successful team of his own, he travels around the country teaching agents the art of real estate negotiation.
When Burrell teaches agents how to negotiate, he focuses on the five core concerns that control emotion. Mastering these core concerns is vital because negative emotions break down effective communication rapidly and can easily ruin a negotiation’s chances of success.
To learn more about these core concerns and improve your negotiation skills, read on. For additional tips and tricks regarding real estate negotiation, listen to the podcast interview with Burrell below.
1. Listen to what the other side wants
Appreciation is a critical part of any negotiation. Without it, neither party will be open to the other side’s objectives, rendering the negotiation useless.
You must appreciate where the other party is coming from to negotiate terms that are acceptable to them and favorable for your client.
So, what’s the best way to understand and appreciate another’s point of view? That’s easy — listen.
Listen to what the other side wants when negotiating. Often enough, you can leverage that information to get your clients what they’re after.
2. Respect the other side’s autonomy
Too many agents approach negotiation in a forceful manner, pushing the other side to see everything their way.
It doesn’t work.
Instead of being forceful, respect the other side’s autonomy. One easy way to do this is to brainstorm together. By working on ideas with your counterpart, you can effectively guide the other agent toward a mutually beneficial outcome.
3. Harness the power of affiliation
By finding commonalities, you create a sense of closeness and confidence between you and the person at the other end of the negotiating table. This tactic, known as affiliation, can increase your negotiation’s chances of success.
When both parties approach the negotiation as counterparts rather than adversaries, it’s much easier to reach an agreeable outcome.
4. Cut the bragging
If you’ve been in real estate for some time and have achieved some impressive things over the course of your career, you might be tempted to share that information while negotiating. That’s fine, but you have to do it in a non-boastful manner.
Bragging ruins negotiations because it demeans the other party. Never attempt to elevate your status above your counterpart’s. Doing so will only lower their opinion of you and decrease their willingness to entertain your terms.
5. Shift roles
Everyone knows that there are multiple roles in each negotiation, but many people don’t realize that these roles can shift.
Listing agents, for instance, can play the role of a seller’s advocate, but they can also adopt the role of the buyer’s agent’s colleague if arguing the seller’s points proves to be ineffective. Navigating through a range of different roles helps the agent key in on the right strategy.
By learning to skillfully shift between roles in any given negotiation, you’ll have a wider range of tools at your disposal, and you will increase your ability to negotiate better terms for your clients.
Learn more about real estate negotiation
Mastering real estate negotiation takes time, experience and confidence. The more you learn and the more often you put this knowledge to use, the better you’ll be at negotiating real estate deals.
Start learning more about effective negotiation right now by listening to the complete podcast interview with Tim Burrell.
Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.