city buildings commercial real estate negotiation

The 8 Golden Rules of Negotiating in Commercial Real Estate Investment Sales

Many of the clients that we serve in commercial and retail property today are reasonably experienced when it comes to negotiation, and the elements of the typical property transaction. They know what they want to achieve from the sale or purchase activity. They will also involve other people to help them such as property attorneys to advise them on the transaction.

As the agent or the broker, you need to be prepared for every possible variation in negotiation given the trends of today’s property market and the known priorities of sellers and buyers.  Look at the issues and adjust your negotiations accordingly.


Local Property Market Indicators


Watch the property market, and understand what people are looking for and thinking about in local property purchase or leasing.  The trends of the local inquiry will help you identify that fact. Converse with and qualify the people that you work with from a selling or buying perspective. Understand their needs and points of focus before you move towards clear recommendations and the required negotiation strategies. Gather the facts about the property and be prepared for the stages and hurdles of the fuller transaction.


So what can you do here? Understand what is happening in your location when it comes to the typical commercial investment sales transaction and then specifically build your skills and resources to help with any challenge that could come your way. Preparation is the key to resolving a negotiation difficulty in any property market.


Your Property Skills?


A professional approach will help you move through problems professionally and directly. Top agents are great negotiators and have deliberately positioned themselves accordingly over time through. The practice has helped them and will also help you fast-track the process in your career. Here are some other ideas to help you in that way:


  1. Use Case Studies for the Location – use recent market evidence as case studies to show buyers and sellers exactly what is happening locally.
  2. Provide Market Evidence – market evidence can be supported by photography, statistics, and graphical evidence.
  3. Use Charts and Graphs – adopt the visual approach to display your property information and position in any transaction and discussion. The visual approach is far more effective than simply words and unsupported discussions.
  4. Understand the Market Pressures – throughout the year the property market will change in momentum and bias. Be prepared to adjust to the pressures of the local property market as it swings between a seller and buyer activity.
  5. Practice Your Negotiation Skills – understanding the different changes in the property market throughout the year, will allow you to practice and hone your responses and negotiation skills with the parties that you serve. Be prepared to practice every day before you get the office.
  6. Understand the Transaction from Both Sides – through asking questions and creating conversations, you will soon understand the priorities of the other party when it comes to the property acquisition or sale. You can then position yourself and your client to the best possible outcomes.
  7. Create Conversations and Ask Open Questions – negotiation is not just a matter of presenting your point of view. There are a few other things to put in balance, and priorities to match when you consider the perspectives of the client, and the seller or purchaser as the case may be. Get to know their ideas, knowledge, and attitude when it comes to the alternatives available. There will always be two or three approaches to a single problem. Make the recommendations to the people that you serve.
  8. Develop a Series of Simple Closes – every transaction can achieve momentum through a simple set of closes and stages; it’s like ‘climbing a mountain’. Given that every property transaction today has a number of negotiation thresholds, understand the end result targets and then move through a number of simple decisions and recommendations towards it. Make it easy for your client to move ahead to the finalization of the transaction when it comes to the property listing, marketing, and negotiating. Remember their perspective and their targets as you work towards the best transaction outcome.


Since the dawn of time, we have been negotiating across issues and challenges in day-to-day life. Nothing has changed with that today other than the elements and or the sources of the transaction. In investment property sales that source and product will be office, industrial, or retail.  You will be working with sales, leasing, or property management.


What Do You Specialize In?


Get to know the segment of the market that you can specialize in from a sales perspective and how that property segment will change over time. Understand the property volatility and change factors that apply to your territory or property precinct. Make sure that you have plenty of upcoming stock and market opportunity within that segment.

Over time build your profile as the industry specialist for that property type in your town or city. Success in our industry is a choice driven by personal effort and individual focus.


special report about negotiation skills
Commercial Property Negotiation Special Report

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