Having fierce negotiation skills and a strong ability to recognize and adapt to people’s emotions are crucial skills that have allowed me to excel in my real estate career. I always try to envision myself in my client’s situation and listen attentively to their unique needs and expectations. In doing so, I am able to tailor my services to match their individual needs. More importantly, by keeping the lines of communication open, I can help avoid later sentiments of frustration and disappoint and ensure that my buyers and sellers always obtain their desired real estate outcomes. With a love for negotiation and over 15 years in the sales industry, below are some of the strategies and techniques that I employ to get my clients the best deal possible.

ESTABLISHING COMMON GROUND: I always try to begin negotiations by highlighting points in which both parties are in agreement. Starting on a positive note sets the stage for the entire negotiation process. The goal is to avoid arguing over unnecessary items. I’ve learned that if you start out on bad footing, you are more likely to end up disagreeing over items that were not really an issue in the first place.

DECODING THE NON-VERBALS: Real estate can be an extremely emotional process, not just for clients, but for agents as well. Even the most rational and experienced agents have moments when his or her emotions rise to the surface. I find the key is to remain as composed as possible throughout the entire negotiation process. In turn, I use the body language of my negotiation counterpart to help understand what they are truly saying and what they ultimately expect to achieve from the process.

EGO: While it can be challenging at times to not take things personally, it is important for everyone involved to check their egos at the door. At the end of the day, facts speak louder than words. If I keep the discussion goal orientated, I will eventually get the results my clients want.

PLAYING THE GAME: As cliché as it may sound, keeping a “poker face” or a neutral tone and expression during the negotiation process is crucial, not just for myself but for my clients as well. It’s best to act with disapproval when you are first presented with an offer. By appearing displeased, you provide yourself with a larger window to adjust the deal in your favour.

ONE FOR ONE: When someone asks me for something, I use that opportunity to ask him or her for something in return. I never give anything away without some consideration for what I can get for my clients. If my opposition wants what they are asking for bad enough they will work to find a middle ground.

In the end, the ultimate goal of negotiation is to reach an agreement. Everyone wants to come out the other side as the winner, but to do so you need to make your counterpart feel that their needs have also been fulfilled. If you negotiate from a position of power and strength and you will never have to let the other party win by caving.