Whether you consider yourself to be a good negotiator or damn right scared of it, in some aspect of life we all need to call on our negotiation skills. It could be to negotiate a pay rise at work, with a real estate agent when buying a house or maybe even with your partner over what you will have for takeaway tonight.
In order to negotiate successfully, you need to follow these three key principles.
1. Understand that negotiation is based on motivation
Once you know what it is that is motivating the other party you already have the upper hand. Everyone has different reasons for entering into negotiations and it’s important to learn what theirs is and generally the easiest way to do this is to ask. People often give away useful information if you’re prepared to listen.
For example, if your partner is adamant that they want Thai for dinner when you want Pizza, ask them why they want Thai. Perhaps it’s because it’s cheaper (you can offer to pay), or the shop is closer (you can offer to drive) or they simply just feel like a green curry (good luck with that one – green curry pizza?). If you know what the main motivator is for the other party you are then in a position to negotiate around this.
“I know that you really want Thai for dinner instead of Pizza because you don’t want to drive to the Pizza shop.
What if you stay home and I drive to the Pizza shop?”
2. Determine what your non-negotiables are before negotiations start
Whether I’m negotiating for myself or for my clients, I always write out a list of non-negotiables. If it’s in writing you are less likely to sway from it. If you’re looking for a new house because you’ve sold yours, the settlement date will probably be your non-negotiable to avoid homelessness.
If you’ve found your dream home, it’s within your budget but the settlement date doesn’t suit consider other ways to get your preferred result. Perhaps the Vendor will agree to an earlier settlement if you pay a slightly higher price?
3. Know the value of what you’re negotiating
This applies to house prices, rental prices and pay rises. Do your research before commencing negotiations and you will be a lot more confident when you’re negotiating. Don’t assume that whatever the other party is proposing is fair or adequate.
If you are negotiating a pay rise with your employer, be sure you know what others are being paid to do a similar role to yours in and out of your company. It is hard for anyone to argue against you if you have evidence right in front of you.
A lot of people fail at negotiating because they lack confidence, and there’s no better way to be confident if you’re prepared.
Remember – know what is motivating the other party, write down your non-negotiables and know the value of what you’re negotiating.
Amanda Falahey is a licensed estate agent with over 18 years experience in the property industry. She has worked with a broad range of clients, including ASX listed corporates and small business owners.
Women in Property Network host events for women in the property industry in Sydney and Melbourne with the aim to bring together like-minded women to support, mentor and encourage one another. Read more about their events and initiatives at www.wipnetwork.com.au.
AF Property Consulting provides tenant representation services and assistance with leasing commercial, retail and industrial properties throughout Melbourne and suburbs.