Discovering effective and simple tips will enable you to negotiate tricky situations and communicate more effectively with your tenants and landlords, says Laura Levisohn, speaking at PPM Group’s national conference in late June 2016.


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Emotions come into play when you’re negotiating, so keep those in check” – Laura Levisohn (M Residential)

“As negotiation is key to finding that happy middle where both parties feel like they got a win, it’s an opportunity to settle differences,” she said.

Laura said there are 3 important elements to every negotiation: Attitude, knowledge and interpersonal skills.

The 3 Important Elements to Every Negotiation

  1. Attitude:

Attitude is a predisposition to evaluate people, groups or issues in a particular way. It can be positive and negative and is strongly influenced by underlying attitudes to a process. Laura said attitudes can easily make or break your negotiation results, so it’s crucial to have a positive attitude: “Try not to focus on whether you’re going to win or lose. Instead, use every opportunity to think about the result you want. Feel as though you have the result before it happens. Remember to be realistic and not outrageously irresponsible in the outcome you desire. Think about the last time you dealt with a dispute – what was your attitude?”

  1. Knowledge:

Knowledge is the facts gained through experience and education, the awareness and familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Laura suggested property managers do their homework and gather as much knowledge about a situation as they can. “The issue must be understood to negotiate a fair outcome,” she said. “Some owners can be unrealistic about an outcome, so consider using previous examples. Share these with them and let them know what the likely outcome will be.” In the case of a client unwilling to budge, let them know where their property sits in the market with regards to its realistic value. “Where they’re reluctant to reduce, provide them with that information and help them make a more guided decision,” Laura said. “With knowledge of days on market, they may be more likely to come to an agreement – knowledge is power.”

  1. Interpersonal skills:

Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. “People who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills tend to have more success in life,” Laura said. The best lines of communication are face-to-face or over the phone, indicating communication is key. “Emails can give off tone,” Laura said. “Wherever possible, pick up the phone or go and see them face-to-face. Emotions come into play when you’re negotiating, so keep them in check.”
It’s also important to listen to the other parties and not make an assumption on their stance. This will give you more knowledge and increase your capacity to show them that you have their best interests at heart. If the other party feels like they’re being hurt, they will be less likely to negotiate.

Other key negotiation tips from Laura Levisohn

  • Listen to understand, not to just respond
  • Be confident, but remember the negotiation process is a non-competitive sport
  • Apply the focus on the other party’s interest, not just your own, and encourage them to contribute
  • Look for commonalities or interests you share with the other person – people love doing business with people they like
  • Don’t take anything personally. Negotiations fail because one or both parties are distracted by personal issues unrelated to the issue at hand
  • Remember, you’re the mediator, not the decision maker. Step away from it, take a deep breath

Finally, effective negotiation means both parties will feel like they got a win. Get the attitude right and you’re more likely to get a good outcome.


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