listening-changing-outlook
Changing your outlook on negotiation is a first step. Photo – Canva.
  • Property negotiation is something many people are not used to
  • There is so much to it, this will be the first in several articles on the subject
  • Changing your outlook is a key first step to successful negotiation

In his first of a series of articles, investor, founder, author and media commentator Bushy Martin discusses the science and art behind property negotiation…

When was the last time you had to negotiate something important? What did you think and how did you feel before, during and after the negotiation? What is stressful? Were you anxious? Did you achieve your outcome?

Every one of us is negotiating every day, it’s just we may not be aware of it. Every interaction where we want to get something involving others is a negotiation.

One of the core skills to achieve sustainable success in any endeavour is to become a good negotiator, and to be able to influence others in a positive way to get what you want or to achieve the best possible outcomes.

There’s a lot to share, so this will be the first in a series of articles on the subject.

We’ll start with some general principles, and then given the rare window of opportunity that is available to secure good quality property before the impending boom in values in Australia, we’ll drill into some clever negotiation tactics that will help you secure a property in a high demand market as a precursor.

The good news is that these negotiation approaches can be utilised in any negotiation situation you find yourself in.

Change your outlook on negotiation

As renowned negotiation expert Margaret Neale reveals – one of the biggest challenges that we face in negotiations is that we view negotiations as a battle, and that battle is characterised by “I’m going to try to get stuff from you that you don’t want to give me; and I’m going to try to keep you from getting my stuff.”

If we view negotiations as a battle, we already have a problem.

Neale suggests that what’s more important is that we look at negotiations as an opportunity for collaborative problem-solving and looking for a solution that makes you and them better off – better off than your alternatives, better off than your status quo.

Because there is single control in negotiation, I cannot force you to say “yes”. All I can do is present proposals where you believe it is in your interest to say “yes”.

And so, once I take that perspective on negotiation, which highlights the importance of the other party as well as me, so many more opportunities and potential win/win solutions open up.

It could be for any situation, whether it’s a new job and you’re trying to negotiate the terms of your employment, whether you’re trying to buy something, in a meeting, or deciding with your partner who’s going to take the dogs for a walk on a cold dark rainy morning.

Neale reiterates that you need to focus on solving the problem, not on winning the battle, because if you find yourself in a battle and in a power struggle in a negotiation, you’ve already lost.

The key to being able to solve problems in a negotiation is to understand as much as you can about who you are negotiating with, what motivates them, what will influence them to move down that path of agreement with you of their own volition.

Remember that in negotiation, goals are important, and we absolutely need to know what a good deal looks like for us.

But we also need to have flexibility in how we achieve that goal. We need to remain open to the opportunities and explore often unexpected pathways – to go with the flow and see where it leads you to your desired outcome. You need a GPS, not a rigid recipe.

And for me, this a lesson that I continuously learn and relearn because too often, I choose a path to my goal because I’ve chosen it, not because it’s the right one.

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The next article in this series will be on ‘Building good rapport’.

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