The negotiation process can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you go in with the right attitude and information. Whether you’re looking to increase your salary, restructure part of your lease or save money on that new car, follow the tips below to get what you want and feel good doing it.
Know the market. When negotiating, specificity is key. Hone in on exactly what you want, and then provide reasons why you should receive it. For instance, when negotiating a higher salary, look up standard industry salaries for your position and take note of how your salary reflects that. Hard statistics strengthen why you deserve additional compensation. From there, put together a comprehensive list of your accomplishments, any projects you’ve managed and any initiatives you’ve been part of within your company, as well as any relevant outside qualifications you have. Use your hard work as leverage. A negotiation is never a time to sell yourself short.
Don’t be afraid of no. Ideally in your negotiating process you’ll get exactly what you walked in for, but the best negotiators also already have alternatives in mind. It’s essential for you to go into your meeting under the impression that you will receive your requests, but also find a few alternatives to your original offer that you would be happy with. For example, if you’re buying a home, but the realtor is not willing to budge on price, try asking for some repairs or upgrades to be covered instead. No matter what you’re negotiating, having a counter offer prepared will help ensure a successful negotiation.
If your boss doesn’t want to raise your salary and the conversation is stagnating because neither party will budge, you can offer up other ways in which you can be compensated. Try requesting benefits such as extra PTO, a gym membership or an end of year bonus. When you look at your total benefits and re-frame your requests from that perspective, your odds of a successful negotiation are much higher.
Listen. When the person you’re negotiating with is speaking, listen carefully. By asking open-ended questions and utilizing active listening, you’re setting the stage for an actual discussion instead of just a bargaining match. The more time you take to listen rather than just waiting to reply, you can get a better understanding of where the other party is coming from, and you can adjust your negotiating tactics accordingly.
The best way to successfully negotiate is to be mindful throughout the entire process – from the time you take to properly research before the meeting to the meeting itself. With the proper information and a good attitude, you’ll be able to take on any negotiation confidently and successfully.
The best way to navigate the tricky landscape of a lease is to stay current on all the common phrases, clauses and definitions. You may have a general understanding of the terms, but it takes a professional to really navigate the ins and outs. Here are a few of the most common points you may encounter in your Chicago office space search.
- Letter of Intent: The purpose of the letter of intent is for both parties to come to agreement on various terms before spending significant resources and legal fees in pursuing an acquisition. Double check the business terms agreed upon in the Letter of Intent are the same as those outlined in the lease document. You’ll want to make sure you receive everything that was promised.
- Sublease Clause: A sublease clause outlines the terms for when you transfer all or part of your lease to another tenant while you remain on the property. When negotiating a sublease, reasonable consent should not be withheld by the landlord. The landlord will also ask for 100% of profits, but a 50/50 split is fair. Try to minimize the notice you must give, as well as the response time from your landlord to allow you more flexibility. Consent isn’t always necessary.
- Holdover Clause: A holdover occurs when a tenant continues to remain in possession of the leased property after the lease expires or terminates. The holdover clause specifies if a holdover can occur and at what rent. Landlords will ask for 200% of your monthly rent; however, 150% is the market standard. The clause itself should make clear that the tenant is not holding over unless they’re staying after the term ends without notifying the landlord and gaining permission. When negotiating the holdover clause, there are a few items you will want to have clearly stated in the lease: length of the lease; termination of lease; rent amount; and liability for damages.
- Renewal Clause: A renewal clause will attempt to automatically renew your lease unless you submit a notice. This clause is something you need to know about as a landlord may ask for automatic renewal without having to give you notice. It’s nice to have the rights to a space, but it is also nice to have the freedom to move. If you plan on staying, negotiating for renewal is a great opportunity for you to negotiate for a new rent rate.
- Work Letter: The work letter is an addition to a lease outlining the stipulations for all improvement work done by the landlord, and what work will be completed by the tenant at their own expense. This should be monitored closely to make sure everything matches up with what the landlord promised. If there is an allowance, base building items should be taken care of by the landlord, and if the landlord has ongoing construction, make sure the landlord is liable if improvements aren’t completed by the agreed upon date.
Negotiating a lease is the most crucial step when moving into a new building, and can potentially save you a significant amount of money. Armed with the new knowledge of these phrases, words and definitions, you’ll be ready to tackle any upcoming lease negotiation.
Bowtruss Coffee, Portillo’s Hot Dogs, even Bernie Sanders. Between businesses and notable politicians, it seems as if everyone is flocking to Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood and setting up shop.
In the late “˜90’s, industrial speculation drove the South Loop’s real estate market. Today, it’s no doubt becoming one of Chicago’s hottest multi-family, commercial and retail markets. We’ll even say it’s on its way to become the next River West or Fulton Market hot-spot, and here’s why:
Students: Chicago is a bustling vibrant city, and it’s easy to overlook the impact of college students in the Loop area. Downtown, alone, is home to over 38,000 full-time college students, and there’s been a corresponding rise in student housing development and sales in recent years.
Surge in multi-family population: Zillow predicts the South Loop will be Chicago’s second “hottest” neighborhood in 2016. With downtown, lakefront, Museum Campus, Grant Park and Columbia College all within walking distance, the South Loop makes an ideal location for anyone looking be near it all. And, as professionals from the Loop look to work and play close to home, developers are rushing to fill this need for more housing. If you’re in the business of recruiting or hiring temporary talent, being located near colleges is perfect for your industry.
Transit and retail development: With the area’s growing residential population, there comes a surge in transit and retail development. Several bus lines run through the area that’ll easily connect you to all areas of the city. Not to mention, the number of El and Metra train stations nearby. With so many transit options, people living in the neighborhood will have an easy time commuting into downtown or any of the outlying neighborhoods like the West Loop, Lakeview, Fulton Market.
Neighborhood shopping and dining is also flourishing. The shops at the Roosevelt Collection seem to grow day by day. Take for example, when the Roosevelt Collection was sold to Prudential for $222M last August, it was already 93% leased with retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Container Store, Banana Republic and a 16-screen Kerasotes multiplex. It probably goes without saying, but having access to so many restaurants in the area gives businesses and their employees plenty of options for networking lunches and business-related entertaining.
The South Loop market shows no signs of slowing as there’s just so much redevelopment and new developments heading to the area. And one of the best parts to this, is that in the meantime, there are still wonderful lease deals to be had at very affordable prices compared to the very tight markets of River North or River West! The key to finding them is to work with an experienced advisor in the area. Working with a broker or agent who knows the ins and outs of a city, will have access to many of the best hidden deals.
Lastly, working with an advisor means you can be sure you’re getting the best and fair price, and terms for your business – most important when it comes to finding spaces in these “hotter” markets. Keep this in mind as you consider your next move in the Chicago market.
Real estate negotiating can either be an exciting or stressful process. If you are a broker you must have ice in your veins and know the people you are dealing with. Fortunately, if you are a third party, this allows you to be much more objective and take the emotions out of it. Viewing the other side of the deal as your partner (rather than your adversary) is a way to get started on making both sides happy. Here are a few tips to think about while negotiating.
Allow for Multiple Outcomes
Successful negotiators recognize that there is not merely one outcome that best suits both parties. There are many different ways for you and the other side of the table to meet in the middle. No matter the negotiation, maintain an open-mind about different processes that can bring you together for a compromise. As simple as this may sound, too many negotiators get locked into their one ideal solution and do not let themselves stray from this thought process. The essence of a negotiation is that both parties come to a satisfactory conclusion, and this can only happen if both sides allow themselves to open up to other possibilities.
Listen Before You Speak
The first terms thrown out in a negotiation will be the extreme highs and lows, with the final numbers landing somewhere in the middle. Keeping this in the back of your mind; let the other side throw out the first offer and then use that information to help you make an educated counter offer. Generally speaking, you can understand a lot about what the other side values most by just paying attention to their first offer. The first person to lay down their cards naturally loses some leverage by having to show some of their hand. Listen and comprehend what they tell you and parlay this information into a quality counter offer, rather than blindly throwing out an offer first.
Cooler Heads Prevail
The entire negotiating process is as much about emotion as it is money. In the 1987 movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko told Bud Fox to never get emotional about a stock. Of course that movie is a far cry from dealing with negotiating in real life, but some of it does hold true. You have to understand that negotiating can be a slow, painstaking process, but if you let emotions cloud your decision-making, then it will make your life much worse. Take a step back every now and then, and try to enjoy the process – the more rational you are, the better you will do.
Silence is Golden
Once you have made a counter offer, be quiet. This is a very hard point to get across because the negotiating process can be a stressful one. Everyone wants instant gratification, however this should not be the expectation after delivering a counter offer. Once this process is under way and your bid is out there, there is no need to say anything else – your silence will speak volumes. If you put out a bid, and quickly follow up with instigating questions – or worse yet, try to make your bid more favorable – your competition has the upper hand. This can be difficult, but if you have presented your position in a clear and concise manner, then it is time to play it cool and wait for an answer from the other side.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Get
This is something that rings true in all walks of life – if you fail to ask for something, how will you know if you can get it? Afraid that your bid is too low, your lease term is too short, or offering price is too high? Why not give it a shot anyway? Ensure that you are not insulting the person, but at the same time, you will not be able to achieve your ultimate goal of getting the best deal without at least offering it up. In summation, to gain something, you have to ask for it.
If you have ever been in a room with a car salesman, you know they love negotiating. They have tons of experience and are able to keep it cool. The same goes with brokers – they are the experts and typically have many years of experience. If you follow these rules, hopefully you will be able to see the enjoyable side of negotiating.
All businessmen and women know that a baseline of trust between parties is critical to the success of any negotiation. But within the course of business dealings, how do you build that trust? What active steps can you take to raise the chances of a positive outcome for both sides? Instead of simply hoping that your personality and that of the other party mesh well, go out of your way to make your next negotiation flow smoothly.
Here are a few key action items that, if handled well, can set a positive tone for a great business meeting.
Being guarded with a lot of information is a quick way to ruin a potential negotiation. Open up to the other party and inform them of what you are looking to get out of this resolution. This is not to say that you have to divulge any and all trade secrets to every new business partner. However, sharing your overall goals for the process will open up the lines of communication and make sure all other efforts are not fruitless.
The tone of the meeting is extremely important and also very malleable. Your body language and the pace that you set can be determining factors in how comfortable it feels on the other side of the table from you. Allowing emotions into a negotiation often carries a negative connotation. However, bringing positive attitude and connecting emotionally to your counterpart is essential to developing a strong bond of trust. Actively listen to what he/she is looking for and show an eagerness to bring both sides closer to a compromise.
Timing and Location
Seemingly minute details such as the time and location of a negotiation can actually add up to a success or disaster depending on how well they are handled. Try and find a time that both parties will not be interrupted by the endless distractions that professional (and personal) lives can attract. Ensure that both sides have blocked out this time, as these distractions can innately create a more stressful environment. Along with the right time, find the right place. To help establish trust, either defer the location choice to the person you are meeting with or choose somewhere that will be convenient and comfortable for everyone.
From the seasoned lease or contract negotiator to the first timer, it is vital to have a strong set of ideals behind all negotiations. The more confidence in and acumen with these skills that one has, the higher opportunity for coming away with a positive outcome.
At Tenant Advisory Group, negotiations are a part of everyday life and these are key reminders that have to stay top of mind throughout any negotiation to be successful.
Information is the key to any successful negotiation. The more you have, the better position you will be in to achieve your goals. Put yourself in the best position by doing quality research and knowing all you can about the scenario.
Gaining leverage allows you easier access to achieve your goals in the negotiation. Often times, leverage can be found by gathering more information. This points to tip #1, if you have information that either the other side does not have or that they think you do not have, then the leverage has been shifted in your direction.
You never want to take every penny off the table. Leave a little something for your opposition in a good faith showing of being fair. You may end up crossing paths again and you want to be able to pick up where you left off, which is successfully completing a negotiation. Part of a successful negotiation is ensuring that neither side gets the feeling of being shortchanged, which could lead to resentment. Get the best deal, without being greedy.
4. Maintain Calm Demeanor
It is very important to never raise your voice. The purpose of yelling and screaming is to get someone to listen more closely, but it actually has the opposite effect. If you raise your voice, people will stop listening and progress will be halted. When negotiations become shouting arguments, nobody wins.
5. Understand your Adversary’ Motivations
Understanding what your opponent’ goals are makes the accomplishing of your goals that much easier. Often times, the two sides might have varying definitions of success, making attainment a far greater possibility. If both sides can feel this success without conceding too much, then that is an ideal negotiation.