Here’s When You Should Walk Away From a Deal

Here's When You Should Walk Away From a Deal-min

Negotiating a deal for an office space, home or retail space is a delicate art that takes thoughtfulness, precision and a clear idea of what you want. Walking away from a deal is not only the best leverage to get everything on your list of asks, but can also be necessary if the deal is headed in a direction that’s not in your best interest. Here’s how you can determine when it’s time to walk away.

When You Lose Focus of Your Original Goal

When looking for a new office space, it’s not uncommon to get caught up in a particular space or location and get lost in the idea of it. For instance, perhaps you’re on the hunt for a new office space in an attempt to shorten the commute for your employees. In the process, you happen upon an office space you love at a reasonable price, but it’s nowhere near where most of your employee base is located. If the original goal was to alleviate the commute for your team, and you end up looking at a potential office space that isn’t in alignment with that, no matter how nice it is or how many amenities it may boast, it’s best to take a step back and reevaluate why you decided to search for a new space in the first place. This is also the type of thing that can happen when you are looking to save money by reducing your square footage, but then start looking at nicer and higher class properties than you were in before. If the per square foot price becomes higher than you were paying before, you may end up taking a smaller space without any real cost savings.

When the Risk Far Exceeds the Potential Gain

Searching for the perfect location can be exhausting, especially when you have a large list of necessities. After a few less than impressive viewings you might be tempted to start to lower your standards. If you find yourself in a position where there are a laundry list of maintenance issues or you’re not 100% comfortable with the lease term the landlord is insisting on, it’s better to err on the side of caution rather than taking a risk that may negatively impact you in the end.

When It’s No Longer a Win-Win Scenario

If a potential landlord is using your interest in the property as a bargaining chip in their favor, rethinking the deal and even walking away from it could be in your best interest. For example, if the person on the other side of the negotiation gets emotional, is making threats, or is lying to you, this should tell you that you do not want to get further involved with these people even if the property you found hits all of your wants and needs. Remember, this will potentially be your landlord for years to come. In this situation it’s also beneficial to work with an experienced broker to ensure that you aren’t being taken advantage of in the negotiation process or setting yourself up for a frustrating leasing situation.

At the end of the negotiation process, you should feel good about the deal you signed, and by utilizing your ability to walk away, you can ensure that your lease and space are both tailored to your exact needs.

5 Reasons a Good Commercial Real Estate Broker Adds Tremendous Value

Commercial Real estate agent and customers shaking hands together celebrating finished contract after about home insurance and investment loan, handshake and successful deal. 5 Reasons to Work with a TAG Broker

5 Reasons a Good Commercial Real Estate Broker Adds Tremendous Value

Choosing the right office space is one of the most important steps a small business owner can take, which is why it’s crucial to have an expert commercial real estate (CRE) broker with local ties to guide you through the process. Not only will a CRE professional handle every detail of the transaction, they also provide invaluable insights, connections and business support that will ultimately benefit both your top and bottom line.  

Access to a Bigger, Better Market

In a city as big as Chicago, there are literally tens of thousands of places your business could call home. Active brokers make it part of their job to be in constant communication with local owners, developers and investors providing them with knowledge of both on- and off-market opportunities. They are your guide to locating the right space for you, opening up infinitely more possibilities for your business.

Realistic Views of the Space

Commercial brokers work hand-in-hand with the best real estate service providers – architects, contractors, interior designers, etc. – to provide a complete picture of space capabilities and potential costs. Can a 100-year-old converted warehouse handle a gut renovation? What are the sign requirements in a specific ward? Is it worth it to put in new windows? An experienced broker will be able to get the answers.

More Affordable Monthly Payments

Everything is negotiable (from tenant improvements to rent credits and even access to first-class amenities) if you know the right way to ask. A CRE professional tuned into the local market will know the moves to ensure you are getting the most out of your monthly payments.  

A Better Understanding of Your Contract

As a business owner, it’s imperative that you have a thorough understanding of a document before you sign it — how can you be expected to comprehend the industry specific terms and legalese that fill a commercial lease? Chicago CRE brokers live and breathe this language every day, creating much-needed guides in these complicated transactions. In fact, Tenant Advisory Group negotiates around 40 transactions per year, working with approximately four to six different properties for each deal!

Support Beyond the Lease

CRE brokers work with dozens of professionals across a variety of industries on a daily basis, carefully curating a network of trusted individuals. A close relationship with your broker can provide you access to the top attorneys, accountants, bankers, insurance brokers, financial advisors, web designers and IT companies in Chicago.  

For more information about how Tenant Advisory Group can be your partner in all of your commercial real estate needs, click here.

Infographic: How to Negotiate the Renewal Option in Your Lease

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Tips to the Negotiation Process

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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.

Establishing Trust in Negotiation


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.


5 Tips to Be a Strong Negotiator

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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.

1. Information

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.

2. Leverage

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.

3. Fairness

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.

Back-End Loading Your Next Negotiation


Negotiation is an integral part of initially securing your lease. Imagine this: Your broker did a great job negotiating your lease. The space comes with all the amenities you could imagine AND you saved a great deal of money a few years prior when you signed. Your company loves this space, but this year has been a little slow and goals weren’t quite reached.


Before you uproot your entire company and move everyone to a space you deem sub-par, consider renegotiation in the form of back-end loading.


In commercial real estate, this would entail negotiating a reduced rate for a certain period of time. For instance, you could negotiate an elimination of $5 per square foot for a year and then add that $5 back in the lease the following year.


More often than not, a landlord will not want downtime on their space. The money the landlord would lose (during this reduced year) would likely be much less than the money he or she would spend searching for a new tenant should the existing tenant vacate or go out of business.