Start With No

Home Builder with Retired

Start With No Start With No by Jim Camp begins with a challenging proposition, one that most real estate agents will back off from. The author "explains why win-win is an ineffective, often disastrous strategy" and I'll add that he does so quite effectively.

I read this book with a closed mind and the fixed concept, that in real estate, negotiating to compromise is what gets most sales to the closing table. But soon I was confused. As I moved through the book I started to find nuggets that would be helpful in improving my skills as a negotiator. The final chapter consists of 33 "rules" that one should practice everyday to become and efficient fiduciary for their client.

I know the arguments for the win-win theory of negotiating. I know sales scripts and closing techniques. And yet I knew that some of what I had just read would be very helpful to me.

The only thing I could do was to read the book again, and this time with an open mind. Here a a few pithy statements of mine to help sum up the contents of this amazing book.

  • Do not be needy.
  • It's okay to be unokay...let the adversary bloom with confidence.
  • Yes and Maybe are responses that don't forward the negotiation. No tells you what aspects and conditions need to be discussed and resolved.
  • For every negotiation you must have a Mission and a Purpose.
  • You can't control the outcome, but you can control your behavior.
  • Never close.
  • Ask interrogative questions and then listen.
  • Know your adversary's pain.
  • Know your's okay to say No.
  • Know the adversary's budget.
  • Have an agenda before you start any conversation.

Would you like to be a better negotiator? Can you open your mind to something a little different than anything you've heard lately? Jim Camp's book, Start With No, has been an eye-opener for me. Usually I send my just read real estate books out to anyone who asks for them, but this one I want to keep and reread as I try to put into action the 33 rules to become a successful negotiator. It's okay for you to say "No". I'm good with that. Reading this book is not for everyone.

But I would like you to join the Active Rain Book Club and share with us some real estate specific books you've enjoyed lately.

Posted by





Glenn Roberts



Comments (56)

Barbara Furdyna, Diane Turton Realtors
Glenn I will definitely read this book. Thanks for the tip. I agree it's time to say "No." I've carried a lot of over priced listings, like most of us, and it just doesn't make sense to do so unless you're very straightforward up front about taking a price reduction in a month or less if there's no action. If sellers don't agree to that, then you dont take the listing. I just edited out the word "maybe" from that sentence based on your blog. I used to think, well if I don't take the listing, someone else will, but if it's really overpriced, you're probably better off waiting for the re-listing! I do find myself hammering away more regularly on pricing. Repetition works, especially when coupled with new facts each time. I always tell my clients that I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't tell them their price was too high for the market.
Jun 17, 2011 11:40 PM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Glen - this book sound interesting and it's always wise to keep our minds open to new ideas. No is a word some of us need to use more often!

Jun 18, 2011 02:32 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Gene - With all due respect, that was the attitude I had until I read this book. It may open your eyes, too.

Marte - A simple decision on where to go for dinner, if two people or more are involved, is a negotiation of sorts. We negotiate all day.

Jenny - I think you will find it one of the best books on the subject.

Barbara - Negotiating for the right price in listings makes sense. We run a business, not a casino. Listing should not be a gamble.

Kristine - And we need to give others the option to say no to us as well.

Jun 18, 2011 02:40 AM
Mary Lockman
Windermere Real Estate Methow Valley - Winthrop, WA
Methow Valley Real Estate

Hi Glenn,

 I spoke with you on the phone yesterday, no news yet from Nancy.  I love negotiations. I'll never forget the first book I read on negotiations.  Allen Cohen a master, the book was dated, but timeless.  Allen discussed how at the UN the Russian representative reached down and took his shoe and banged it on the table to demand what he wanted. He stunned everyone, but later a camera showed a bag and two shoes on his feet while he was banging away with the prop.  He got what he wanted alright, but even back then this was considered a one time negotiation that won't work for long term situations, nor if you plan to have some skill.  I go into negotiations for client, get to the agreement and then we work very hard to get to close. Only one deal has flipped in many years because the well had issues.  My list to sell ratio for Seller is around 95% and my List to sell price for buyers is around 60 percent of asking.  Those statistics do not lie, studying negotiation and how to do it well is key to our benefits to our clients.  I think the name of that book was the Art of Negotiating  and Allen Cohen is recognized with NAR articles on negotiating from time to time.  I can never learn enough so I will read this too.   A classic and a business school standard is "Influence". 

In our small area, we know the styles of the agents we work with, and one always wants to nibble, this book seems a great tool for nibblers and their nibbling ways.

Jun 18, 2011 05:26 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Mary - Nancy sent me a thank you for the name, but I don't know much about her schedule. I'm read and reviewed Influencer a while back. Funny you should mention it.

Jun 18, 2011 06:07 AM
Rhonda Abbott
Howard Hanna - Wadsworth, OH
Wadsworth & Greater Akron, OH

I am on the last chapter and LOVED it!  I've already been putting what I've learned to use with good results.  Highly recommended!!!

Jun 18, 2011 06:12 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Rhonda - Thanks for the verification.

Jun 18, 2011 06:22 AM
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Thanks for the suggestion, I had not heard of this book before.  I'll add it to my list!

Jun 19, 2011 04:01 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Steven - I think you will find it enlightening.

Jun 19, 2011 03:21 PM
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Interesting take on the negotiating process. I have seen some of the same techniques by some other negotiators. Great post, looks like an interesting book.

Jun 23, 2011 05:10 PM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Dave - It's pretty hard to grasp a detailed system. One should build with techniques slowly so they become natural.

Gerard - Do read it. Eye-opening in spots.

Jun 24, 2011 02:51 AM
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I haven't heard of this book or way of negotiating...a different way of seeing things for sure!

Jun 26, 2011 01:46 PM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Patricia - I think any summary of this book might lead to errant conclusions.  It's definitely worth a closer look.

Jun 26, 2011 01:52 PM
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

It's on my official list to read now.  I really agree 100% of everything you've written in your summary of the book.

Jun 29, 2011 08:17 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Mike - I'm sure you'll find some interesting information in there.

Jun 29, 2011 09:12 AM
Steve Warrene
Your Town Realty - Lower Burrell, PA
Pittsburgh Realtor North and East Pgh.

Glenn, I think that book came out it the early 2000's.  When I first started real estate I was talking with an agent that's been in the business for awhile, he took me under his wing and had me read a few books.  I remember the book "Start With No" and he told me to stay away from it.  I have not seen him in a few years.  With your recommendations I am going to buy the book.  We all see things differently so I am curious to read the book.

Sep 06, 2011 05:53 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Steve - That makes me think he didn't read it.

Sep 07, 2011 04:13 PM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Sounds like an interesting concept, and a good book.  I will definitely add it to my list of "must reads".  Thanks for the recommendation!

Dec 21, 2011 06:18 AM
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