Mirror, Mirror On The Wall - Who Is The Best Negotiator Of All?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate

You would think that some people are just born with good negotiating skills.  Others, who are good negotiators - have cultivated that skill.

A little incident a couple weeks ago related to my car.  Usually, I let little things go - but this time - it was more than little.  At first the manager said, "Small mistake - it's just a cosmetic thing - nothing some paint won't fix." But I want a new wheel!  The mistake? Had my brakes changed, and they forgot to put the gasket and screw back on to seal the brake fluid line - which ultimately leaked and the acid ate up the paint on my wheels.  Never mind the bigger issue of no brake fluid right?!

We couldn't agree on anything - so plan B.  Ironically the very next day, I saw this manager in a grocery store parking lot with his cherry-ed out 1956 truck.  It was freshly polished, with chrome wheels so sparkling and clear they could have been mirrors.  Likely with sarcasm I said, "Wow - imagine if brake fluid spilled on those wheels and ate up the chrome."

Suddenly, we were speaking the same language and landed an  agreement about my wheel.

Point about negotiating?

Give your offer the advantage from the get-go - set the bar for what you want with higher expectations yet strong substance.  It will set the standard for future discussions.

Speak a different language if you have to - will the person you are dealing with be swayed by hard facts, or do they need to talk and discuss things out?  Take the time to understand their language and mirror it - the end result is your offer or request will be more easily received.

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Buying or selling Tucson real estate, Mt Lemmon, Tucson bank-owned homes, Tucson rental homes, or Tucson lease option homes? Visit www.KGCPropertiesLLC.com .



This blog is written with my opinions and my opinions are  presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate, financial or agency decisions.    Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind - 2014. If you want to reprint parts of this - just email me for my permission: KGCProperties@gmail.com .



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Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Gaby,  Terrific analogy and so true.  Negotiating skills may be the only real difference between great agents and,  well, you know...

Nov 29, 2011 05:12 AM #25
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

He's probably wishing he picked a different grocery store! He also knew from the get-go what the right thing to do was, but wanted to see if you would balk.  You can't show all your cards too early.

Nov 29, 2011 05:39 AM #26
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Gabrielle, Way to think on your feet! Sometimes a "picture" is all someone needs to see your point of view!

Nov 29, 2011 06:01 AM #27
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

THat is one funny story! He definitely saw it from your point of view at that point! Good going!

Nov 29, 2011 06:37 AM #28
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Great analogy, being aware to frame things in a particular way is an important tool for any negotiation.

Nov 29, 2011 07:36 AM #29
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I love the art of negotiating and I pretty much follow your guide lines as well thanks for the post.

Nov 29, 2011 07:45 AM #30
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Determining what matters to another person is key to negotiation - if they can't see your point of view within their realm of thought processing, then you're pretty much not going to get anywhere fast. Whether you meant to or not with the grocery store parking lot comment, your point got noticed when it was in the context the manager could relate to - congrats!

Nov 29, 2011 08:38 AM #31
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

The person in the mirror, of course.  Unless you're negotiating with the devil (which we often do in real estate).

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Nov 29, 2011 08:43 AM #32
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Great turn of events - I am glad they turned your way or maybe it was that you were smart enough to recognize it!  Conrats!

Nov 29, 2011 10:45 AM #33
Cliff Keith
Today Sotheby's International Realty - Redwood City, CA
Redwood City Real Estate

great advice.  I guess that is why they call it a Listening (listing) appointment vs. a talking appointment.

Nov 29, 2011 01:11 PM #34
Ben Blonder
Broker/Owner, Keller Williams - Fort Collins, CO
Buyers, Sellers, Investors!

Congrats on the win. Sometimes you really have to use language to convey a point and see if it works. If not, you can always go with a different angle so long as you weren't offensive.

Nov 29, 2011 02:17 PM #35
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I like that you told the manager what you wanted from the beginning and stuck to your guns.  And of course you explained in a logical manner why you should have new wheels.  Good job.

Nov 29, 2011 02:49 PM #36
Steve Warrene
Your Town Realty - Lower Burrell, PA
Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists

Gabriella, the one school of "It's my way or the highway" is gone with the wind.  Now it's all about everyone being on the same playing field.

Nov 29, 2011 02:58 PM #37
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Gabrielle - Well done. I think the ability to be a bit of a chameleon can make a huge difference in negotiation.

Nov 29, 2011 03:08 PM #38
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Funny how the tables can suddenly turn.  You said exactly what needed to be said at the exact time that it needed to be said. Timing is everything.

Nov 29, 2011 07:17 PM #39
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Well done Gabrielle.  Often the best negotiator is the one that gets his/her way while the other one thinks they won.

Nov 29, 2011 11:36 PM #40
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Gabrielle, great job on getting your point across. Also lucky that you saw him with his great truck to make the analogy.

Nov 30, 2011 02:13 AM #41
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Gabrielle, glad this had a good outcome for you - and good for you for not giving up. You were right. Don't you love how the universe gave you that moment in the parking lot?

Nov 30, 2011 02:17 AM #42
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Gabrielle - Thank you for a very vivid example of one of the best ways to negotiate to get what should be done done.  

Dec 01, 2011 05:24 AM #43
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Remember the good old days when a featured post would get 75 to 100 comments Gabs? This post deserved much more... 

Dec 11, 2011 01:51 AM #44
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