Why Conflict Is The Key To Success In Your Real Estate Business.
What, are you saying Bruce? I try to make it through my life and real estate business peacefully, and try to avoid conflict wherever possible.
First, I'm as peace loving as the next guy, and in most cases I have a visceral reaction to conflict. I'm also a fan of building a strong income, and know that I can't do this without conflict.
What does conflict have to do with building a strong business?
Earlier this year I went on a listing appointment that came as a referral from a past client. The sellers were very pleasant and went on and on about how much my past client (their best friend) had raved about me. The appointment was awesome. We had real rapport, and came up with a great game plan to get their home sold. Our appointment window was coming to a close and I had to run to another meeting, so we agreed to sign listing paperwork that night and start the process. Not even 10 minutes after I left, I received a text that said that they had decided to go with another agent. As I dug into why, I discovered that the other agent had promised a much lower fee than I was requesting.
This is where quite a few of you are going to jump in and say; Bruce, you should have signed the paperwork on the spot.... Or; Bruce, you didn't build enough value. Ultimately, there were several missteps that I made in our interaction, but this post isn't about those. This post is about one simple step that would have given me a totally different outcome.
I just needed to create conflict!
Negotiation is all about shining a spotlight on areas of conflict. It is possible to not have conflict in a negotiation, but it's also very unlikely. What is negotiation then?
Negotiation is a conversation between two or more parties that leads to discovery... and the most important thing you can discover is where there is conflict. When discovered early enough, conflict can be a vital resource in your sales cycle.
I can tell you that in my conversation with the sellers above, our conversation led to only one discovery. The sellers discovered that they didn't like my commission. I didn't discover a single thing that I needed to about the seller. What I really needed to discover was the conflict.
With regard to listing appointments in particular. No seller has ever said; "I can't wait to give you 5% or 6% of my equity". No, buyers and sellers want what is best for them, and they will always choose an option that they perceive has the greatest value for themselves.
So, whether you are negotiating to get a listing, negotiating a contract, negotiating to sign a buyer agency agreement, or even negotiating bedtime with your kids, remember... Conflict is key, and to take it a step further, Discovery of that conflict is the ultimate key. There is always conflict. Your new goal in life is to uncover conflict, because only then are you fully able to make an offer to the other party that is more valuable than their view of the conflict.