Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.
The Lones Group, Inc.


In a world of push-and-shove real estate transactions, is it a wonder that the term “win-win” negotiations is getting rusty?  Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of “me-me-me.” 

Well, I have a newsflash for you: Effective negotiation is always “win-win.”

Your clients always win when you help them get what they want.  The question is “How do I go about negotiating the correct way so that all parties win?”  Is there such a thing, well of course there is.  It isn’t win-win negotiating if someone gets gouged!

For example, let’s say you have a buyer who is focused on spending the least amount of money.  In “win-win” negotiating, your task is to help your client understand the mindset of the seller.  Take them down the “Seller Road” for a little tour.  It might sound something like this:

“Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, you’re about to put an offer in on this lovely house that you absolutely adore.  For one minute, I want you to imagine that you’re that seller.  If you were, what offer would make you excited?  Would it be a full-price offer?  Or would it take an above-price offer to make you truly happy?  On the flip side, what would you consider to be an insulting offer?  Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, don’t you think it’s in your best interests to make that seller happy and not insulted?”

This is “Win-Win” at its finest.  You will never achieve a win-win result if you don’t take the time to have your clients look at the big picture.  Yes, the big picture, the one that includes the other side of the transaction.  To truly help your clients get what they want you have to help them see the danger of insulting the other side.  Whatever side your client is on it is always in their best interest to see the flip side of the negotiations. 

If you went in thinking only about your side, it comes across to the other side and forces them to push even harder (unreasonably harder, in some cases) to get what they want.  You hit a “psychological trigger” that sets off distrust and makes the negotiations a war instead of a deal.

When you appear to be fair and reasonable, you avoid setting off the other side and come across as somebody that they too want to help by creating a “win-win” atmosphere.

But what about when the other side is trying to take advantage of you?  You sense they’re pushing too hard or trying to rip you off.  When this happens, take heart.  Adversarial negotiations will never get you what you want.  By remembering this principle, you won’t set off your own “psychological trigger” and fall into the trap of a frenzied power play type of negotiation.

In this case:

Ask for more time.  (Sometimes time mellows people.  They may just need to sleep on your offer.)

Ask for advice using non-personal statements.  It may look something like this.  I really want my sellers to look at this offer from your buyers.  The challenge I am having is that my sellers are now so insulted by the offer that I can’t even get them to respond to your buyers offer.  I would really appreciate any ideas you have because I am stuck. Don’t be afraid to look weak, this is not weakness this is working together with the other side to make it happen for both buyer and seller.  Not to mention the fact that you now have the other agent wanting to look good, remember this is an ego business and agents love to come through for their clients, the other agent is no different. 

Work together as a team and you have double the negotiating power!!

Perhaps you’re in a fast market and you’re finding yourself caught up in the real estate frenzy of “me-me-me”.  In this case, using “win-win” will, in the long run, cement your reputation as fair-minded and the real estate agent to go to in a sea of sharks. 

And most importantly in negotiation, if you feel you’re being taken advantage of or forced into an uncomfortable deal, employ the classic first rule of negotiation: WALK AWAY WITH RESPECT.

There’s no shame in walking away from a bad deal.  In fact, sometimes it’s the best way to get the deal moving.  When the other side sees you’re walking because they’re being unreasonable, often the “win-win” floodgates open and they begin to see your issues more clearly.

One final negotiating tip: as in playing poker, leave emotion at the door.  Negotiations can be nail-biting, knuckle-pounding nightmares…if you let them.  Make a conscious effort to not take things personally and if you feel things getting tense, postpone them.  A little time is sometimes all that’s needed to clear your head and refresh your focus to help your client get what they want.

And getting them what they want is what it’s all about.  When you do, everybody wins.

Denise Lones

Denise Lones CSP, MIRM The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things “real estate”.

Denise’s background in residential real estate sales and management includes an impressive list of awards. Using custom marketing campaigns and business development systems she personally created, she was consistently among the highest producing Realtors® in a marketplace of 3,000+ agents. Denise was the only agent in the State of Washington to be awarded the esteemed MIRM designation – the top national achievement for new home marketing. In 2004, Denise was awarded the prestigious Hugh Hawkins Instructor of the Year Award by the Washington Association of Realtors.

As a columnist for isucceed.com, Realty Times, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Washington Association of Realtors, Denise has a strong “voice” in the real estate community.

Denise is a certified instructor for many prominent trade groups and educational institutions, including the Washington Association of Realtors, Master Builders Association, iSucceed.com, Washington State Department of Licensing, Windermere Real Estate, and the Washington State Housing and Finance Committee

With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.


The Lones Group, Inc.

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
real estate
denise lones
the lones group

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Richard Barbee
Realty Executives Assoc - Knoxville, TN


Wow, you have quite a list of achievements and qualifications.

Emotion is the toughest part of negotiation.  I say that in full view of the irrationality, greed, suspicion, and fear that are often just underneath the surface.

Great article.  I tell my clients that my goal is Win-Win-Win.  Win for them, Win for me, Win for the other party.  I don't want to work with clients that are just out to screw someone.

Customer service has been reduced to a set of behaviors and a few ethical standards.  I believe in a much bigger perspective.  I also believe in a more human approach to real estate.

Hard times do not create character, they reveal it.  With every contract that passes through my hands, I want to work out of Win-Win.

Oct 23, 2008 08:32 AM #1
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
Ask Me Anything About Real Estate
Spam prevention

Additional Information