Negotiations in Life and Commercial Real Estate

By Forrest Blake

The rules to success have always focused on possessing great talent, dedication, education, and of course an enduring work ethic.  That is important, but the leaders are the people who not only are competent, but also have the ability to negotiate at the highest level.  We are negotiating every day with clients, bankers, vendors, supplies and even once every five years with our landlord. The day of a Qualified Tenant Rep consists of dealing with commercial real estate listing brokers and their landlords to negotiate the best office leasing transaction for my tenants.

Opposition starts as an infant.  When an infant first tries to stand he encounters resistance from the force of gravity and falls down.  But as the baby persists, muscles in his arms, legs and back are built until the baby can negotiate standing.  To strengthen negotiation ability, an individual must encounter resistance. Through experience the negotiator can learn to deal with hard hitting opposition. Look for resistance, if negotiations are going too smoothly, this signifies the positions are too weak.

The Qualified Tenant Rep has the ability to find the resistance point and then push through to accomplish the goals set out by the tenant.

Qualified Tenant Rep Contemplating a Real Estate Negotiating Strategy

The success of a negotiation comes largely from the preparation done by the Qualified Tenant Rep and the team who is supporting the vision of the commercial real estate transaction. There are several important considerations before entering into any negotiations.

Negotiating Considerations
  • Know who is on the other side of the table and their negotiating style
  • List out the open items to be considered by both sides
  • Be prepared to discuss each item
  • Evaluate what the possible response will be from the opposition
  • Compile data needed to make compelling arguments
  • Decide the specific outcomes you hope to achieve
  • Understand what items you are willing to compromise
  • Consider what would be a satisfactory result for the opposition
  • Be willing to walk away, if there is a breakdown in the negotiations
  • Have a credible back up option
  • Leave the door open for the opposition to come to you with an acceptable offer


John Nash describes cooperative games to mean a situation involving a set of players, pure strategies, and payoffs. (A Beautiful Mind, Universal, 2011) He visualized a transaction as the outcome of either a process of negotiation or else independent strategy by individuals each pursuing his or her own interest.  He suggested developing a strategy that ask what reasonable condition would need to be satisfied, given the any division of gains.  He showed that, if the axioms or needs of the parties held, then he could narrow down the possible outcomes. Essentially, he reasoned, how gains are divided reflects how much the transaction is worth to each party. This gives him the highest possibility of successes by mathematically analyzing the likelihood of the individual result. Therefore, predicting the future outcome of any negotiations.

Disclosure: Content is general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter, nor does its publication on this website create any relationship between the writer and the reader. Neither this website nor Forrest Blake is giving commercial real estate advise or soliciting if you are currently represented by another commercial real estate broker, or legal or accounting advice on any subject. Please consult with your real estate broker, attorney or accountant regarding any of the concepts written on this website. This website, Forrest Blake or any of his affiliated companies will not be liable for any actions you take as a result of reading anything contained within.

Copyright 2013 – Forrest Blake

Please contact me if you would like to use any tenant representation or expert commercial real estate information contained on the site. I promise to get  back to you within 24 hours if we don’t connect right away.

Forrest Blake
CA Real Estate License # 01054174


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