Congratulations! You’ve finally made it to your first negotiation, and the closing seems so close you can taste it. 

But don’t start counting your commission check just yet. In fact, this is the worst possible thing you can do. Don’t put your needs ahead of the transaction’s needs and, more importantly, your client’s needs—the person you’re hired to represent.

The most important thing in a negotiation is to listen before you speak.

Allow the other party—whether it’s your client (interactions with your client can often be a negotiation), the other agent, or whoever you’re negotiating with—to share their wants and needs first to get a clear understanding of what they want.

Let’s get into how you do that.

Clear Communication

A negotiation begins with clear communication. That includes both verbal—what you talk about—and written communication.

For every verbal conversation you have, make sure you have a written follow-up version of that conversation, whether it goes into your CRM, a text message between you and the other partner (or the other side), or an email.

I love putting conversations back into email. It’s a really good place to store and keep an organized track record of the transaction.

Make sure you start these emails by stating that you had this discussion: 

  • “Per our discussion…” 
  • “Per our previous email…” 
  • “Per our text message…” 

Using email allows you to follow up with the other person and provides a record of what was said so you can go back to it if there’s any confusion.

Click here for a step-by-step tutorial on creating an email to document details important to your client’s transaction

Writing the email

A few other things you’ll want to remember when writing an email to your client:

  • Keep your emotions out of it
  • Relay your points clearly and succinctly
  • Reiterate previously-made agreements that relate to the current issue

You want to make sure that, even though you discussed the issue and everyone is on board, you follow up with an email. 

Document everything

Do this for every single step of the negotiation. Your communication needs to be crystal clear and obvious so there’s no room for confusion or surprise.

Because if they misheard something during your call, and they see your email, they’re thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! I didn’t know anything about the boiler,” or “I didn’t know the contractor was coming over.” 

This provides the opportunity to re-discuss, re-plan, and re-strategize right away. You don’t want that call coming in three weeks when it’s too late.

Document everything, and be crystal clear in how you negotiate.