Commercial Real Estate Negotiation For Entrepreneurs
(1) Negotiation For The Entrepreneur Good Cop, Bad Cop
I didnt say you can or cannot get the business loan. I just take down the information and send it off to an underwriter. I want you to be able to get every penny you can. I have no idea what he is going to decide.
So said my business banker at our small New York bank when I told him to bid on a line of credit. We didnt need any capital, but I heard people my age talking about carrying around half a million just in case and that made me curious enough to see what my firm could get.
Can you give me a rough estimate? I asked back.
No, every underwriter is different. It totally depends which one. Some, I dont even know.
At least, that’s the initial answer I got. After he loosened up, I got closer to the heart of the banker-underwriter connection at work here:
We didnt go to college together, but Ive known the guy for years. I mean I work with him hes a decent person. He drives in from Jersey.
Good Cop Bad Cop is one of the most widely used methods of negotiation taught to low-level employees. It is very easy to execute, very hard for the other side to decipher, and nearly always eases any high tensions, as negotiations between amateurs have frequently been known to turn psychical.
The tactic aims to make friends between both negotiating parties via a common enemy they have who nonetheless is sometimes the friend playing two roles right before your eyes. There are some telltale signs that this negotiation tactic is being used against you.
First, the negotiating party never gives out the name of this Bad Cop. Nothing is personalized about it. He is a noun, not even a proper noun. He is just a pain in the ass. The entire time youre getting more and more pissed at Bad Cop, you start to feel for Good Cop.
Hey, maybe Good Cop isnt that bad. After all, he has to deal with Bad Cop. Ill just give him the extra $ 1,000 and be on with my day.
The moment that thought goes through your mind, you’ve lost the bet. It works so well, its almost devious. The problem is that sometimes the other party will go as far as to stop you when writing the check and pull the deal back.
Good Cop Bad Cop is used so often in the movies and television not just because it increases the odds that the suspect will confess. Thats not Hollywoods main concern. They use it for time, money and dramatic purposes.
The produces dont find themselves having to bargain shop between Brad Pitt and Ryan Phillipe. Any ol’ idiot can play the part. After all, whatever the cop dramas churn out is what is pretty status quo now for those scenes.
The Tale of the Matching FalconsAlmost
When you go to negotiate large spaces of commercial real estate, you are usually dealing with somewhat civilized human beings. Its like blue-collar prison. When you go south of the 7-figure mark, its like waking up in an episode of HBOs Oz.
More or less, the commercial real estate associates pit you up against a landlord. An opponent that only he, the commercial real agent, can throw a jab at.
When I was negotiating mine, I asked the guy why he couldnt get in touch with his landlord who was supposedly going to approve or disapprove the request of a guy sitting in the nicest office I have ever been into. Surely, the landlord worked for him. They only had six buildings and we were the only one leasing that day (seemingly).
Sitting there waiting, I just told this guy that the terms are fine, give us the lease, well sign it and pick up the copy tomorrow.
When I went home, I emptied out my pockets and tossed his business card on the table.
The next day, when I met him to sign the lease he gave me another card. I did the same, put it in my pocket and threw it on the table when I get home. About two days later, I looked at my table to see two very similar, yet very different business cards. Same color, same texture, same design, except, one didnt have a title and the other had the title President.
I was negotiating with a wolf when the entire time I thought I was speaking to a sheep.
Ken Sundheim runs KAS, a sales and marketing staffing agency NYC Sales Recruiters NY Search Firms specializing in Sales Recruiters Huston Headhunters. KAS Headhunters Washington DC Sales Recruiters also has two new business to start this year.