Hire a broker with expert market knowledge. Information is the most valuable commodity during real estate negotiations. Whoever has the most, wins. Having a market-savvy broker in your corner will be your best defense in a landlord’s market. They can educate you on current market conditions and set realistic expectations.
What You Need to Know: Strategies for Tenants in a Landlord-Driven Market
Navigating the intricacies of real estate negotiations can be daunting, especially when tenants find themselves in a landlord-dominant market. Ensure that you are well-prepared and informed when entering negotiations.
Know what you want.
You should go into negotiations with at least one objective. Think about what is most important to you―make sure you consider your long-term real estate needs. If your priority is low lease rates, you may want to focus on a long-term lease. If you are uncertain what your real estate needs will be in a few years, it may make sense to focus on flexibility with a shorter lease term. Sure, you may pay more by doing this, but you will have options should you find yourself needing more or less space in the near term.
Know your BATNA
Know your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) before negotiations start. This is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. Your BATNA should answer the question: “What will I do if the landlord is unreasonable and/or I am unable to get a fair deal?” It’s kind of like having a Plan B. Your broker can work with you to determine alternative locations that could work for you.
Know when to walk away
It may be a little cliché, but it’s true. Even if this is the property in the location you want, there may come a point where the deal just doesn’t make sense anymore. A successful deal is one where both parties are pleased with the outcome. If the landlord is happy, but you feel taken advantage of, it may be a sign that it’s just not worth it. This is the time to lean on your broker for advice―this is why you hired them.