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Negotiating Resolution

An excited client calls and says "Wow! How did you do that? Why would the other side ever make a deal like that?" The answer isn't exciting, it involves a few very basic concepts… that basically take many years of professional experience to master. What we do is integrate our client’s needs with the landlord’s needs in a calm, professional and objective fashion.

There are three possible conclusions when resolving any difference of opinion between people, including differences during a lease negotiation:

1. one side prevails over the other
2. both sides concede and "meet 1/2 way"
3. the needs of both sides are understood and integrated

In the first scenario, the conclusion is that one side "wins" and the other side "loses". Inevitably the loser constantly looks for ways to retaliate and the relationship is soured. This is the mark of an inexperienced and unprofessional negotiator.

In the second scenario, both sides make concessions leading to a "lose-lose" conclusion. Now both sides are looking for ways to regain lost ground and the relationship is still soured. Another mark of the inexperienced and unprofessional negotiator.

The above two scenarios are less than ideal and may even set you up for future trouble and aggravation rather than finding a true resolution. In the third scenario, the needs of both sides are integrated. Both sides "win" and this is the correct resolution. The trick is to understand the needs of all parties and “give away” items of lesser importance to gain what is very important. The ability to complete a negotiation in this fashion is the mark of a true professional.

Proper negotiation and resolution of commercial realty lease issues require the negotiator to:

1. understand that all problems have a resolution
2. have the skill and experience with both the realty market and commercial realty contracts to identify all possible solutions
3. clearly understand all concerns and needs of both tenant and landlord
4. represent only one party's interests to conclusion without creating a temporary resolution that is ultimately destructive

An arrangement as complex as an offer to lease, a commercial realty lease, or a lease term renewal cannot be properly negotiated without extensive experience in commercial realty contracts and the realty market. You need to retain the services of a professional who is properly qualified to represent your position. That "great deal" you believe your lease gives you may, in fact, be a path to endless trouble!

Written by
Ian D. Toms and Jennifer J. Miles

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