In a previous edition of Lease Intelligence, I touched on the challenges of seeing through proclamations made by the landlord or their agent about the value of their building and getting to the real deal.  This prompted a number of comments from readers including “how can you tell the difference between their proclamations and the truth…and what are the cues?”

There is no fairy dust or magic wand that comes with a real estate license or an advanced commercial real estate designation, such as CCIM.  The weapon that cuts through the landlord’s bluster is nothing more than solid research, preparation and experience.  If the landlord’s side tells the story of the top of their submarket, your broker should counter with the bottom of that same market.  If the landlord’s line is “The market has gotten tight – no more free rent” your broker needs to cite a recent deal that came with several months of free rent.  True, no two deals are made in the exactly the same circumstances but your broker should know how to leverage the facts to your advantage.  The objective is to neutralize the landlord’s claims – or their ego, just in case they really start believing their claims as unassailable truth.

Once the landlord’s side hears the sharp “clink” of your advocate’s sword striking theirs, the posturing shifts and the parties start to search in earnest for where the deal really is.  Think of natural market forces like the referee in the duel.  The objective is not necessarily to slay your opponent but to come to a fair, balanced outcome. 

Good, old fashioned preparation.  And a sharp blade of hardened steel.