By Rich Rosfelder, Strategic Communications Director, CCIM Institute
When working with less experienced investors, owners, and users, the job of the commercial real estate professional changes. They must guide the deal through all of the messy humanness – the emotions, the competing interests, and the miscommunication – in order to close. The process requires a healthy dose of empathy.
In a commercial real estate deal, empathy means “making every effort to truly understand the goals, objectives, interests, and perhaps even the passions of the parties to the transaction,” says Byron Smith, CCIM, president of Metropolitan Realty Group in Vienna, Va., and a CCIM instructor.
But when time is money, it can be difficult to make the necessary effort. The first mistake that transaction parties make is failing to recognize that each commercial real estate deal has its own set of challenges. “Never trust your assumptions,” says Joseph Larkin, CCIM, SIOR, CEO of First Realty in Denver. “Treat every transaction as new, even if you're negotiating with someone you've negotiated with before.”
Testing your assumptions involves asking a lot of questions – and the right ones. Larkin teaches CCIM Institute's Commercial Real Estate Negotiations course and recommends using the NUMERAL tactic to develop open-ended questions.