Did you know that recent 2014 NAR membership reports show that over 57% of all licensed agents are female?
Experts Linda Babcock and Sara Lashever, authors of Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, state that too often women can appear weaker at negotiating. One of the primary reasons is that women are naturally highly accommodating and don’t want to appear too “pushy.” To alleviate this perception, there are easy-to-implement strategies that help women perform better when negotiating. With enhanced negotiation skills, you can expect to get what you want for what you do and whom you do it for.
Here are 5 mistakes for women to avoid when negotiating,
#1 – Not limited just to women, here in the USA most of us fail to invest in learning to be better at negotiating. Few take advantage of taking a class, seminar or even read a book, and yet almost all real estate services require negotiation talents! Real estate requires excellence at negotiations, so we need to study up to do our best for ourselves and our customers.
#2 – Women want to avoid confrontation. We all periodically suffer from “negotiaphobia” – a term used to describe the fear or distaste of anything associated with the negotiation process. All too often, we will find ourselves settling for less just to avoid negotiating a more suitable outcome. You can treat your negotiaphobia by simply learning more about the process. Begin negotiations from a power position to get on the right track and get pointed in the right direction.
#3 – We’ve already stated that women typically tend to assume or hint about rather than ASKING for what we want from negotiation scenarios. Many times the other side may not even be aware of a problem or concern, and would be willing to consider a new solution if the options were stated clearly and put on the table. So women must simply learn to ASK for what they want, and they may get it or have to further negotiate, but they have a greater probability to get more than they thought!
#4 – The fourth biggest mistake women may make is making unnecessary concessions. It is common for women (and people with an accommodating interactive style) to try to please the other party in the negotiation process. Often this accommodation confuses agreement with the final negotiation. Women tend to assume after the handshake the negotiations are complete, when, in fact, this initial agreement may not be final until all is signed and sealed. Key take away here: the agreement is not done until it is written up and executed, and the fine print is checked! “Nibbling” can be another tactic used by a competitive negotiator where they may discretely add some options that were never originally agreed upon.
#5 – The smart agent that invests time in a “discovery needs analysis” long before the actual meeting is on the way to win at the negotiating table. According to our experts, the biggest impact on negotiations is what you do before the meeting. When you prepare by doing your homework (checking the MLS for listing history, confirming taxes, checking expired listings for days on the market), you are ahead of the game! When you diligently prepare, you know what the needs are for both parties in advance before you begin the agreement process. Then, when you finally do meet, you are more able to propose a set of options that begin the process of collaboration, so it makes good sense to do your homework!
We can’t avoid negotiating every day, both personally and professionally. Approach learning more about negotiation with a win-win spirit and the goal of everybody winning, and you’ll find yourself in demand and in the profit zone!