Without trying to get too deep on you my leasing brethren, leverage has been defined as the power to influence a person or situation to achieve a particular outcome. Stating what may or may not be the obvious, context in negotiations is quite powerful. In any world, leverage (along with knowledge) is power, and as the title of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song goes, leverage brings “The Power of Equality” to those possessing it!
In a landlord’s market, when advocating on their behalf, real estate professionals should feel empowered, but with some semblance of tact and reasonableness, when putting forth the message – with a little help from the virtual band Gorillaz – that “We Got the Power.”
Conversely in a perceived tenant’s market – such as that which prevailed during the summer of 2017 retail market across the USA – tenant advocates can and should know – in the words of Grammy Award winning band Linkin Park – that they are not “Powerless,” but rather possess as a negotiating chip (in the words of none other than Madonna), “The Power of Good-Bye” to a landlord.
Once again stressing the importance of context, knowledge and market conditions when it comes to how a real estate pro should approach his or her letter of intent and lease negotiations, although their then message had absolutely nothing to do with the economic and business terms of a commercial lease, a good number of the song titles of hip hop and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Public Enemy should be taken to heart and mind when doing so. As a tenant advocate, you need to walk a very tight and fine line when you “Bring the Noise” which contains the tenant concession cocktail and other pro-tenant protections that you plan on serving up to the landlord by somehow conveying the message simultaneously that:
- you’re not trying to “Fight the Power”;
- for the greater good of getting a deal done we as “Brothers Gonna Work it Out”; and
- when you are asking the landlord to “Give It Up,” as a tenant rep you clearly put forth the message of don’t worry “You’re Gonna Get Yours.”
If at the end of the day as a tenant advocate you are successful in doing so, you’ll leave the landlord’s side no choice but to say “He Got Game.”
Please know however, going to the well once more with Public Enemy as my wing men, that if you fail in properly advocating your client’s position, not only will the landlord send a message to the tenant’s side that they “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya’ Man,” but even worse, they very well may move on to another prospective tenant by instructing their agent to cease negotiations and to “Shut ‘Em Down.”
That all said, playing off of the title of a song from Arcade Fire, hopefully I was able to “give you power” by adding a small ingredient or 2 to whatever your negotiating magic sauce may be. Until next time, be careful out there as you balance yourself atop the proverbial negotiating tight rope of life.