Five Essential Real Estate Negotiation Tips

Property managers negotiating

To be a successful real estate investor, you need to know how to spot a good investment, how to work with contractors, find good tenants and much more. However, the most important skill to have in your repertoire is negotiation. Investors who are good negotiators have a significantly easier experience when it comes to real estate investing. Since negotiation is such a crucial part of being a real estate investor, we’re sharing five essential tips that’ll help you master this skill in no time!

1. Do your research

Every good negotiator knows that knowledge is power, and negotiations tend to favour the negotiator with the most information. So, when hammering out a deal for an investment property, never come to the table without first doing your research. Know about the property, the builder, the neighbourhood, and the real estate market as a whole. It also helps to know a bit about the person you’re negotiating with. Find out their motives for selling the property and what they want out of the deal. These pieces of information will help you make an educated and appropriate offer or counter offer.

2. Build rapport

In business, people tend to favour people they know and like. That’s why building rapport and maintaining good relationships is an important part of real estate investing. As an investor, it’s your job to make sure the seller likes you and feels comfortable doing business with you. During your interactions with the seller, practice active listening and put yourself in their shoes. This way they’ll be more willing to compromise and meet you halfway when negotiating.

3. Be fair

Negotiation isn’t about winning, rather, it’s about finding a balance. Expert negotiators know that a successful negotiation experience is one where everyone walks away satisfied. When investing in real estate, come to the table with a fair offer – anything below this can ruin the chance of negotiation. When sellers are lowballed for their property, they tend to take offence and may not be willing to reason with you or hear your counteroffers. So, get rid of your “winning” mentality and approach negotiation like a problem solver – offering the best solution/offer for all parties involved.

4. Get comfortable with silence

To become an expert negotiator, you’ve got to get comfortable with silence – regardless of how awkward it is. Silence gives the impression of dissatisfaction, which lets the seller know that further negotiation is required. Silence can also lead to concession – a price drop, better-negotiating terms etc. and the person that breaks the awkward silence is usually the one to concede. 

5. Know when to walk away

As previously mentioned, negotiation is about fairness and finding the appropriate offer/solution for everyone involved. With that being said, you’ve got to know when to walk away from a negotiation that is one-sided. If the seller refuses to compromise, and the asking price is out of your budget, it’s better to find a new investment property than to break the bank.

Mastering the art of negotiation is a must for every real estate investor, and with these helpful tips, you’ll be negotiating like a pro in no-time! 

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What Makes a Great Rental Listing

For rent sign

Creating a rental listing that attracts great tenants is simple, though it does require some thought and creativity! The headline, description, and photos should all be clear, concise, and compelling. Here are some ways you can create a rental listing that will attract great renters. 

Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline

A well-written headline will make people want to click on the description to find out more. If your headline doesn’t immediately grab the attention of a prospective tenant, you may be losing out on valuable leads. If you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes, what would you be looking for if you’re scanning rental listings?

Most renters know the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and price range they want and will click on listings that match their criteria. They’ll also want to know the location and a unique feature to your listing. An example headline would be “$1800/month – newly renovated 2 bed/1 baths in trendy Stoney Creek neighbourhood”. Make the headline direct with a differentiating descriptor and you’ll get noticed.

Include all details, big and small

When you provide as much information as possible, you’ll weed out anyone that isn’t a good match and find those who are. Here are some of the vital pieces of information renters are looking for:

  • Location – the neighbourhood your rental is located in and a description of the neighbourhood (is it quiet? Central? Family-oriented?)
  • Amenities – access to public transportation; walking distances to groceries, shopping, restaurants; nearby schools; access to highways
  • Pets – include any details regarding pets, and if allowed, which kinds are permitted
  • Length of lease
  • Move-in date
  • Square footage
Take high-quality photos

Give prospective tenants a clear feel for the property before they even contact you by taking beautiful photos. It’s best to hire a photographer who specializes in real estate photography. However, if you are taking the photos yourself, here are a few tips to show off your property:

  • Get a wide-angle lens to capture the entire room in one shot. There are lens attachments for smartphones that you can find online or at any electronics store. 
  • Take plenty of pictures from different angles to capture flattering lighting and unique aspects of the room. 
  • Be sure to stay away from mirrors – seeing someone’s reflection in photographs can appear unprofessional. 
  • Make sure you use plenty of light – take advantage of the daylight, but also strategically light dark areas and corners with lamps if needed. 

If possible, it can be beneficial to show your rental unit furnished to give renters a good idea of not only how large the space is, but also how they can envision themselves living there.

Highlight the differentiators

To ensure that your property is a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity, highlight what makes your unit special. Talk about those features in as much detail as possible to give renters a reason to take notice. Here are just a few features you may want to mention: 

  • City, park, or lake views
  • Large windows that let in plenty of natural light 
  • A space that’s great for entertaining 
  • Recently renovated, freshly painted, new flooring, etc.
  • Walk-in closet, additional storage, or any other extra space
  • Higher-end finishes like granite countertops and hardwood floors
  • Parking available for tenants and guests
  • A gym, party room, pool, etc.
Be upfront about extra costs

The monthly rent of an apartment may be within a tenant’s budget, however, extras may push a unit out of their range. To ensure your prospective renter knows what they would be signing up for before they even schedule a viewing, include any extra costs that a renter would be responsible for.

  • Parking – mention if it’s included or not, the number of stalls, or if it’s underground
  • Utilities – explicitly state which utilities are included and those that the tenant is responsible for
  • Deposits – mention the damage deposit and pet deposit if applicable

Once the rental listing is written and beautiful photos are taken, give it a final proofread (or two) and post on http://hamiltonhomesforrent.com/ for a wide exposure to prospective tenants in Hamilton.