Reality TV has become a guilty pleasure for many of us. The drama, fights, and down right rachetness that happens on our TV screens are like a car crash: difficult to look at but hard to look away. I have become a fan of such shows as Love and Hip-Hop, and Married to Medicine, but last night I discovered a reality show that is actually thrilling to watch: Million Dollar Listing New York. Million Dollar Listing New York focuses on three New York real-estate agents Ryan Serhant, Fredrik Eklund and Luis D. Ortiz. (Special shout-out to newcomer Luis, for representing for the Latinos.) The show gives an inside look into the high-stakes and high-blood-pressure-inducing world of real estate. I have become very interested in investing in real estate, so this show came at just the right time. Their commissions which are usually about double my salary, make me re-evaluate my life choices, but the luxurious properties they are selling become an inspiration and motivating factor for me to work harder in my career.
Regardless of your industry, Million Dollar Listing can teach us all a thing or two about sales and negotiation. Negotiation makes us all uncomfortable and organizations like Levo League have been shedding light on how this is particularly an issue for women with their Ask 4 More Campaign. Did you know that a woman that fails to negotiate can end up losing hundreds of thousands over the course of her career? Same can apply to men. Whether an entrepreneur or an employee, it is time to put on our game faces and make the ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for or charge what you are worth. Here are some negotiation tips I have learned from the show so far.
Stick to the Facts and the Details
This was the best advice about showing apartments that Fredrik gave Luis. When you are having a sales conversation, whether it is about your pricing or your salary, focus on well-researched facts and specific details. Are you selling the other person on the value of these details? For example, if I am selling a service like my Hired, Happy and Paid course, I focus on the benefit of the course and how my students’ lives will be different versus talking about the exercises. I also focus on the details of the deliverables and what they will leave the course with. Painting a picture of what happens after they take the course motivates them to take action because they want to experience the outcomes.
When negotiating salary, I make a list of all the unique skills that I will bring to the position (details) and the value I would add to the team. I also research what the average salary for someone in my position (facts) to have supporting materials for my salary counter offer. At times, money might not be the issue, so remember you can also negotiate more vacation time, the ability to telecommute or your work hours. Work on making the situation work for you and your employer.
Put out the number and hold strong
Naturally in sales-based industries, negotiation is common. A trend that I noticed on the show was the open discussion of money. The brokers were not hesitant to say the asking price or push back if their clients wanted something lower. Discuss the number upfront so that they are no surprises down the line. When I worked in sales, we were always told to talk pricing on a call or in person in order to be able to read the reaction of our customer. If we send the number later on in an email, the client might be more hesitant and doesn’t allow for as much negotiation. On the show, the agents say the asking price during the open house or showing so that buyers are aware and don’t make an offer that is completely out of the range. If the buyers make an offer that is too low, they work on bringing them up or give their “best and final.” They are good at assessing the situation and understanding when to keep negotiating or when to hold firm on their offer.
In interviews, it is not recommended to discuss salary, but try to ask about the salary range so that you at least have an idea of what to expect if an offer does present itself. Don’t get ahead of yourself and ask during the first interview, but become familiar with the interview process and ask once you are in the last stages. If you feel like you are being low-balled or know that the position calls for a higher salary, be sure to hold strong. Recognize your value and make sure that you are not afraid to ask for what you need. On the show, Fredrik receives an offer for $2.8 million for a $2.975 listing. Knowing that he was able to sell other apartments for the list price and understanding the value of the space, he refuses to let the property go for less than what it’s worth. The buyer realizes the value and agrees to pay the full amount.
How do you think you can apply these tips in your own life?
Hope you have learned a few things and if you have some time, watch the show! You’ll become more knowledgeable about the sales process and can apply it to your career or your business. Thank me later!