The Great Indian Negotiation

Most brokers are painful, and dealing with them is usually an experience like retrieving the phone you dropped into the loo of the pub that someon'e been sick in; necessary, but in no way pleasant. But once in a while you come across the master of his game, someone whom it's an education to watch.

The standard pattern any broker follows is the A-B-C-D-E system.
A: A bad place, to set your expectations low and to declare the first hostility.
B: An OK place, but one he knows you won't get; either because of landlord or society issues.
C: The one he wants you to take, downplayed with 'might be gone anytime, some saw it this morning' spiel.
D: An awesome, rocking place, around 25% over budget. This is his long shot, getting you hungry, testing your stated limit, and just maybe, earning a little extra for himself.
E: Such an awesomely shitty place that you stagger back on the ropes, your head spinning that such things can exist.

Scenario 1: You choose D, and barely have the words left your mouth that the papers are signed, keys are handed over, and the palm is outspread with a shark grin.
Scenario 2: You stick to your guns and choose B. A period of expectation and assurances, during which he grows steadily more doleful and finally practically prostrates himself, cursing the misbegotten evil of societal veto. You've lost a week, time is running out, and suddenly you're back to square one. And with a sudden right hook like lightning, along comes C, the only available option, suddenly presented like a miracle. You gasp with relief, praise his brilliance and loyalty for saving you at the last minute and cough up.

And then there's the other.
A: Good place, warming you up.
B: Rocking place, slightly but not majorly over budget - maybe 10%.
C: Awesome place, within budget and with everything you wanted.
There is no more. You close there and then.
This is followed by the negotiations. The really good brokers don't operate on area like the crappy ones who will go to any extent necessary to make sure you buy only what they have. The good guys will tie up with multiple others. They negotiate shares, rates. They pull contacts, yank out 1989 diaries with numbers. They phone, phone, phone. They pull favors. They set up a doublespeak so complex they alone know exactly what's happening; the asked rent + deposit, the stated budgets, the actual deals... the structure is built so brilliantly, they can sit in a room with the landlord, the tenant, the rival broker, and still close on the terms they want, never giving away an excess share, losing a client, alienating a landlord, or creating any bad blood in their own industry.
The nego is an art form. The tenant is apprehensive; he soothes, assures, relaxes. The rival is antsy; he cajoles, threatens, pulls favors, uses relationships. The landlord is eager / scared; he calms, reassures, tempers. It's like a chess game where he's playing 4 sides.
There are sudden outbursts - 'We want X. Tell me now.' 'No, no... these are good kids, poor kids... working all hours... barely making ends meet... no problems... known them for years... excellent record...'
There are panicked whispers - 'We can't afford this! Will there be problems? Should I close my other offer?' 'Relax. I know this guy. Went for his son's wedding. I knbow what he wants, and what he'll take. Don't give any indications, don't say anything, don't move. Leave it to me, I'll get it...'
And there are threats - 'I got it first. It was my contact. You don't want to create problems.' 'You? You're saying this? After our years together as partners? The chai? The deal I gave you in 2003? Remember how I got you out of the fraud case? After all I taught you? You want to go tell this to your boss, in spite of our friendship? In spite of knowing I'm looking for good people to partner with?...'
Somehow, it happens. It clicks. And then, there's the icing on the cake; 'Meet Mr. M. He and I have worked together for ten years. He does packing & moving, electrical work, carpenter arranging, plumber-getting, vaastu advice, paperwork-doing, and you know what? He's from the same state as you, and speaks your native language!'

Sometimes, you have to step back and acknowledge the masters.

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