You know that quote from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd Christmas says, “Statistically they say you’re more likely to get killed on the way to the airport. You know, like in a head on crash or flying off a cliff or getting trapped under a gas truck! That’s the worst!”?

Well, it turns out he was pretty accurate.

In fact, the average person has a crash every 17.9 years. So, maybe I was just due for a little car-related disruption, but a few months back I became part of that stat when I totaled my car.

Now before I go any further, don’t worry. Everyone walked away unharmed except for my car Handsome Rob (named for Jason Statham in The Italian Job). Sigh.

The collision itself may or may not have been my fault, but after my car was hit, and I worked back-and-forth with the insurance company, I was struck (yet again) by the importance of leverage in all areas of life.

It applies to everything, and I go could on-and-on about other areas. But I specifically want to share with you what I was reminded of during/after my accident and how it relates to commercial real estate (i.e. negotiations for your space).

4 Lessons Totaling My Car Reminded Me About the Power of Leverage

  1. Be patient and give yourself enough time. I was lucky and my insurance paid for a rental, giving me time before buying a new car. This reminded me how whether or not you actually have the time, creating the illusion you do can make up a lot of ground in negotiations. Just like you wouldn’t want to be forced into buying a vehicle right after an accident, you don’t want to be forced into a space.
  2. Be proactive. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Instead of giving in and just buying a car immediately when my rental period expired, I got creative and borrowed a car from a friend. This took pressure off me and gave me time (again) to research different brands/dealerships. Part of being patient when it comes to finding a space is to start earlier rather than later in terms of shopping around. (I.e. Don’t wait until you have too many desks and too few offices to make a move.) It’s never too early to start the real estate process.
  3. No matter what, always have options. Because of the time I allowed myself, I vetted multiple brands, years, and even markets to gain options. I was then able to leverage my choices/information with other dealerships to create competition. You create buying power when you have more time to vet options. Cast a large net when you begin your real estate search. Properties, areas, and product types could become more appealing as the process goes on and having multiple options allows you to create competition between different landlords.
  4. Create the flexibility to say no. I walked away from purchasing a car 4-5 times, so I mean it when I say: do-not-act-on-emotion. It makes it almost impossible to bluff. Be level-headed. The ability to walk away may be the most important bit of leverage you can have, so it’s important to put yourself in the position to do so. And it’s not always about the price when it comes to leasing or buying your space—warranty, flexibility, and interests rates all play a role in your decision-making.

I only say these things, because I’ve been there and I know how overwhelming the process can be.

If you’d like to learn more about real estate and choosing the right space, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

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