10 Negotiation Tactics you Need for Your Next Lease

BY Phillip Chapman
22 September 2017

Negotiation is an everyday part of our lives and so much of it depends on how we prepare, conduct ourselves and manage the process as well as relationships.

Retail Shop Leases require a particularly specialised negotiation skill set, however these tactics are common across all commercial (and sometimes personal) discussions. You should always plan and prepare before any supplier/commercial negotiation.

Remembering that the Latin word for Negotiate is: “to continue to do business”


  1. Extreme demands followed up by small, slow concessions.

Don’t let a strong demand “anchor” your expectations. Be clear going in about your own demands, alternatives, and the bottom line – and don’t be rattled by an aggressive opponent

  1. Commitment tactics.

Your opponent may say that his hands are tied or that he has only limited discretion in negotiating. Make sure that these commitment tactics are real.

  1. Take-it-or-leave-it offers.

Offers are never nonnegotiable. Try ignoring the demand and focus on the content of the offer instead.

  1. Inviting unreciprocated offers.

When you make an offer, wait for a counteroffer before reducing your demands. Don’t bid against yourself.

  1. Trying to make you flinch.

Your opponent keeps making demands, waiting for you to reach your breaking point. Don’t fall for it.

  1. Personal insults and feather ruffling.

These personal attacks can feed on your insecurities and make you vulnerable. Take a break if you feel yourself getting flustered, or name their tactics.

  1. Bluffing, puffing, and lying.

Exaggerating and misrepresenting facts can throw you off guard. Be polite but skeptical.

  1. Threats and warnings.

Want to know how to deal with threats? The first step is recognising threats and oblique warnings as the tactics they are, which can help you stand up to them.

  1. Belittling your alternatives.

Have a firm sense of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) and don’t let your opponent shake your resolve.

  1. Good cop, bad cop.

One of your opponents is reasonable, the other is tough. Realise that they are both working together.

At the same time, while you could leverage these hardball negotiation tactics yourself, remember that making the other side hostile could create long-term problems. 

Knowing about these tactics and the motivations that underlie them, a negotiator can effectively maneuver themselves at the bargaining table while defusing hard bargaining negotiation strategies, without harming the relationship or the negotiation.

Need leasing advice or management services? The ARA has partnered with Lease1 to save retail tenants time, money and stress in their lease negotiations. To learn more about ARA Leasing Services contact http://lease1.pages.ontraport.net/enquiry or email membership@retail.org.au.
New call-to-action


Phillip Chapman

Lease 1 Retail Leasing Do You Want A Better Deal On Your Lease? "Retailers don't get what they deserve... they get what they negotiate." Lease1 is the leader in its specialist field and is committed to providing personal, timely and cost-effective services to save tenants time, money and stress in their lease negotiations. Securing and protecting the commercial terms of our clients’ leases is our core business, supported by wide-ranging tenant consultancy services, encompassing lease information and research, site sourcing and selection, dispute resolution, retail franchising and portfolio administration. Our industry-leading Lease1 service adds security and value to a retailer’s business through professional lease negotiation and tenant representation on: • New Leases • Lease Renewal • Lease Options • Rental Research • Site Selection • Dispute Resolution • Crisis Management

Become a Retail Insider

Join 11,000+ Australian Retailers