Step 1 in Negotiating Your Next Lease

BY Phillip Chapman
22 May 2017
The common question we receive from Retailers when challenged with the process of negotiating their retail shop lease is “where do I start?

Retail Shop Leases are complex and require a deep understanding of not only our own needs and outcomes but also those of the Landlord as well as the legislative boundaries by State & Territory Leases Acts.

clothes-1839935_960_720.jpgEach lease and for that matter each lease negotiation is different and although most seek to achieve a win-win outcome the end results are closer to win-lose (a zero-sum game).

To achieve the holy grail of WIN-WIN (a non-zero sum game) where the wins and losses for both Retailer and Landlord don’t cancel each other out, there are 5 basic steps to consider.

Over the next 5 weeks we will deliver these stages to hopefully provide you with an understanding of how to conduct your lease negotiations.

Stage 1 – Prepare

There is no good short cut to Preparation. It is the first stage of any negotiation, though people often don't give it the time it warrants. They often charge into the Information Exchange Stage, or even directly to Bargaining.

Preparation starts with determining if this is a potential collaborative situation so that you can select the better strategy. Next you spend time researching information, analysing data and leverage, and identifying interests and positions. Finally, you have to consider the relationship you want to build.

Five Key Elements of Negotiation Preparation

  1. Points to consider
  • Should I be negotiating?
  • What I need to know
  • Organize information
  1. Research covers
  • Players and stakeholders
  • The fact base
  • Standards and benchmarks
  1. Analysis includes
  • Re-organizing data
  • Anticipating what will happen
  • Assessing strengths and risks
  1. Identification of your and their Interests
  • Positions: Goals, Most Desired Outcomes, and Least Acceptable Agreements
  • Best Alternatives to a Negotiated Agreement
  • Concessions
  1. Know the relationship you want to build
  • Plan to build trust
  • Prepare for emotional reactions
  • Develop Probes to discover "Don't knows" and test Assumptions


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 or email
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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

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