TRANSCRIPT : EPISODE 52

A guide to negotiating

Emily Myers (00:00):

I'm Emily Myers, and this is the Brick Underground podcast covering everything you need to know about New York City real estate, whether you're buying, selling, renting, or renovating. Now, this episode is all about negotiating. It's something that's arguably a life skill, but also important when you're dealing with real estate transactions, especially in New York City. In fact, it's been a year in which negotiating has been crucial—negotiating a lease break with your landlord, perhaps negotiating a lower rent. Maybe you've had to negotiate time off. Well, now the city's real estate market is favoring sellers and many buyers are having to familiarize themselves with best practices at the negotiating table. We're hearing that bidding wars, the hallmark of a competitive real estate market, are on the rise. And in fact, bidding wars on rentals have been mentioned by some brokers. So what are some of the key negotiating skills and what are some of the mistakes to avoid? To help answer those questions and give us some tips on how to get what you want, I'm joined by broker Mike Walker, residential sales manager at the brokerage, R New York. Mike. Hi.

Mike Walker (01:06):

Hi, thanks for having me Emily. Good morning.

Emily Myers (01:08):

Good morning. Well, it's great to have you on the podcast. So when apartments close above asking, that's indicative of a bidding war and in the last quarter in Manhattan, around 3 percent of sales were going to bidding wars. I think that is actually the second lowest level on record, but still an uptick compared to the fall of 2020. And industry experts say that is expected to rise and brokers are certainly reporting that anecdotally. So what's the most important piece of advice that you give clients when it comes to negotiating?

Mike Walker (01:37):

Right off the bat preparation. And really with negotiation, preparation, when we look at like key indicators, we look at fundamentals and practices. It's one of the things that if we had to value on a scale from one to 10, right, 10 compiling of everything that negotiation makes work—it's probably 60 percent of the success and outcome that a buyer's going to face. And so when we look at terms, when we look at situations, when we look at speed, when we look at documentation, all of these things that a buyer needs to have ready to go, when they say, "Oh my gosh, this is the place," so that the anxiety and the emotions don't kick in as high as they possibly could, right? We go and we spend a lot of time in preparation of even setting expectations. This could occur, that could occur. And so I think that, you know, preparation can't be under announced when it comes to the conversation with the buyer.

Emily Myers (02:32):

So is part of your preparation sort of knowing what your next step will be once you've made an offer, we're talking about buyers, you know, can you go up in price? If you can't go up in price, what are you prepared to do? Is that part of what preparation is?

Mike Walker (02:49):

Absolutely! Scenarios. I mean, so when we, when we look at it, we break it actually down into four components, right? Fundamental negotiations, typically, if, look at Harvard's approach, Northwestern's approach, Wharton's approach, they're all very similar and they can be broken into really four kind of key phases that subsequently actually help success in any, any type of negotiation. I don't care if it's real estate, buying a car and negotiating relationship, et cetera. And the first one is, is Intel. It's making sure that I'm gathering the information that is, that is necessary for us to be able to start to make decisions. So that might be my client's interests, their goals, their ranges, looking at terms, showing them packages, helping them understand all of the different types of outcomes that can occur when they look to acquire. The second side of that intel though is also then when we find a property, it's asking the questions of the listing agent or the seller and, and trying to understand what's important to them. Um,and then we really get into terms, right? Let's look at the gameplay element of terms. What are kind of our ranges? And so it's important for, I think, buyers to understand that when they go in with one singular goal, it's really difficult to not be competitive or aggressive because you're up against either a win or lose, right? So when we go in though, with a range as a buyer and we have a range for price, we have a range for closing date, we have a range for our terms. It actually opens our mind up to more collaboration, success is easier to get, because there are multitudes of packages that can be successful for us, that fall within those ranges. And it tends to help set the tone a little bit differently than going in and saying, well, "I want to pay $1.25 million." And all of a sudden now negotiations are at $1.3 and the buyer's like, "I'm done, I'm out" because they weren't, they weren't contextually ready for that, for that type of outcome.

Emily Myers (04:56):

Right. So, so price is important, but when it comes to negotiating the aspects of the deal, like the deposit, like the contingency, the closing specifics who will pay taxes and fees, perhaps even like you said, how soon the deal can be done, what the seller wants, what the seller's priority is—those can all play a significant role in the deal. That's what you're saying?

Mike Walker (05:17):

And I think most consumers don't even realize the number of terms that can be negotiated from fees to closing, to pass closing post-closing items. So number one, it's, it's, it's educating them on, on the package itself, everything that's involved and then it's isolating the important terms that are really key leverage points and opening their mind to the fact that the seller may not have the same ones. You know, I think everybody always assumes, oh, it's about price, it's about price, it's about price. It's about what price does for somebody. And when you start to realize that the money is just the, the transfer that it gives somebody's ego, it gives somebody pride, it gives somebody, it gives somebody their next purchase, all of these different elements. You start to realize that your questions are different. And so the more that we can isolate our opponents key terms, the more that we can then focus our package on those terms and still get what our buyer wants.

Emily Myers (06:12):

It's interesting. I mean, this type of negotiation sort of brings to mind some of the deals that have been structured by sponsors who are trying to sell their brand new apartments, those luxury condos that have been built over the last decade, but have been slow to sell in many cases. And obviously developers don't want to, or perhaps can't budge on the price because of their financing or the way they've structured it. So then they put in these other perks, like paid common charges or negotiations around the transfer tax. I mean, obviously in a resale, you're not dealing with common charges. So I guess as an example, if you're buying and don't want to go much higher on price, how effective might it be to offer a higher non-refundable deposit or something like that?

Mike Walker (06:55):

Those are the things we want to look at, right? Like we want to look at where can we be creative with the amount of time that we have, because sometimes you find, you find buyers and agents that are extremely creative, but the other side also has to be able to comprehend that creativity. And so like, when we look at the phases, you've got the information gathering, you've got the strategy around terms, then you have this strategy around delivery, right? Like, how am I going to communicate this? So often it gets sent over by an email, it gets misinterpreted or, or over-read and the real value of that package gets missed because the agent didn't take the time to say, let me get on the phone. And that's, that's, that's two-sided right. That's not just buyer, agent. That's also listing agent getting on the phone to verify things.

Emily Myers (07:41):

So it's just as important to have your agents or brokers on the same page going into this?

Mike Walker (07:46):

Yeah. Because Your creativity is limited by your opponent's ability to comprehend it. And how much time you have to gather that information. I've seen some crazy creative deals where, you know, there was a $10,000 hurdle and it was made up over season tickets, like where it's something where you just, you happen to find that the two parties had a correlation: One seller, they got season tickets with their business all the time. They really didn't—they had zero value, they, they rarely went, they gave it to clients. It was more of something that was a business park. But on the other side, the buyer was like a crazy, crazy fan and was on a waiting list to be able to get season tickets. And so that change is never going to be equal in value. You're always going to have one party that actually achieves a greater value in that exchange than the other. And so it was easy way, the seller said, you know what? The buyer said, "I'm willing to pay the extra 10 K if you give me, you know, two years' worth of season tickets, whatever it is." Those were box seats. So, you know, we're limited by our ability to comprehend. And we're limited sometimes by the legal professionals ability to want to draft a contract that can enforce it. But we always go in with the mindset of sky's the limit.

Emily Myers (09:03):

Wow. And that's obviously taking some blue sky thinking in terms of what actually can we put into this package? I mean, cause that, you know, season tickets are not something you would generally think of in a real estate transaction.

Mike Walker (09:15):

If we were to give again a scale from one to 10, a merger and acquisition is going to be around a four or five where a residential real estate transaction is going to be closer to a seven because the major environments that we look at with negotiation that determine difficulty is number one time. How much time do I have? If you look at the average negotiation we were given around 24 to 48 hours to kind of respond and gather information and intel, like all these steps, right? Is a short period. And so real estate, what agents are asked to do is a difficult task given the time and the emotional impact that's involved.

Emily Myers (09:53):

Okay. So what are the tips then for buyers and sellers to handle that timing and emotional content.

Mike Walker (10:04):

We started with the preparation and I want to always circle back to that, like understand what you want, understand everything in regards to, what am I willing to do? What am I not willing to do? And what's the distance in between? And then communicate with your agent. Like, you know, one of the biggest mistakes buyers make is they don't tell their agent everything. They don't communicate it because they have a fear that if they tell this party that, you know, they're going to get taken advantage of, or something's going to go south, or there's this fear of, of trust, right? I mean, this individual is communicating on your behalf. It's their job to persuade on your behalf, let them do their job. So definitely trust and make sure that you're communicating with your agent, all of those particulars. And then I would say as, as a buyer, write it down. It's the biggest habit that negotiators have to learn early is writing things down. There's something about when we process it in our head and we have a conversation about it, the details we start to lose. So if I sketch out and I actually write down the information I've retained, the information on my deals, the terms, here's my minimums, here's my maximums, here's my packages. It actually helps us detach from the emotional side of the negotiation and communicate in a more logical manner.

Emily Myers (11:21):

Wow, that's a really good tip. So writing it down and having a crib sheet of where you're willing to go and, and also being able to return to it.

Mike Walker (11:29):

And add to it. Whenever an agent comes to me in our residential division and says, you know, I've got an issue with a client we start to break it down. The answer is always there. And so once the information can really be just drafted and we can look at it and say, okay, here's some responsible solutions...Deals fall apart because people stop communicating, not because, you know, it's really easy, in fact for, for a person say, no, you know, I mean, all of these barters they call themselves negotiators, but they're really just barters that are out there. And they're like, "Oh, I just walk away. Or I'm silent." That takes zero skill, zero to say no. But it takes a lot of practice and it takes some, some guts and some courage to stay at the table and to continue to look for solutions. And the more people communicate, information is the greatest deadlock breaker of all time.

Emily Myers (12:20):

Interesting. That is such good information. Can you share any examples of deals that have been structured in ways that might have surprised you, you mentioned season tickets just to give perhaps our listeners some ideas about what, what they might have that they can offer?

Mike Walker (12:38):

Yeah. I mean, and instead of giving the, the direct examples, cause I could give you dozens and dozens from land transactions to condo transactions where, you know, something's put under contract for six months in order to accomplish all of the things that, that were problematic. Instead of that, I, I wanna, I want to reference that the best way to understand creative structure is to actually just always ask the question, "what would it take to say yes?" Instead of automatically going to these nos on requests, right? What would it take for me to say yes, what would I create as my exchange, my scenario, my situation in which this ask would actually be acceptable? And am I saying no, because I don't understand it? Or am I saying no, because that specific term doesn't meet my needs, but could it meet my needs if there were some other things in play? And so when we look at what can I do differently by asking the question, what would it take to say yes, all of a sudden, a whole range of scenarios come flying in, right. Even sellers that say, "Okay, well this is a a low ball offer." Okay. Well what would it take to say yes? Well, you know, I, I would need to know that I could get another property at X, right? Like, or that that they would be willing to rent back for six months to increase my cash flow or to, I mean, there's, there's all these things that we can look at. I know I might be at the end of the day that none of them work, but we start to look at what would it take to say yes. Like, well, this earnest money is only 10 percent or they're a loan in FHA, which is still existed in the city. Right? It has a loan limit of about $822,000. But when a seller sees that a buyer's only putting down three and a half percent in New York city, that's so tough to wrap their brain around. So they're like, oh, well that seems, that seems awkward. Or they don't seem qualified. Well, what would it take to say, yes? What would we need to see? What would we need to know? What would we need to educate ourselves on in order for us to say yes to this kind of offer? And, and when we dialogue with that, it really brings out creative structure.

Emily Myers (14:46):

It's sort of begs to mind quite a bit of self knowledge actually, you know, know yourself a bit.

Mike Walker (14:52):

And that's the biggest, I think difficulty is oftentimes we get ourselves into the purchasing situation and the selling situation without really fully knowing what we want. We know we want to sell, or we know we want to buy and we kind of have this idea. We had a pre-qual, but we really haven't thoroughly investigated it. And we don't know where to start as a consumer. Like, you know, people always say, "Oh, well, what's the value of a real estate agent these days? Right? They're just finding a property or selling it." That's not our value at all. Right? We're paid based on the four Ps we're based, we're paid on the aspect of pricing, of promotion, or finding of pre-qualification—and that's also the negotiation element. Right? And then also of the process. It really pays off to have that conversation and investigate what it is that you're doing with options. And it's, it's also why it's so important that you pick the right agent.

Emily Myers (15:44):

Actually, if you have the right agent, how much of the negotiating are you doing? Is it put back quite largely onto the agent?

Mike Walker (15:53):

You decide, we provide. That's how it's always going to be based on legal law. Right? So it's, it's more about us making sure that we are asking the right questions, taking the client through the right conversations. And some clients just are like, oh, I don't have time for it. I don't, I don't, I don't want to do that. And they're the same ones then that go through five or six different multiple offers and lose because they never had that conversation. And sometimes it does take evidence. Like there's just, that's just how it is. I can tell a consumer until I'm blue in the face of the value of having these conversations and going through these little exercises, but until they actually fail on their own right? Doing it their way, sometimes that's what it takes for them to say, okay, Mike, you told me about these things, you know, we're not successful what's going on? Because we get it. We have very successful clients. New York city is not a place where you're, you know, typically selling a, a $150,000 condo. And so a part of the difficult job of a negotiator is convincing, not just the other side, but convincing our client, that this process, what we want to take them through is of value. And that's what that's, that's the difference maker between an average negotiator and a great negotiator is some of the in-betweens how well can I pull information from a listing agent? How well can I, can I convince a client that this is worth taking the time on a call to go through?

Emily Myers (17:16):

So for buyers and sellers, it's important to understand that putting the time in to communicate with your broker is something that you just can't bypass.

Mike Walker (17:25):

Take the extra time to have the conversations around the terms, the agreements, the process, the preparation, what do I need to be able to be shown as a strong buyer? Everything is about perception, right? So when when a package is presented on behalf of a buyer to a listing agent, they're looking for things that are wrong. And so it's, it's little things that general consumers don't understand impact they're footing in a negotiation immediately from hello, them going to the seller, the listing agent directly, and then wanting to come back and get represented by a buyer's agent. Like, that's a difficult spot because they realize, oh, wait, I'm a fish out of water. And now I need somebody else to communicate this because this didn't work the way I want it to work. And I've got to go back and I've got to repair possible damage that was already done, and try to build more integrity for your offer.

Emily Myers (18:19):

Wow. Is that a common mistake that buyers make?

Mike Walker (18:22):

Yeah, I think it's, I think again, when, when you don't really understand the process of real estate, you haven't done this for a living. This isn't your business. It generally looks pretty easy to some, right? I'm just going to go make an offer. I show up with money. This is, this is a done deal. But when you don't make that offer in, in, in the manner that is conducive to the marketplace, even if your offer is good, you don't know how to necessarily package it or show it in a manner that that appears to be great. And so that can cause a, an issue right off the bat.

Emily Myers (18:57):

What about the argument that a lot of negotiating power is just dictated by market conditions.

Mike Walker (19:02):

It definitely plays a role, right? When we look at all of the influences that happen, you look at you've got market, you also have the person's personal situation, so an estate sale, someone who's lost their job, something that they're wanting to buy or liquidate from an asset, the urgency factor of a seller, the urgency factor of a buyer. So you've got people aspects that play a role within that dynamic of power, but surely the market plays a huge role on that. You know, when a seller has five different offers that are over asking, the buyer's tendency is to think I can't offer anything, that's going to be of my advantage. I'm going to have to give them the best that they want in order for them to say yes. And that's frankly, just an untrue statement. If you look at all negotiation environments and studies it still gives us the ability to have asks and have wins. We may not have a win in the price term, but somewhere within that package, we can build value for ourselves and still give them the safety that they need.

Emily Myers (19:58):

Great. That's such good information. Is there anything, any specific advice you can give about negotiating with co-ops? I mean, co-ops are always their own intricate beast.

Mike Walker (20:09):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, take your preparation, right. And amplify it five fold, making sure your financials—I think one of the biggest things for buyers is just to ensure that, that they understand how much financial information is going to be necessary and how rigorous that might come off and how almost very personal that they may have to get in regards to that purchase. Multitudes of tax returns down to the pennies of the assets. You know, we'll see financial statements that sometimes say, oh, we've got $1.2 million in the bank to the zero. That's immediately tells a listing agent who's on who, who sells co-ops they're being sloppy when someone turns in a financial statement to me, and it says $1.25 million, $14 and 37 cents. I'm like, okay, they've checked. They have documentation that's going to back that up. Cause they didn't just fabricate that particular number. So yeah, I think that there there's the understanding of it's all worth it. You have to keep telling yourself that, right? Like this is worth it. This is worth it. As you're going through that transaction, especially for the board interviews. There's just stages. So I think, again, it comes back to preparation. You're going to look better, it'll be a smoother transaction to start with. I think too, you know, one of the things that buyers ask us a lot, how do I know what a good offer is? Bad offer? What's too low, this low ball, high ball. It's one of the, the highest bartering strategies out there, right? Is it's the low ball tactic. So there's two things we teach buyers to look at. Number one, we teach them to look at the average list of sale price percentage in a marketplace, average list to the sale price. Sometimes they'll see that as the listing discount percentage, right? That shows us at any given market, the buyer and the seller tolerance of closed transactions. So it shows that buyers may offer less than that, but that the tolerance of acceptance given the market conditions that sellers will say yes to gives us that percentage marker. And sometimes when you look it up and you look at the stats, it's actually not a negative number, it's a positive number, the average list of sale price percentages, 103 percent, which then tells the buyer, listen, you have to be prepared to offer more than ask if you're going to win. So that's a great indicator. That's number one. Number two is understanding that you must anchor your offer with something that's logical. Yeah. Go ahead.

Emily Myers (22:32):

You're Talking about getting, you know, getting comps or comparable sales and making sure that you've done your homework to justify the bid that you're putting in.

Mike Walker (22:44):

I mean, you know, it doesn't mean it has to be the most justifiable position. It might be an outlier comp, but my job as an agent is convinced the other side, even with that outlier comp, that other people are going to look at this comp and worry also. And if we can create that one little ounce of doubt in the other side, because of that piece of logic, we've at least got a counter, which is the only result that a low ball looks for. Like no one who sends in a low ball is expecting it to be accepted. In fact, if it is accepted, they immediately panic because they go, "oh, I didn't, I didn't go low enough." so it's, it's the expectancy is we're going to get some form of concession, some form of counter we're going to draw out. And all that requires is a little doubt in the other party's mind that what they're asking may not fly with other people either. And so it's really important that buyers understand that we've got to find something, even if it's not, you know, 10 comparable, if it's just this one that we use, we still have to have that that's data that's coming from the agents it's data that, that the offices can provide. There's great resources in the market in New York city. Urban Digs has it as one of their flagship like trend stats that they publish every single day. So yeah, it's, it's, it's something that the agent can go and look at because it takes, it either takes manual time to actually do the sales and look like what was the previous asking price prior to it going under contract? And what was the sold price? The difference of that gives you the percentage. And you have to do that with every comparable or you let one of your market research suppliers do it for you.

Emily Myers (24:25):

Yeah. I should add that. We have lots of articles on every aspect of buying, selling, and renting in New York city, a brick underground.com, including comprehensive guides to closing costs. We have articles with in-depth neighborhood Intel. Our market reports also take a look at some of the data on deals and leases and some of the data we'd be talking about and that knowledge can obviously help you navigate your housing goals, whatever they are. We also love answering your questions. So please do get in touch either by the website or via Twitter and Facebook sign up for our newsletter, check out our rent calculator. We have lots of helpful tools. I'm talking to broker Mike Walker, who is the residential sales manager at R New York. So Mike, we've talked a lot about how buyers can negotiate and obviously it's the same concept there for sellers. But is there any specific advice for sellers?

Mike Walker (25:18):

Yeah, I mean, think about what it was like being a buyer, right? The, the, the lack of communication, the things that we, that we didn't like about the process, right. All of the, kind of as is talk and the, I don't want to do anything talk and take it or leave it talk. If you want to have a better, a better transaction, change the way that we're behaving, and I'm going to be the preparation horse to death—it's also about preparing with your agent there because a seller experiences, the same kinds of emotions as a buyer does, whether there's multiple offers or not. The fear then is, am I picking the right one? Is there going to be something that happens? Am I going to be stigmatized? Am I leaving money on the table? And is it going to appraise? All of these different questions. So preparing for those situations, preparing for their deals and their terms and understanding what other terms can we ask for? Just because we have now three parties that all have great prices, how do we ensure the strength beyond a security deposit, beyond eliminating contingencies, which may not be safe for the transaction? Just so we're clear.

Emily Myers (26:24):

Perhaps you can just elaborate on that.

Mike Walker (26:25):

Yeah. I mean, there are certain contingencies that later on can cause so much distress at the closing table and lawsuit post-closing that you almost are better off just giving the contingency in the first place. At the end of the day, whether someone waives their, their mortgage contingency or not, it doesn't mean that it changes the funding's ability. And so you're getting into this, not to make the, the, the earnest check, your profit, right? Like you're, you're in this to sell the property. And if that is the ultimate goal, let's, let's, let's create an agreement that, that accomplishes that goal. You know, multiple offers can make people act extremely different than when they have time to responsibly look at things. Right? And so sometimes these, these transactions, even someone who says "I'm all cash," they're willing to walk away from a hundred thousand dollars. I see a time and time again. And so they get down to closing and they're saying, well, we're going keep your earnest money because, you know, you wanted to do some due diligence, but sorry, there were 15 buyers all at the same time so you waived that right. And now the person's wanting to walk away because they found out something that they, that they don't like about the unit or walk away from their a hundred K. So to me again, it's contingencies are a term that both parties should always consider the outcome of, right? So if something's going to take an additional five days and it's going to set and rest assure this, buyer's now responsibility for the next 45 or 90 days, do it.

Emily Myers (27:54):

Every situation is obviously different. But other, some scenarios that kind of crop up frequently, or that you can characterize and point out what might bring about, you know, the best outcome.

Mike Walker (28:07):

There's such a dependence right now in New York city of security deposit, right? And that's, that's sometimes it's called earnest money, hand money, deposit in the transaction, whatever you want to call it—it's, it's there to pay liquidated damages to the seller in the case of a buyer's default. Right? So again, I want to isolate the fact that never should one term decide fully the ability for a buyer to perform, right? Like, just because someone is only putting down 10 percent in their loan or only want to offer $10,000 in, in, in security deposit, doesn't mean that they're not going to again, give you the end result that you're looking for. And so I think that we see that a lot, it's a tremendous, a part of the daily negotiations is, is, well, you have to put down 20 percent or 10 percent or whatever it's going to be. And it's convincing sellers also that let's look at the package. The other part is convincing people that there's nothing wrong with picking up the phone and calling finance. Like there's no, there's no rules. There's no laws, there's no code of ethics against it. Like someone receives a pre-qualification, which is a piece of paper, right? And instead of being like, well, we'll ensure this is solid by asking you for all this money, like pick up the phone and have a conversation. Most of us in a matter of minutes can tell whether or not this mortgage broker has truly pre-qualified this individual and whether or not they truly believed that this is a, is a, is responsible. Like we can fund this no problem type situation on someone who's purchasing a co-op and the mortgage has not been informed it's a co-op. And so they're not getting a purchasing loan, they're getting a mortgage, which isn't going to work out here in about two weeks when they start to look at the property. And so that's, those are the little things that make a difference. And it's the little things that, that also determine the difference between one agent and another is an agent who's willing to do those things.

Emily Myers (30:01):

So, yes. So you're talking about a seller's agent picking up the phone and talking to the mortgage broker of the potential buyer and just saying, you know, complying with me is, well, what's the deal here

Mike Walker (30:12):

That correct? The, you know, the, the disclosure and conversation around particulars is, is when we lack it, we do nothing, but, but operate in fear. And how do, and how we negotiate with fear is then we try to staple in other pretexts as if that's going to change whether or not the funding is going to like the property or not. Instead of just picking up the phone and getting comfortable with what that other service provider can do. And making sure that we communicate that to our client.

Emily Myers (30:41):

Obviously you deal with sales, but renters have in many cases had to negotiate New York the past year mentioned that obviously lease breaks and rent reductions. Do you have advice for renters when it comes to negotiating in the current market?

Mike Walker (30:56):

Are they're faster, right? They fly faster. There's less importance. There are temporary housing element. Even if someone's going to be there 10 years, it's still temporary in the mindset of the lease is a 12-month lease or a 24-month lease, right? So your negotiations are quicker. Don't expect to have the same amount of time that you would have in a sale. Don't expect the same amount of time in, in gathering information, because reasonably the value to the other party is less in regards to that information and that phone call, understand that rent price, if that can't be negotiated terms again, look at all of the creativity that you can negotiate. Many landlords, again, just like a new construction, they need a price that's based on their financing, their structure, their leverage, their cap rate, their investment, their et cetera. But there are other things that cost next to nothing; painting, even furnishings utilities amenities, things in the area I've seen bus passes negotiated. I've seen, you know, things on transportation and lifestyle items, look at those because buyers, buyers in the longevity are very concerned about property liability. What could happen that that might cost me a lot of money, right? In the first couple of years? A tenant, isn't worried about those things. They're worried about making sure that they liked the apartment that nothing breaks, et cetera. So negotiate more lifestyle stuff as a tenant, and understand that again at the same time, this is about a landlord who's operating in fear of you not paying, most specifically right now in New York city, right? You have a lot of landlords that just came from a 12-month nightmare in regards to having tenants that couldn't to pay their rent, wouldn't leave, couldn't be evicted the whole nine yards. So landlords are trying to recoup some of that loss, but because of the number of apartments that are happening and turning over right now, it is time to still be able to negotiate. For tenants, they just need to, to, to, to be ready to act when it comes time to act, they have less time than they do on the sales side.

Emily Myers (33:02):

Yes. And as I mentioned, we were hearing that the bidding wars are happening on rentals.

Mike Walker (33:09):

There's multiple applications that are being turned in again, being able to present a really strong case and say, you know, here's my job. Here's my financials. Here's here are the things that are responsible. Here's references, like this shows that I'm a quality tenant. It's just like going into a co-op board. Right? I've got to show that I'm not going to be a nuisance that I'm going to pay on time. And then I'm going to be a great tenant. I'm going to take great care of this place. So addressing the important facets to, again, your opponent, it's, it's the same game, just different, different, different song.

Emily Myers (33:39):

I mean, we're heading into the summer, usually a quieter period. Do you have any predictions for what we might see in the coming months?

Mike Walker (33:47):

I think we're going to see a delayed down downspout in regards to like what our typical element is. Just because again, reopenings happening now, people are back out. Some decisions are being made, quarantines are being lifted. So we're seeing a lot of transition right now, people that were waiting to move that typically would have done it in the spring, waited until now summer. It's also the end of the school year, et cetera. So I think we're gonna see a little delay. I think we're going to see an uptick longer than what we typically see. At least that's right now with, with our agents. That's what we're seeing. We're seeing a tremendous amount of business where typically we would start to see a decline in that business. We are seeing an uptick in regards to number of under contracts, number of showings, number of phone calls, number of listing contracts that are coming in, that I'm signing every day. All of those are right now on an uptick in comparison to past seasonal summers. So I think I, it's not that I don't think we'll experience the summer. I do think we'll get there. But it's just a little bit more of a delay this year in that, in that ripple.

Emily Myers (34:51):

Yes. Because the calendar has been sort of upset obviously by COVID. Do, do you see it then rebalancing in the fall?

Mike Walker (34:58):

I'm watching the inventory and as we see that inventory, take a drastic change or begin an uptick or downtick that will help us justify and prepare for what the next 90 days is going to look like on that.

Emily Myers (35:10):

I've been talking with broker Mike Walker, who's the residential sales manager at R New York. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Walker (35:16):

Thank you so much, Emily. Appreciate it. Have a great day.

Emily Myers (35:19):

I'm Emily Myers thank you for downloading the Brick Underground Podcast. For more information, head to brick, underground.com. The podcast is produced by myself and Jenny Falcon. Terry Rogers is our executive producer.