Bargaining - it's a ubiquitous practice. The thrill of getting a good deal, that heady feeling of walking away thinking you've outsmarted the system - it's almost addictive. But, are we always wise in where we choose to bargain? What if our constant hunt for cheaper alternatives is doing us more harm than good in some areas?
Two arenas where people often resort to bargaining are babysitting services and real estate asset management. Ironically, these are also two of the most significant aspects of their lives - their children's upbringing and their substantial financial investments.
Reframing the Questions
I'm not suggesting you stop bargaining and start paying a premium without question. But, what if we shift our mindset slightly and change our line of questioning? Instead of asking, "How cheap can I get this for?", we might consider asking, "What value will this service provide? Will this babysitting service help my child grow and develop? Will this property management company help me get a better return on my investment?"
It's about Creating a Win-Win
The goal is not just to engage in a transaction, but to establish a working relationship that benefits both parties. It's about finding that sweet spot where everyone comes out happy and profitable in the end.
Questions to Ask Upfront
When it comes to managing your real estate assets, here are a few questions to consider:
- ROI Strategy: "If I hired your property management company, how would you help me achieve a better Return on Investment (ROI)?"
- Tenant Retention: "What strategies do you use to encourage residents to stay longer in my property and mitigate turnover?"
- Accounting and Reporting: "What accounting software do you use, and what kind of reports can I expect to receive?"
- Company’s Own Investment: "Does the owner of the company own real estate?"
- Maintenance and Turnovers: "How do you handle maintenance issues and turnovers?"
By focusing on these questions, you prioritize alignment of goals and vision before discussing the cost. This way, you ensure that you're paying for a service that meets your needs and expectations, rather than just going for the cheapest option.
Bargaining has its place, but it's time we recognized that not all things are worth the price drop if it compromises on the value received. When it comes to entrusting the care of your child or your hard-earned property, a shift in mindset from bargaining to understanding the value of service can make a significant difference. The focus should always be on long-term benefits rather than short-term savings. After all, a fair price for excellent service is always a better deal.