Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

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Archive for the ‘Negotiation Book’ Category

Free is the new black

Posted by Mark Harrison on February 26, 2008

This month’s Wired Magazine has a great article about why the new pricepoint for many things is free.

The article is written by Chris Anderson, whose last book – the Long Tail – I read a couple of years ago. The book  has heavily influenced my training business.

The thrust of the article is that, as the costs of production go down, the price to the customer should go down…

… therefore businesses need to continually innovate to work out how to deliver more value to the customer (that can be charged for) as what they used to charge for becomes free.

In many (most?) cases, the thing that’s forcing the prices down is competition, legitimate or otherwise.

When it took several hundred thousand pounds to set up a CD-mastering facility, not many people could produce them. Not only was there little piracy, but there weren’t many CDs out there – if you wanted a CD of, say, the Durufle Requiem, then Hyperion had about the only one … now there are numerous recordings of that piece on CD, from major choirs through to schools and churches. (And I pick an example from relatively obscure classical music deliberately – this choice extends in many dimensions.)

In my own training industry, we’ve seen this move – sales of CDs are holding up OK, but hardly booming, and sales of my book are doing OK, but generating less cash than I would have earnt in six months of IT contracting (which is pretty much how long it took to work on the book.)

Where it has worked, though, is that I have more clients asking me to work with them in negotiations (interestingly, in IT as well as property!) because of the “exposure” that the book has generated…

… and it certainly has helped establish credibility with my mentoring programme clients.

Does it apply to property investment though? Well, maybe, actually… One startup I’m involved with got free office space from their accountant in exchange for getting a 2-year commitment on accountancy work!

The next step, to offer people free housing in exchange for a certain amount of work is something I KNOW that that smart investors are looking at.


Posted in Economics, Negotiation Book, Property Investment, Property training | 2 Comments »

Mini Book Review – Building Agreement (Fisher and Shapiro)

Posted by Mark Harrison on July 9, 2007

About 15 years ago, partway through by MBA course (which I never finished!) I read a really interesting book that changed the way I thought about negotiation. The book was Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton. One day, I’ll finally get around to reviewing that book.

However, on Friday I got my hair cut (think 50th anniversary of John meeting Paul tribute style!), which involves going into Crawley. Don’t get me wrong, I like Crawley, but the parking is awful, so what I tend to do is get dropped off, and then call for Mary (wife) or Dona (PA) to pick me up when I have the new look.

The great thing about this arrangement is that it allows me about 15 minutes to wander round Waterstones.  Now, I’m a big Amazon fan – I was importing books from them in the US several years before they set up in the UK, but I still like the feel of a bookshop, and in particular I like the way I can meet interesting books that I wouldn’t have obviously found on the web. There’s a rabid economic efficiency part of me that wants to then go and buy them online, but I tend to rationalise that I’m paying a voluntary tax to help support a local community service.

Anyway, to cut things short, I stumbled across “Building Agreement”, by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro. Remembering “Getting to Yes”, pretty much clinched the sale for me, and last night I read the book. (It’s about 230 pages, and I speed-read quite well.)

Roger Fisher teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School – which pretty much establishes his academic credentials – helped design the process used by President Carter in the Camp David negotiations, helped the white Cabinet and the ANC in South Africa prior to the talks that led to the end of apartheid, and helped (then) President Mahuad of Ecuador in the successful negotiation of their treaty with Peru that closed of a land dispute that had been running on and off since 1532! One of the chapters of the book “On Using These Ideas in the Real World” is written by President Mahuad.

The book’s subtitle is “Using emotions as you negotiate”. This is something I cover, up to a point, in my own book / course, but Building Agreement takes it much further. The book uses the 7-point “Elements of Negotiation” framework from the Harvard Negotiation Project and goes beyond it, to develop, in depth, many of the problems that strong emotions can cause during a negotiation. The book then goes on to give a range of techniques for dealing with these problems.

It is hard to find anything to criticise with the book from where I’m standing. About the only thing to flag up is that it’s not particularly focussed around Property Negotiation, but that would be missing the point. If you are serious about improving your negotiation skills, this is a must-read for the bookshelf.

Posted in Book Review, Negotiation, Negotiation Book, Property Negotiation | Leave a Comment »

Property Negotiation, The Book – almost there

Posted by Mark Harrison on April 18, 2007

The difference between a book and an ebook is that a book has to be PERFECT. With an ebook, you get the opportunity to make tweaks as you go along.

I finally sent “Draft 3” off to the publishers – hopefully I’ll be happy with the results, and “Property Negotiation” will be on Amazon in the next few weeks…

… there again, I’d thought that “Draft 2” (about 6 weeks ago) was going to be the final cut, but when the proofs came back, I found a glaring mistake 😦

On the bright side, Dona (my editor) made about 200 changes prior to “Draft 1” going off, and “Draft 1” had a further 40 changes, so only finding one problem with “Draft 2” makes me hopeful.
As an aside, the changes WILL be rolled into the ebook – and assuming that Draft 3 hits the spot, I’ll be sending out updated ebooks to all previous customers at that point. Thanks to all of you who’ve already bought (and particularly to those who’ve come back to me with great stories about how much money the techniques have made them!)

Posted in Negotiation, Negotiation Book, Property Negotiation, Property Negotiation Book | Leave a Comment »

Free mini-course on Property Negotiation finally launches!

Posted by Mark Harrison on November 27, 2006

A long last, I’ve released the fabled free mini-course on Property Negotiation.

All you need to do is give your name and email address, and you will receive a mix of emails, audio messages and videos, all designed to help your property negotiation skills.

Don’t worry – the audio and videos are just sent to you as links, so if you don’t have broadband you can just read the text equivalents without worrying about your line being jammed up.

This isn’t going to replace the blog, which will still have an eclectic mix of stuff, but is intended to be a rather more structured set of pieces about property negotiation.

This is at

Posted in Negotiation, Negotiation Book, Negotiation MP3, Negotiation Video, Property Negotiation | 3 Comments »

At last, the ebook is available

Posted by Mark Harrison on September 27, 2006

Thanks to all of those who have been encouraging me to finish this for the last year… But the good news is that, pretty much on the anniversary of the first mini-course, the ebook is now available.
Priced at $47 (approximately £25), you can see more, and buy at

In the book, you will learn…

Negotiation Principles:

-Why some things work in a negotiation and why others do not

-What you need to have worked out before you start negotiating

Negotiation Psychology:

-Personality types (including a psychometric test) and what this says about your negotiation tendancies

-Understanding the differences in negotiation style and why your opponent may value different things to you

Negotiation Power:

– Where the power in a negotiation comes from, and how you can increase yours

Negotation Ploys:

-The tactics you can use to get your vendor to drop their price (or your buyer to raise their offer)

-How to respond to these tactics

-Dirty tricks you should watch out for

Negotiation Particulars:

-How to deal with estate agents

-Dealing with builders

Posted in Investor Psychology, Negotiation Book, Property Investment, Property Negotiation, Property Negotiation Book | 2 Comments »