The Science of a Deal

in Brief

For developers, there can be many reasons to do a deal, but the most important is to make money. Prospective projects are always exciting. As you’re walking through the property, getting amped up about its location, architecture, history and size, you’ll have enough ideas and excitement to keep you busy for a while. But the science of making a good deal is about separating your emotional interest in the project from the business side of your approach. Even making the simple mistake of showing the expressions from your emotional side can be your downfall in a negotiation. Instead, you must keep your poker face so you don’t get exploited. But beyond that, allowing your business side to be in control will keep you grounded, ensuring you take the right steps to see the project through.

One way to make sure you empower your business side is by putting together a formula that outlines the information you need to gather so you are able to make the right choices in your projects. No matter how you feel about a project, you stick to that formula. Call it your deal sheet. It will keep you structured and unemotional regarding what you’re about to get yourself into.

Almost all projects have bumps along the way. When you have a deal sheet, it will keep you focused on why you made the purchase or participated in the deal in the first place. You know, I’ve done some deals where six months down the road I’m pulling my hair out, asking myself why I went forward on it. But then I just go back to my initial notes on the deal sheet and start from scratch. It always builds my confidence and shines a light at the end of what seems to be a dark tunnel. Refer to your deal sheet, and that initial confidence you had about the deal comes back into focus and you can get back on track. Without the deal sheet, you may allow yourself to be blinded by adversity. Instead, use your deal sheet to make adversity the catalyst that pushes you forward once you get your confidence back. Stick to your numbers, stay focused on the market you’re going after, believe in your team and most importantly yourself. If you can’t feel good about your team, change it. Don’t be afraid of change. Disruption is often the necessary chaos to find the calm.

Success is measured every time you overcome your fears, and doing that takes time, patience and experience. It’s like visiting a foreign land. On your first visit, everything looks new and unfamiliar. The second time it becomes more familiar and by the third time you go, you’re comfortable in your environment and begin noticing a new round of things around you.

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