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Champion negotiator talks the talk in new book.

Expert negotiator, George Donohue, has taught the art of negotiating around the world for years, but only recently published his first book on the topic, Real Estate Dealmaking: A Property Investor's Guide to Negotiating.

The book's easy-to-read layout, Donohue's personal negotiating anecdotes, role playing techniques, paperwork examples and succinctly outlined key points appeal to a wide audience within the real estate community--from beginner to seasoned investor and even to those outside the industry.

"When there's a real estate change, if the trend is upward or steeply downward, a lot of people enter the real estate market," Donohue, president of William B. May Commercial Real Estate, said. "You get a lot of people from different walks of life, with different levels of sophistication. This book helps people interested in real estate, even if it's not their lifelong profession."

In order to make the information in the book more useful to the reader, the book is written in the sequence of people dealt with while negotiating a real estate transaction. It starts off with partners, ends with the buyers and includes everyone in between, such as bankers, brokers and lawyers.

"Most negotiating books are just a string of tactics with cute, witty names. The reader doesn't really know when, or who, to apply these tactics to," Donohue said. "When negotiating with a well-educated lawyer, the tactic you'd use would be completely different from tactics used with a landlord, or a tenant, or a banker. People have different motivations along the way. You have to understand the motivation before applying certain techniques."

Another unique feature of the book is what Donohue refers to as his "Five Column Method." According to Donohue, the number of proposals for a healthy transaction is five, hence the five columns. This visual tool is a practical way to map out the projected volleys of any deal. The table is to be used as a reference after the deal is made in order to gauge how well the negotiator is doing.

Of the many characteristics that make a strong negotiator that Real Estate Dealmaking discusses, the book puts emphasis on organization, patience, ethics, the importance of research and facts and understanding that a good negotiation needs to satisfy the needs and requirements of all parties involved. Donohue also believes a good negotiator "negotiate[s] with conviction and clarity." He said, "When you have researched everything, you negotiate with conviction because you believe in what you're negotiating. Clarity is important because the primary root of breakdown in negotiating is misunderstanding."

Donohue honed his negotiating skills as head of real estate for the World Trade Center. He worked there for 12 years, seeing roughly 500 completed transactions each year, with thousands of negotiating sessions.

"In one year, I normally saw and participated in more negotiations than most real estate people would do in their lifetime," Donohue said. "This added to my education of negotiating. In the morning I'd meet with a team from Japan. At lunch I'd meet with the president of a French based company and, in the evening, I'd meet with a British bank. I did a lot of negotiating with many different people from around the world with many different offensive and defensive negotiating tactics."

Real Estate Dealmaking is currently being translated into Chinese. Donohue has plans to write another book about the real estate industry, but has yet to choose a specific topic.

Real Estate Dealmaking: A Property Investor's Guide to Negotiating is published by Dearborn Trade Publishing and is available is most major book stores.
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Title Annotation:Commercial Sales & Leasing
Author:Razzano, Tiffany
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 9, 2005
Previous Article:From knocking on doors to owning them.
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