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Becoming a Master Real Estate Negotiator: The Truth of Mastery

Posted by Steve Laret on August 16, 2022

My pursuit of excellence in becoming a professional real estate negotiator has led me to recognize many parallels between the world of martial arts and business, though no negotiation has ever left me with the same familiar sore ribs. I’ve explained it all in the post below, and in the following video.

How to become an expert real estate negotiator by using three key martial arts principles

The study of Martial Arts is both humbling and empowering. The difference between novice and Master is vast and yet it is often found in an accumulation of subtleties. The Master knows that stepping two inches further forward at the outset of your movement will create balance for you and imbalance for your opponent. These adjustments can mean the difference between victory and defeat and yet they are often overlooked by the novice, if even recognized at all.

Key Takeaways

  • Paying attention to small details brings results
  • Take time to refine your process
  • Be consistent and strategic with your actions
  • Make a commitment to the truth

The Truth of Mastery

Most real estate agents will never sell more than seven homes per year leaving them permanently stranded at white belt. What is even more alarming is that the vast majority of these agents will never be able to reconcile their egos and seek out a true master to mentor and train them. They seem content to show up sporadically, flail about the mat all the while insisting they themselves are masters of their craft. This is the unfortunate experience most consumers feel when engaging with a Realtor but take heart, there are those among us in active pursuit of mastery!

The subtleties of expert negotiation are powerful factors that have a great impact on the outcome. It is often as simple as the way you frame a question. It is found in the details. Many agents surrender valuable pieces of information in a juvenile attempt to build rapport.

An expert real estate negotiator understands that information is power and they learn to control the flow of information to benefit their clients. It is not just what to say, it is when to say it. Expert negotiation is the act of making a series of strategic concessions in order to extract the maximum value from the opposition. Many agents lack the courage to ask for what their clients are quite reasonably entitled to and sadly there are many who are just too lazy to engage in any meaningful way on behalf of their clients.

In order to be considered in the top 2% of all real estate agents nationwide, you need only sell 20 homes a year. That is not even two sales per month. Can you imagine how little you would know if you only made it to Dragon Gym for two classes a month? That is not a high enough frequency to become proficient, let alone a master of anything.

At that rate, you would need to relearn everything you forgot from the previous session every time rather than work to refine your techniques. You would never get any better at that frequency and so it goes with real estate. Time as a member does not add up to advancement of mastery.

The presence of true mastery is a culmination of three things:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Intentionality
  3. Courage.

The absence of any one of these three attributes will result in the absence of mastery.


To become an expert real estate negotiator, one must endeavor to act in favor of any goal at such a frequency that information can be thoughtfully obtained and analized such that the necessary adjustments can be made and applied in order to realize progress. Ones level of intelligence often defines their ability to refine this process into a point of pure instinct. Whether negotiating a real estate deal or sparring, most battles are won in the mind long before you ever make it to the mat.

In any event, the mental tools brought to the fight will have a far greater impact than the physical ones. Just ask any 250lb behemoth after they have been choked out by a 140lb Brazillian Ju Jitzu Professor. Of course, give them a few moments to catch their breath before you inquire.


An expert real estate negotiator is someone who is not only intentional, but consistent. The doing of deeds is nothing more than a physical act where the intentional mind is not present. The presence of the intentional mind will refine and give purpose to the physical act therefor intensely amplifying the benefits of the act itself. Where there is thought, there must be action and where there is action there must be consistency.

Your intention is your metronome, steady, focused and unwavering. No one feels like training every day. Those that become exceptional do so by showing up anyway. We are not at our best every day but we become our best when we show up every day regardless. It is our ability to focus and “show up” both physically and mentally even if only for a short time that leads us down the path to mastery!

You cannot be content with simply achieving results. You must pursue the very best results! Many people train in pursuit of simply advancing their belt, just as many Realtors negotiate in pursuit of simply getting the deal to the closing table. The exceptional want to win disproportionately not just for their clients but for themselves.

We take winning personally! Even more importantly, we do the same with losing. This is the kind of passion and intentionality you want to employ in your favor.


Courage is not often considered in pursuit of mastery but one of the most courageous acts one can perform is to audit ones own inadequacies. A great real estate negotiator knows that it takes an uncommon amount of courage to turn your gaze inward with a critical eye and admit what you don’t know for your own constructive betterment. It is far easier to posture or point the finger and remain in willful ignorance of your own deficiencies than it is to arrive on the mat for the first time with a white belt tied around your waist. We often regard courage as a trait possessed by those that are capable of presenting themselves on the battlefield at risk of great physical harm.

In reality, courage is the gate keeper that safe guards our integrity more than anything. One must possess great courage to tell the truth, not just to others but to ones self. Those that speak truth without fear are the most fierce and valuable among us!

On the Steve Laret Team, we have one rule:

“Never allow what someone wants to hear to impact what they are going to hear, which will always be the truth.”

We don’t just passionalty pursue the truth of the market. As master real estate negotiators, we also have the courage to convey that truth to our clients without agenda. What is best for the client is often not what is best for us as agents and yet there is only one truth we speak.

In the end, true mastery is about the pursuit, discovery and defense of the truth! Find out what I mean by scheduling a free consultation with us here.

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