Fair is Where We End Up

by CoyDavidson on April 27, 2012

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The Art of Lease Negotiations

I stumbled upon this video on YouTube embedded below, which is an interview of Hollywood super agent, Ariel Emanuel (William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) at the Web2.0 Summit 2010. If you are not familiar with Ariel Emanuel he is the real-life Hollywood super agent that the fictional character Ari Gold is based upon in the hit HBO series, Entourage.

In this video, Emanuel describes on a few occasions the dynamics of past negotiations he has had on behalf of clients with network studio executives and it is a classic example of who creates or holds the most leverage usually wins. This reminded me of so many lease negotiations I have had in the past with both Landlords and Tenants depending on which side of the table I was on.

The “Fair-Market” Deal

The office market is rarely in equilibrium and depending on the particular situation, someone to some degree, either the Tenant or Landlord is in a stronger negotiation position. I found this entire interview entertaining, but it is very long, so fast forward to the 8:25 mark to hear Emanuel discuss the power of leverage, then to skip to 14:48 and listen to the 16:30 point to pick up to these two classic lines “I have never cared what something costs; I care what it’s worth,” and “Fair is where we end up.”

This dialogue is the best example of what a good tenant rep does for his clients. He or she creates leverage by identifying and structuring viable options for his client’s tenancy and then negotiates for his client what the space is worth for that particular tenant to occupy the building for a given period of time. That might seem simplistic as many factors can impact the dynamics of the negotiations, but in essence this is what a great tenant representative does. Fair is where your are supposed to end up.

  • Patrick

    Great post Coy!  Love Ari from Entourage.  He might be one of the best TV characters of all time.

  • JohnLind

    Great post Coy,

    Your bang on about great representation.  I especially like how he refers to the people he negotiates with as friends.  This sort of business relationship is foreign to many people.

    Thanks for the post.

  • I always like listening to Ari but I hate his attitude. Well, I love it, but I also hate it. Cause he’s such a smug needledick that will go off on how right he is but he’s only right about a point. The exchange with the first questioner is completely based around the fact he thinks if he controls all the content then he can get the highest price. But he neglects the fact that the high cost will cause someone to turn the data/content around to the masses for free (Robin Hood style – pirated software/music/movies style). Because he’s so so worried about getting the highest price to his side. He tips his hat to Apple for grabbing the music industry by the balls at the right time, but he legitimately believes hes smarter and will do better. But his industry is not. So it’s fucking hilarious to see him bluster like an asshole over a detail when the major idea is wrong. He’s fun though, and it’s fun to see how he tackles issues. One of those love him & hate him dudes.

  • Yes, I totally get it. Ari is the kind of guy you hate at times and the guy you want to be like at times

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