At Peak we encourage our land team to “identify their negotiating style.” Everyone has different traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Identifying your strengths and playing to those during negotiations is important. We stress that our land agents need to be themselves and be comfortable “in the room” or you cannot build rapport with your counterpart of any deal. We often pair young land agents with experienced negotiators and encourage them to watch and take notes on how each senior land agent handles a deal. Allowing them to see different styles in turn gives them the training necessary to begin honing in on their own style, and they quickly develop into excellent negotiators, often reaching commercial terms faster and saving our clients time and money. Peak knows how to get ink.  We have negotiated over 2200 signed right of way agreements, oil and gas leases, surface use agreements, or deeds for clients all over the United States since 2014. We emphasize 3 qualities in all of our land agents or landmen involved in negotiations:


  1. STAY ORGANIZED– The best negotiators are organized and focused. Have a deep understanding of what the client’s project goals are.  This understanding will allow you to reach commercial terms with owners faster and save our clients money.  Haggling over terms that have no effect on a client’s project doesn’t help anyone involved. Keep a clean desk, and save everything digitally.
  2. BE PERSISTANT– The most successful negotiators are persistent in reaching out to owners. Some owners are difficult to find, or just have no interest in spending time hearing our client’s pitch.  Consistently reaching out to these owners and identifying where their pain points or concerns are will eventually lead to a solution and a commercial agreement.  It could take 10 or more calls or letters just to get a verbal agreement.  Just stay on it, and remember that “persistence wears down resistance!”
  3. BE CREATIVE– Some people believe the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. One of the highlights of negotiating is being creative with difficult owners.  In 2015 we decided to bring teddy bears and Christmas gifts to difficult owners on a project. A simple act of good will goes a long way and often yields to a more amicable negotiation. We have brought pies, flowers, cakes, mailed edible arrangements, sent chocolates and handwritten notes, and explored many other creative avenues just to get a response from owners who are cold towards a given client or project. These strategies don’t work every time, but it’s worth the $20 spent to try and reach a solution. Have fun with negotiations, and don’t be afraid to get creative when all else fails!