Trust your gut
…listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know.
My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.
I wasn’t satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement. I was out to build something monumental—something worth a big effort.
Accept the worst-case scenario
If you plan for the worst— if you can live with the worst— the good will always take care of itself.
Don’t be desperate
The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.
What you should never do is pay too much, even if that means walking away from a very good site.
Care about the cents
To this day, if I feel a contractor is overcharging me, I’ll pick up the phone, even if it’s only for $ 5,000 or $ 10,000, and I’ll complain. People say to me, “What are you bothering for, over a few bucks?” My answer is that the day I can’t pick up the telephone and make a twenty-five-cent call to save $10,000 is the day I’m going to close up shop.
With so much demand, our marketing strategy was to play hard to get. It was a reverse sales technique. If you sit in an office with a contract in your hand, eager to make the first deal that comes along, it’s quite obvious to people that the apartments aren’t in demand. We were never in a rush to sign a contract. When people came in, we’d show them the model apartments, sit down and talk, and, if they were interested, explain that there was a waiting list for the most desirable apartments. The more unattainable the apartments seemed, the more people wanted them.
There’s always a time to strike
The worst of times often create the best opportunities to make good deals.
Surround yourself with the best
I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.
Create win-win deals
Deals work best when each side gets something it wants from the other.
Even though I don’t care about real estate development, the book was hard to put down. I enjoyed reading about how Trump dealt with problems that would have stymied lesser men. If you are a fan of Trump and want to understand the forces that drive him, I highly recommend this book.
The Art Of The Deal is an autobiographical memoir written in 1987 that explains Donald Trump’s rise in real estate. It gives you a broad overview of how real estate development works and a closer look at the beliefs that drive Trump’s ambition.