This morning, I spoke with a Beacon Hill landlord who wanted to list a one-bedroom for $2,800 per month. After reviewing the Beacon Hill apartment, I provided her my professional opinion, given the current health crisis and that MLS as of today’s date has 265 Beacon Hill apartment listings we should place the apartment closer to $2,500 per month (or lower).
Understandably the Beacon Hill landlord was disappointed with my assessments of the current market. She kept repeating over and over that since she owned the Beacon Hill condo she was able to increase the rent $50.00 per month every year and she wasn’t going to bend on this issue at all.
Her parting words to me:
This is the way it’s going to be please list it at my price. Full steam ahead, let me know how it goes.
Politely, we parted are ways, as I reflect on it now, I’m reminded of a story one of my U.S Navy friends once told me.
This story is an ‘alleged’ transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian maritime contact off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. The tale, in various versions and featuring different nationalities, has circulated widely in emails and in books for many years, and has been used by numerous speakers and writers to illustrate lessons relating to negotiation, making assumptions, and related themes. Unfortunately it is not true, but it is nevertheless a great story.
Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision.
Americans: This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
Canadians: We are a lighthouse; your call.
I truly understand the frustrations Beacon Hill landlords may have, the fact that you may need to lower your rent may hurt. But failure to understand the current Boston real estate rental market and being stubborn can hurt even more come September 1st with an empty apartment.