Selling houses is a lot like kidnapping, both are businesses that require being able to negotiate like a boss.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago“If you understand the challenges they’re faced with, nothing else matters,” he said. “Take the word ‘trust’ out and drop in ‘predictability’ and then things begin to change because as soon as you begin to make things more predictable for people you deal with, you begin to help them.”Voss uses the example of a father whose child has been kidnapped. Once his child is gone, he has no idea how long it will be before he gets them back – or if he will ever see them again. “The families of kidnap victims suffer the same traumatic stress as victims because they don’t know when it’s going to be over,” he said. So what can you do to make it easier?“I tell him ‘I’m going to call you back in an hour’.”“If you’ve got a client who doesn’t know when it’s going to be over, then the unknown is a huge stress. Tell them ‘you’ll hear from me in an hour’ or three times a week.”It might be hard to believe but Voss insists the word ‘yes’ is the last thing you want to hear in a negotiation. “Nobody asks you to say ‘yes’ to something unless it’s going some place,” Voss tells the crowd at AREC 2017 in his husky American accent. “Not one single hostage negotiation technique is designed to get someone to say yes.”Instead, he challenges, “get them to say ‘that’s right’.”According to Voss, this simple change of wording can build a connection that will overcome all negativity. Chris Voss, former FBI agent and an expert at hostage negotiation strategies, says all negotiations should be like a hostage negotiation. Picture: Kate Haley PhotographySELLING houses is a lot like kidnapping. Both are businesses that require being able to negotiate like a boss. Just ask former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, who now teaches people how to talk anyone into anything. Addressing the Australasian Real Estate Agents Conference on the Gold Coast, Voss explained why real estate agents – like hostage negotiators – were in the trust business.They help people in the most stressful moments of their lives, when their hopes and dreams are on the line. And he should know, having worked for the FBI for 24 years and occupying the role of the Bureau’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Today his company specialises in solving business communication problems with hostage negotiation solutions. He’s the CEO of the Black Swan Group and the author of the national bestseller ‘Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It’. Buying or selling a house can feel like a life or death situation and so it should be treated as one by an agent, according to Voss. He believes the key to any successful negotiation is managing a client’s expectations and gaining their trust.