Chapter 31: We are here to raise the price
2000 square metres of the bottom floor of the Golden City Tower was to be rented out. Mr Xu had earlier learnt that due to SARS, the finding of prospective tenants for the mall had not been very successful. For the current initial offering that might be accepted, the rental price was at around 110000 yuan per year.
Having once experienced an era of skyrocketing housing prices (the rent of stores included), Xu Tingsheng found this a little hard to take in. A building at the core position of the county that most attracted the eyes of others, spanning 2000 square metres, actually just cost 110000 yuan in rent annually?
In his previous life, Xu Tingsheng had been completely ignorant on the prices of housing and commercial properties back in the year 2003. With his family’s situation and frame of mind back then, that wasn’t something that he would have paid any attention to. His only impressions on this were from having looked at some analysis on housing prices some years later and through it learning that 2003 was a great year for commercial properties, which would soon be entering a frenzied, rapid track of development.
Actually, under the combined effect of various factors over this unique period of time, there was currently not an appropriate benchmark for the rental prices of the Golden City Tower. With the proprietor and the tenant both not having a benchmark, everything was to be based upon how much they themselves individually thought it was worth.
Before entering the office of the boss of the Golden City Tower, Xu Tingsheng grabbed Mr Xu, saying firmly, “Dad, we can accept the rent so long as it does not go above 150 thousand, and the lease should be signed for as long as possible. Most importantly is to fight for our method of footing the fees; it’d be best if we could retain some more of our funds.”
As father and son entered the office, the middle-aged fatty behind the desk greeted them and personally brewed tea for them before asking, “The two of you are here for…?”
Mr Xu cut to the chase, “We wish to discuss the rental situation of the departmental store on the first floor.”
Immediately gaining interest, the middle-aged fatty hurriedly asked, “This esteemed boss is surnamed?”
“Esteemed is unneeded; I’m surnamed Xu.”
“Oh, Boss Xu…” The boss of the Golden City Tower paused for a moment before continuing, “What a pity, Mr Xu just missed it by a step. After a few rounds of bidding, we have already basically come to an agreement on the departmental store on the first floor with Boss Zhao of the Southern City Hotel.”
Xu Tingsheng and Mr Xu exchanged glances, smiling knowingly. The words of the Golden City Tower’s boss were only half true. He had said that the departmental store had undergone several rounds of bidding, but actually, almost none had inquired into it at all. Still, his having already basically come to an agreement with that Boss Zhao must not be completely unfounded.
Of course, even if they had come to an agreement, as long as the contract had not yet been signed, it was as good as not having come to an agreement at all. Also, in terms of the rental price, the Golden City Tower’s boss would definitely not be satisfied.
Mr Xu asked directly, “Then, is there still room for negotiations?”
“There is, but…”
“If there is, it’s good then. We are here to raise the price.”
This was perhaps the most beautiful sentence that the boss of the Golden City Tower had heard over this period of time. Having run into SARS when about to begin operation, hindered greatly in every step, things had not gone smoothly at all for him these past days. While having negotiated on rent with that Boss Zhao earlier, it had been almost no different from begging the other party to rent the place from him, with the rental price having been pushed down greatly.
Now, someone was actually telling him: We are here to raise the price.
The boss of the Golden City Tower discarded all scheming from his mind, directly asking, “Do you know the rent that we had agreed upon?”
Mr Xu actually only had a general understanding on the rental prices of departmental stores, but he knew that as soon as he asked, it would be very difficult for him to hear honest words from the other party.
Therefore, he lied with a smile, “We know. We can add 5000.”
As these words left Mr Xu’s mouth, Xu Tingsheng once again saw his father in a different light.
The Golden City Tower’s boss hesitated no longer, exchanging some polite words with Mr Xu before immediately picking up his phone and calling that Boss Zhao.
After hanging up, he told Mr Xu, “Boss Zhao doesn’t really believe it; he intends to personally make a trip here. What do you think?”
Mr Xu drank a mouthful of tea, “That’s just as well. I wish to settle everything by today, getting the contract signed as soon as possible. If that Boss Zhao had wanted to wait for a few days before coming, we might not have had the time to wait.”
“Boss Xu can rest assured on this. We’ll settle it on the spot and get the contract signed as soon as possible.”
“Alright, let’s just wait till Boss Zhao arrives then.”
The two chatted casually for a while before Boss Zhao, a man in his fifties, pushed open the door and entered, directly asking, “Boss Ye, you wouldn’t be finding a foil to play with me, right?”
Mr Xu did not speak. At a time like this, there was no need to.
The expression on the face of the Golden City Tower’s boss was rather unhappy as he asked directly as well, “The price Boss Xu offered was 105 thousand, being five thousand more than your price. Boss Zhao, what do you think?”
Mr Xu nodded.
“You sign it then,” Boss Zhao made as if to walk outside.
Mr Xu immediately stood up, extending his hand towards the Golden City Tower’s boss, “Let’s have a happy cooperation.”
“Let’s have a happy cooperation.”
Boss Zhao tilted his head and thought for a moment, “Are you being for real? 110 thousand.”
Mr Xu did not hesitate for even a second, “115 thousand.”
Boss Zhao was taken aback, “Bro, with this raising method of yours, you really look like a foil that Boss Ye hired.”
Mr Xu smiled, not speaking.
Boss Zhao tried to inquire, “What if I raised the price to 120 thousand?”
Just as Mr Xu was about to speak, Xu Tingsheng pulled on his sleeve from behind.
At this, Mr Xu hesitated for a moment before replying, “‘l’ll leave that to when you really raise it.”
This was noticed by both Boss Ye of the Golden City Tower and that Boss Zhao, both having their own speculations at that. Still, both similarly believed that if Boss Zhao really raised the price to 120 thousand, Mr Xu would then be even more hesitant.
Actually, Xu Tingsheng had intentionally performed this action for them to catch, Mr Xu having coordinated with him very well.
“Boss Ye, Boss Xu, wait a moment. I have to make a call.”
Boss Zhao left the room, making a call for three to five minutes outside before saying directly upon his return, “120 thousand-that’s all I’ll give today. Boss Ye, Boss Xu, whether the two of your are collaborating to play me or it’s all real, this is the highest I’ll go. I’ll not be increasing it no matter what.”
Boss Ye of the Golden City Tower was already rather satisfied with this price. Of course, his gaze that was on Mr Xu, other than containing gratitude, was also still filled with anticipation.
“Boss Xu, what do you think?”
Xu Tingsheng pondered on it for a moment. With the two of them having arrived here so suddenly, the call by the boss of the Golden City Tower also having been made right before their eyes, that went to say that there was virtually no chance of him and Boss Zhao being in collusion.
Instead, it actually seemed more like their side was colluding with the Golden City Tower’s boss in order to raise the price.
“Then, should this price be raised, and if so, how should it be raised?”
As Xu Tingsheng was still considering this, Mr Xu had already extended his hand towards the boss of the Golden City Tower, saying, “125 thousand; I hope that Boss Ye will not make things difficult for me.”
These words were said very strangely, Mr Xu even having added on a ‘do not make things difficult for me’ after having raised the price.
However, it was this strange phrase that sounded such to the boss of the Golden City Tower: I have already been very sincere and very straightforward; I hope that you hesitate no longer. Don’t try to continue raising the price with us; if you still cannot be certain, I will feel like I’m in a difficult spot, and if that is so, maybe we’ll only be able to give up.”
From the perspective of the boss of the Golden City Tower, he naturally hoped more to cooperate with this frank, straightforward Boss Xu before him. Also, this was already the second time the other party was extending his hand towards him. If he hesitated again, it would really not be giving Mr Xu face at all.
Looking on from the side, Xu Tingsheng secretly felt a little like laughing. As one who hailed from the first batch of farmer-turned-entrepreneurs of the 1980s, this forceful aura of his father’s was powerful indeed.
The three were silent for a moment.
Boss Zhao was the first to extend his hand towards Mr Xu, “Congratulations, Boss Xu. I hope that we will have the chance to cooperate in the future.”
Mr Xu answered, “Thank you, Boss Zhao, for letting us have it. If there is such a chance, I’d have to ask Boss Zhao to take more care of me.”
As if feeling troubled due to having been one-upped by Boss Zhao, Boss Ye of the Golden City Tower hurriedly clasped Mr Xu’s hand, continuously exclaiming, “Let’s have a happy cooperation, let’s have a happy cooperation.”
Mr Xu and Boss Ye then spent some time discussing on some details, including the length of the contract, the scale of increment in rent, the method of footing the fees etcetera. Only now did Mr Ye discover that this Mr Xu who appeared frank and straightforward was actually also very calculative and able to rip people off. Still, it wasn’t like he could go and pull Boss Zhao back now, right? Anyway, wasn’t that Boss Zhao also proficient in ripping people off?
Boss Ye chose to take a step back.
Xu Tingsheng and Mr Xu each rode a bicycle, both pedalling leisurely along.
“Dad, why did you still add 5 thousand that last time? Wouldn’t one or two thousand have been enough?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“I’ve also thought about this. Still, I feel that if I had only added one or two thousand at the time, this matter would probably still not have been decided. That Boss Zhao would think that he could still fight for it a bit. While he did say that he would not be raising the price again no matter what, such words are really no different from farting. Other than that, that Boss Ye of the Golden City Tower might also have a knot within his heart…what do you think?” Mr Xu explained.
Xu Tingsheng gave a silly laugh, “I don’t understand such things. Anyway, I just feel that dad’s aura back then was so incredibly powerful, so awesome that it pressured those two bosses to the point of almost being unable to breathe.”
“Stop it with the bootlicking,” Mr Xu laughed, “Do you really think that I’ve just been farming the fields in peace these past few years? There’s much that I had been thinking, inquiring and learning about, just that I had not thought that there really would be such a chance.”
“At least, for the matter of Bosses Ye and Zhao being pressured that you speak of, I feel that for Boss Zhao, it was because he was not all that resolved to obtain this departmental store. After all, with SARS like this, any single person has become much more careful in doing any single thing. As for Boss Ye, he seems to be really lacking in money. I estimate that he is almost running out of cash to deal with his current needs. Otherwise, he also wouldn’t need this bit of money. Look at us, compared to a boss who constructs tall buildings like him.”
As Xu Tingsheng listened to Mr Xu’s analysis, he suddenly felt like he hadn’t actually understood his father at all in his previous life. His competence and his ambition-both of these far surpassed his imagination.
“It looks like I really can become a rich second gen Young Master Xu in peace,” Xu Tingsheng thought happily.
“What’re you smiling at?” Mr Xu asked.
“Nothing. It’s just that I feel like the way Dad was just now, with that aura, is really something that I’ve never seen before, let alone imagined,” Xu Tingsheng replied.
Mr Xu smiled, “The people with whom we initially established those factories were basically all the same. They were willing to put in diligent, hard work, not treating themselves as the boss. At the same time, however, they were also rough and unreasonable. At that time, with a proper system yet to have been set up in place, what the factories relied on amidst all those varied, jumbled matters were the auras and methods of us bosses.”
“With us having the money now, you also having given me 150 thousand as backing, the strange thing would be if I did not have any bit of an aura.”
“Dad, why do you trust me so much? It’s not like I know anything at all.”
“Still pretending with your Dad; In truth, if it were the you of before, I really wouldn’t have dared to trust you so. Still, your changes these past months have been very great. Ever since those words you said back when Wang Jingfang visited our house, I began to have such a feeling. Right, the price of pork has indeed begun rising.”
“The matter of the indigowoad root and white vinegar afterwards, and also your results, adding on this 300 thousand that you earnt, the tone you called back to the house with those days in the quarantine ward and you pulling on my clothes just now-all of them give Dad the feeling that you seem to have grown up all of a sudden, and not to that usual extent of growing up as well. It’s like the light of enlightenment suddenly descended upon you in its full glory out of the blue.”
“I’ve also discussed this with your Mom a few times, but just can’t understand it regardless. Afterwards, we decided just not to think about it at all. Anyway, you being our son is a fact that’ll never, ever change.”
Xu Tingsheng did not explain anything, just loudly yelling a single ‘Dad’.
Mr Xu held a handlebar with one hand, leaning towards Xu Tingsheng as he stroked his head with his other, “Dad just hopes that the pressure on you will not be too great. Generally, just do what you can do and do not force yourself in what you cannot. There’s still Dad, and in Dad’s heart, there is nothing more important than you living happily and healthily.”
Choking on his tears, Xu Tingsheng nodded. Ever since his rebirth, he had been bearing too much weight on his shoulders. Family, friends, relationships, even teachers and students-it was like he had wanted to take care of virtually everything with his precognitive powers. In this manner, he had worried about Huang Yaming’s and Fu Cheng’s university entrance examinations, taken care of Yao Jing’s and Wu Yuewei’s feelings, helped to make Old Zhou proud, diffused the situation for Zhang Xiuyun, given a reminder to the girl who had mucked up her Mathematics examination, worried about the happiness of Fang Yunyao’s marriage…
He was truly very tired…
These words by Xu Tingsheng’s father were really the best form of comfort for him, letting him know that a large mountain stood forever behind his back. At the same time, he did not have absolute responsibility to carry so much on his shoulders.
“The heavens gave me a chance to live out my life once more. If I can’t even live a comfortable and carefree life with that, that’d be too much of a loss,” Xu Tingsheng thought.
“Dad, let’s race. See who’s faster!”
With that, Xu Tingsheng shot off ahead. Mr Xu scolded him before hurriedly pedalling to catch up, the two bicycles speeding along the road…towards home.