Home  Library  5 Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Real Estate Broker

5 Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Real Estate Broker

By: Andrew  Riepe

Location expenses can make or break your practice's profitability. Properly negotiated and managed real estate agreements can put extra money in your pocket, reduce liability, and aid in HIPPA compliance. A real estate professional can help you with advice, negotiate with landlords/sellers, and help you find the best place to expand or relocate. But how do you choose the right broker to help you with this very important, highly specialized area of managing your practice? There are five questions you can ask potential real estate pros that will give you some insight into their level of specialization and should be considered when going through the interview process.

Question 1: What is your experience with healthcare real estate?

Healthcare real estate is a highly specialized practice and is outside the realm of the average commercial real estate brokerage. If a broker does not have significant experience with healthcare industry issues and how they apply to your real estate transaction, you can be setting yourself up for failure by dealing with them.

Question 2: Do you only represent buyers and tenants or do you also have listings?

This question helps to pinpoint in whose interests the broker is working. When a real estate broker has a listing, he has a fiduciary responsibility to this client (the seller or landlord) to get as close to the asking price as possible. So, when it comes time to negotiate for purchase or lease concessions there is no one to negotiate on your behalf.  You should look for a buyer/tenant only broker to represent you. A tenant only broker will work exclusively on your behalf, with your goals in mind, and with no agenda except to protect your interests.

Question 3: What is your assessment of the current marketplace for healthcare real estate?

This question is designed to see if they are in touch with their market and to find out if they have their fingers on the pulse of the market's occupancy rates, selling and rent prices, and whether or not they have the ability to perform demographic studies of a specific area. If your broker is up to speed (or has the ability to quickly get you this information) on these three things (minimally) it greatly improves your chances of getting the most for your money and shows you they are true professionals in their field. 

Question 4: What is your process for finding the best location for my practice?

As a healthcare professional, you know that process and procedure ensure that nothing 'slips through the cracks' so your patient receives the highest level of treatment humanly possible. The same thing is true when dealing with your real estate transactions. A trusted healthcare real estate advisor should have a systematic process they follow so you have all the information you need to make the right decision for your business. If they can't articulate their process step by step, then they probably don't have one. Don't trust your business to a broker that 'flies by the seat of their pants'! 

Question 5: Do you have any testimonials or case studies?

Any broker worth his or her salt will have 'raving fans' and specific case studies that show the value they bring to their clients. Ask! You may be surprised when you talk to a broker that 'talks a good game' but doesn't deliver real value. Call up some of the clients and find out about their experience. Your potential real estate advisor should have no problem with you talking to other clients and should willingly give you their contact information.

Remember, your real estate costs can amount to an investment or a detriment to your practice. Finding the right broker to help you find your new location or renew your current lease is crucial to the success of your real estate transactions and can have a direct effect on its profitability. Ask potential real estate advisors these five questions and you'll be well on your way to adding money to your bottom-line and working in your dream location.

About the Author

Andrew Riepe is President and Owner of Crown Tenant Advisors, a regionally based boutique healthcare real estate firm. Andrew has spent his entire commercial real estate career focused exclusively on representing the interests of healthcare providers and has a comprehensive understanding of the unique requirements of dental and medical tenants. He utilizes a strategic approach to real estate, and his expertise lies in providing market knowledge and in depth financial and comparative analyses to achieve optimum results. Contact Andrew at ariepe@crowntenantadvisors.com or call him directly at 404-216-4017. For more helpful tips, visit the Crown Tenant Advisors Blog at www.crowntenantadvisors.com/blog.

View all articles by Andrew Riepe


Want more strategies for practice success?

The best way for us to help you meet your needs is to hear about them directly from you. If there's a business, financial or practice-related topic you're interested in, let us know. We'll do our research and get back to you.

The articles and materials on the Wells Fargo Practice Finance website are provided for general information only and do not constitute, nor are they intended as, a substitute for consultation with accounting, tax, legal or other professional advisors. Wells Fargo makes no representation regarding the articles available in the Strategies for Success Library or the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein. The articles and the information contained therein may be incomplete, may contain errors or may have become out of date. Wells Fargo makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of the articles or materials in the Strategies for Success Library.

The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors alone. They may or may not reflect the views or opinions of Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach Logo