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Assembling the Best Team to Open a New Office

By: Colin Carr

Assembling the best team to open a new office is paramount to your practice's success and profitability and can even make the process fun. A new office can come together in several different ways, including: start-ups, relocations, property purchases or additional offices.

The unique office needs of healthcare providers are foreign to most real estate brokers, architects and other service providers. Experienced professionals with a real estate focus provide the expertise needed to address issues such as ergonomics and patient flow, privacy and compliance, technology integration, parking and accessibility requirements, aesthetics and more. When choosing your team, seek out experienced healthcare-focused professionals to fill each role to ensure your new office goes as smooth as possible.

Here are some guidelines and ideas for assembling the right team that will help you find the best possible location, create an ideal office to meet your patients' needs and stay within your budget.

Lender: Most new office projects require financing for build-out, equipment, technology, furniture and operating capital. As a healthcare professional, it is essential to partner with a commerical real estate lending specialist who truly understands your needs as a healthcare provider. Even small projects often require loans that total several hundred thousand dollars. With this much at stake, you should choose a lender that exclusively deals with commercial loans for healthcare providers and is able to provide rates and terms not available to other customers. Your lender will be closely involved with your real estate agent and attorney to ensure that the requirements of the underwriters are included in the terms of the lease or purchase. They will also help determine the size and quality of office that you can afford.

Commercial Real Estate Agent: Choosing your agent is one of the next most important partners you will need to identify and hire. One of their key roles is to ensure the entire site-selection and negotiation process goes smoothly. Your agent should provide guidance in choosing the best location and property type, while negotiating the most competitive rates and terms with the landlord or seller. They will also assist in assembling the rest of the team. They should be able to advise you on current market conditions, vacancies, costs to open a new office and help you avoid common pitfalls in choosing a suitable space. Your agent's services are typically paid for by the landlord or seller, so there should not be any out of pocket cost to you.

Attorney: A commercial real estate attorney plays a critical role to ensure that all the legal terms of the lease or purchase contract are drafted to protect your interests in the short and long term. Choosing an attorney who specializes in real estate transactions will help the legal negotiations with the landlord or seller to move faster and thereby reduce legal fees.

Architect: An experienced, healthcare-specific architect is the key to transforming your new space into your ideal office. Your architect will work with you, your equipment and technology providers, engineers and other partners to determine the best approach for achieving the ideal design of your new office. The architect is also responsible for obtaining permits, complying with building codes and coordinating the work of the engineers, contractors and suppliers. Through constant oversight and communication with the whole team, the architect holds everyone accountable to meet deadlines and makes sure your space is completed on time, on budget and satisfies your functional and aesthetic requirements.

Equipment and technology providers: If your new office requires new equipment or technology, your providers will meet with the real estate agent and architect early in the process to ensure that the design can accommodate the new equipment. They will also coordinate delivery and installation within the proper timeframe set by the architect. The terms you negotiate during the lease or purchase combined with the loan package you receive from your lender will help determine the amount you can invest in your new office's initial equipment. It is very helpful for these providers to work with your lender and real estate agent early in the process.

General contractors and sub-contractors: Your architect will be able to recommend several general contractors with a proven track record for their quality of service, performance and follow-through. The contractor has the task of building what was designed within the budget and on time.

When your team is complete, make sure everyone is an expert in their specialty and collaboratively works together with the goal of making the process as smooth as possible. The right team will effectively execute your project on time, on budget and with the highest quality of service. Having the right team protects your time and money and frees you to enjoy the process of opening your new office.

About the Author

Carr Healthcare Realty is the nation's leading provider of commercial real estate services for healthcare tenants and buyers. Every year, thousands of healthcare practices trust Carr to achieve the most favorable terms on their lease and purchase negotiations. Carr's team of experts assist with start-ups, lease renewals, expansions, relocations, additional offices, purchases, and practice transitions. Healthcare practices choose Carr to save them a substantial amount of time and money; while ensuring their interests are always first. Visit carrhr.com to learn more and find an expert agent representing healthcare practices in your area.

View all articles by Colin Carr


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All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.