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Finding the Right Location for Your New Practice

By: Andrew  Riepe

Determining the right location and space for your new practice is critical to its overall success. Smart negotiating that fits your needs and leverages terms to suit your best interest can set your practice on the right path by minimizing overhead and out of pocket expenditures.   

Ask yourself the following questions to help you choose the right space for your new practice: 

What is my timeline and budget?

Decide when you would like to see your first patient and work from there. This provides your project timeline allowances for negotiations, buildouts, and all the details you've yet to even consider. Assemble a team you trust to help you with your budget, including a CPA, attorney, lender, space designer, contractor, and real estate advisor.

Is my financing in place?

This will assist you in identifying the total amount you can invest into your practice to cover traditional startup costs including overhead, equipment and supplies, and real estate.

What type of practice and patients will I have?

Researching areas with the appropriate demographics for your new practice and identifying existing competition will narrow down the best cities and towns for you. Be sure you have access to real time information and don't rely on just Internet searches.

What does my ideal practice look like?  

Visualize your type of space. Do you prefer a retail setting versus an office or medical office building (MOB)? Having signage can be very important for a new practice, and may not be available in certain buildings. Consider your future plans and if the space will allow you to grow and offer flexibility to expand.

Do I know today's commercial real estate market well enough to negotiate the best terms for my new practice?

When starting a practice, it is imperative to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded in today's commercial real estate market. Landlords may be offering concessions to tenants (lower rental rates, free rent, tenant improvement allowances) that if negotiated correctly can be a windfall for your startup practice. The current state of the market has afforded tenants and buyers of real estate to lock in at rental rates before they go up or purchase property at good values.

Should I hire an advisor or do it myself? 

Buying or leasing real estate can be a daunting task. Don't go at this process alone or you likely will not be able to get the best terms the market has to offer. It is wise to have an experienced professional on your side navigating this process. Look for an advisor that works exclusively on your behalf to solely represent your interests and not the interests of both you and the landlord. A tenant only broker is compensated by the seller/landlord so you don't have to pay for their services and yet greatly benefit.

Does my advisor specialize in practice real estate?

Dental, medical and veterinary offices have their own unique requirements that differ from other tenants. It is important to enlist the expertise of a real estate professional that has experience with healthcare providers and understands your business and the specifics of setting up a new practice. With the right advisor on your side to leverage the market on your behalf, you could literally add thousands of dollars to your bottom-line. Without one (or the wrong one) the opposite could happen. You could potentially put your business into an oppressive lease, poor location or compliance nightmare. 

When I see a space for sale or lease I like, should I call?

Do not call landlords when you see a "For Lease" sign. Let your advisor handle the conversations and negotiations so you do not unknowingly give information that can hurt you in the negotiation process. Remember, tenant only representation comes at no cost to you, as they are compensated by the landlord, and can offer you the best unbiased, unconflicted advice to protect your interests. 

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

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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.

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