The Hunt for Office Space – Good-to-Know for Doctors and Dentists
What should be fun and exciting is more often a huge challenge: the hunt for new office space. As a medical professional, you’re busy enough as it is. Why do you need the worry and time-consuming hassle of find your new office space?
Still, if it is an actionable part of your process to move forward; then forward you must go. There are things to be on the lookout for and here are a few of the top concerns:
Whether you’re leasing or buying, be sure you are working with honest people who do not do such things as make changes to your contract at the last minute or go back on a lease agreement.
Be sure this is the right time to invest. If you over-buy or over-lease now, you will pay for it somewhere down the road. Select an office space and a price-point that fits your budget. If you plan to open a general practice serving primarily working class families, don’t look to take over the office of the local cardiologist.
Location is always important, but being in the heart of a city is not always best. Locating your medical or dental office space within a few minutes of the area’s major highways is your best bet. If the office space you’re considering doesn’t have enough parking, forget about it. Nearby on-street parking is not a good option. If you’re in a dense urban area, access to public transportation is an important consideration.
If you encounter an option to take over a built out space, you can just move in and start practicing. This can work out, depending who had the space before you. But, if you start with a shell you have more control over your final layout. This can be more efficient. Often the landlord will contribute to this build-out in the form of a Tenant Improvement Allowance or Landlord’s Work. But, then you must negotiate length of lease term, amount of work, and base rent.
Although it might be nice to have a stand-alone medical building with just your practice, there are many advantages to being in a medical building with office space just for doctors or dentists. This offers the advantage of building your practice by referral from other physician’s in the building, or just by patient traffic and potential patients viewing the building directory.
It goes without saying that if you can avoid countless hours of combing through real estate listings, making appointments and driving to prospective locations, that’s the preferable road to take.
In that case, you need a reliable healthcare real estate pro who knows the ins and outs of the business. These are the guys that are privy to office space and know where to look, often before the property even hits the market.
Alone or in partnership with a pro, the hunt is on, so be sure to ask the right questions.