Doctors and Turnkey Office Space: Get a Second Opinion

April 22, 2019 Real Estate Insights

If you’re opening a new medical practice, moving locations or expanding, you might be considering a turnkey office space. Turnkey spaces are those that have been completely outfitted and are ready for you to move right in upon signing a lease or making a purchase. In theory, all you need to do is “turn the key” and enter. However, it’s not always that simple.

Here’s what to think about when deciding to proceed with a turnkey medical office space.

The Hard Work is Already Done

The main appeal of turnkey medical office spaces is that the time, hassle and expense of renovating and equipping the building has been shouldered by someone else. This means you’ll be able to move quickly on a properly and get set up promptly, ensuring minimal downtime and no surprise costs.

Additionally, if the space has already been successfully used as a medical or dental clinic, you’ll know that it’s been set up to suit the needs of a functioning practice. Rather than deciding where and how to place and appoint your consulting rooms, labs and reception, the hard decisions have already been made.

But Do Your Homework

However, turnkey doesn’t always mean a perfect fit. Before signing off on a lease or loan, consult professionals to help you thoroughly review the property on offer. Ensure that the presented space is a good fit for the needs of your medical or dental practice and that it will accommodate requirements around special equipment, loading/parking and labs. You’ll also want to confirm that it’s up to code, equipped for technology and that it’s in an accessible area for patients.

Additionally, be sure to inspect the premise – don’t make a commitment based on photos or from viewing a similar property. Do a walkthrough to confirm that the stated amenities and equipment are available and working and that the property is in good repair. This includes exterior areas such as roofs, parking and landscaping, as well as interiors.

Make a note of any changes or updates that need to be made, and factor these into your budget. Even the most well-considered turnkey property is rarely 100% suited to your needs.

Be Mindful of the Turnkey Premium

While turnkey medical offices offer simplicity and convenience, this comes at a premium. There is a cost associated with providing move-in ready office spaces, and this cost is passed down to the consumer. When deciding whether a turnkey property makes sense for your business needs, weigh its costs against what it would cost to build out your own medical or dental practice.

Almost every turnkey medical practice will require at least some adjustments and updates to suit your requirements. Changing the paint color is one thing but removing walls and swapping out equipment is another. If significant changes are needed, those added costs may make for a poor overall investment.

Additionally, when reviewing a potential turnkey property, consider the local market. Overpaying for a great building in a struggling market is a common mistake, and one with long-term financial consequences. In contrast, deciding instead to renovate an outdated medical building in a great market can deliver excellent ROI – although you’ll need to extend your move-in timeline to do so.

Get a Second Opinion

When considering a turnkey medical office space, always consult with a professional who can offer advice about high-potential properties, and who can help you determine whether a shortlisted property is worth the premium. They’ll also be able to walk you through details such as regulations, loans and codes.

GZ can help you navigate the medical office market, ensuring that the property you ultimately decide on meets the needs of your practice while being a solid investment as well.