After years of hard work, it’s time to expand. You’re a successful medical or dental practice and you’ve decided it’s time to lease new office space. Because it’s one of the largest expenses, choosing the right office space is a major decision that can impact your practice in multiple ways. The following five questions are a great place to start.
1. How much space do I need?
Having the wrong-sized space – either too big or too small – is the biggest pitfall. So, first, ask yourself if you’re downsizing or planning for continued growth. To assist in determining your current and future needs, you may want to enlist the services of an architect to help with your decision making. They will be able to evaluate your current office, gauge your likes and dislikes, and determine the inefficiencies that may occur from your current design. Just as important is choosing an architect that knows medical design and current practice trends and one that will understand your unique office flow.
2. Is it the right location for my patients?
You want an office space that’s accessible for your patients, so an urban location needs to be conveniently located near public transportation and parking. If you’re moving to the suburbs, some patients may decide that the trip isn’t worth it, so consider whether or not the lower cost makes up for lost business. Then consider the impact on your key employees- a longer commute may drive them to work elsewhere.
3. What is the best lease term?
A longer lease generally gives you more negotiating power and better business terms. Your first step is to determine what you can afford. The concessions offered by the landlord will affect your decision. Is there free rent being offered? Is the landlord offering money for the build-out of your office? What are the annual expenses and who pays for them? Is this a triple net lease or full service? Yep, it’s complicated- don’t try this at home.
4. Should I be close to other physicians or hospitals?
Do I need to be on or off campus? In the past, most practices needed the comfort of an on-campus presence; however, based on the recent changes in medicine and the premium expense to be on campus, physicians are locating to nearby, off-campus office buildings to save money. Although not on campus, these locations are still close enough to have convenient access to hospital services. In the past, being in the same office building with other referring physicians could guarantee additional revenue. Today, driven by cost savings, many practices choose the more economical, non-medical office building rather than having the security of an all-physician building.
5. Is a broker the right move for me?
It is very important to get help from an expert. A broker will assist in locating and negotiating the best terms for your practice. They will have the market knowledge to save you time in searching for the right location, which will allow you to do what you do best: see your patients. The one catch is to make sure you hire a broker with MEDICAL office experience. There are pretenders out there who claim to be “medical brokers” and they say that they have an understanding of all of the specialized requirements physicians have versus traditional office tenants. Ask them about their experience, about how long have they been helping physicians and about how many they have represented. Patients use specialists; you should too.
Nearly Three Decades of Experience
Since 1990, Gittleson Zuppas Medical Realty has dedicated its services to the Washington Metropolitan Area’s physician community. We are proud to serve medical practices with all of their real estate needs, and we hope that we may have the opportunity in the future to earn your trust and confidence.