9 Tips to Help You Rent The Right Medical Office Space
Finding the best medical office space in Maryland is one of the most important steps in setting up your own medical practice. The type of space, the location of space, the amount of rent, and the amenities it includes are some of the factors that can have a huge impact on the success of your business. So, it’s crucial that you do a thorough research to get the right medical office space.
There are several differences between an ordinary office space lease and a healthcare office space lease. You need to look at everything from the security of the space to what specific equipment that can be used in it. Therefore, numerous factors need to be considered. A real estate broker who is specialized in negotiating for medical office space can come in handy during this time.
So, here are the 9 tips to help you find medical office space for lease that will be perfect for your practice.
1. Determine Average Rates in the Area
The amount of rent you’ll be paying will have a big impact on the profits you will make from your practice. Therefore, it’s vital that you find the best deal in the area. Of course, you cannot know whether you have found a good deal or not if you don’t know the average rate of the medical space leases in the area. It’s imperative to shop around a bit and get proper understanding of how much healthcare office space costs on average.
Typically, medical office rents will be quoted as rent per sq. foot per year. Therefore, a rate of $25.00 means $25.00 per sq. foot per year. Some landlords may quote a monthly rental price for some spaces, and so you will want to ensure that you convert all the pricing into the same units of rent in order to compare apples to apples.
2. Understand there is a Difference between Rentable and Useable Square Footage
Let’s assume you’ve found a good office space measuring 2000 square feet and the rate is $24 per square foot. After calculating an annual rate, you get an annual rate of $48,000. What you may not realize is the 2000 square feet that you have rented don’t equate to the actual square footage you will use inside your practice. There’s a difference between rentable square footage and useable square footage, and this difference is known as building load factor. A building load factor is the amount of space (in percentage) that is taken by common spaces such as atriums, elevators, stairwells, etc. So ask the property manager or broker about the building load factor of each building so that you compare with your options.
3. Know what Additional Fees You’ll be Paying Besides your Rent
Apart from the monthly rent, you’ll also be needed to pay your pro-rata share of the property insurance, taxes, repair costs and maintenance costs. This happens if your lease is an NNS lease(triple net). A triple net lease also means you’ll pay for your electricity bills. If your lease is what is known as modified gross, it means that you’ll pay many of the costs not included in an NNS lease, but also you’ll pay for your janitorial and electricity bills. So you need to ask the property manager to put in writing all additional fees payable besides the rent.
4. Ask about the Accessibility of the Space
As a physician, you’ll like have disabled patients or who have other mobility issues. So you should lease a space that is accessible by everyone. Otherwise, you will have to spend more to make it accessible.
5. Find out About Biohazard waste
Whether your practice offers medical, dental, pharmaceutical or laboratory services, you’ll likely produce biohazard waste. So you will want to ensure that the space is set up in a way to handle that. Find out if the medical office space you’re renting can accommodate this kind of a waste. If the space is set up as Executive Suite, it will not be able to handle biohazard waste.
6. Check on Security
Find out about the security provided by the facility and if it’s enough for your practice. Security is a crucial factor as doctors usually handle sensitive information and data of the patients. Finding about the security will help you in negotiating for the rent and other factors.
Find about your demographics of your clients. If your practice offers cosmetic services, you’ll want to find a white-collar neighborhood though this is necessarily a not a fail-proof method.
Check whether the area’s population is growing or declining. It’s easy to succeed in newer communities that mature ones where you’ll have to take patients away from established practitioners. If you’re targeting private payers, consider neighborhoods without a large percentage of seniors as most them are covered by Medicaid. You can get the demographics of the area from the internet or local or state governments. Also, websites like census.gov can be useful.
Often, traffic is an overlooked aspect when people are searching for medical Office Space, but it’s a very important factor. Find out the amount of traffic that is how many vehicles travel down the road you want to set up your practice. Of course, the more the traffic, the more the customers. Usually, office spaces that are located within a five-mile radius of major thoroughfares and close to popular grocery stores, retail outlets and banks are ideal.
9. Curb Appeal
The exterior of the building is as important as the interior when it comes to perception. Patients feel more comfortable in a facility that is well lit and well-kept. Also, the signage should be easy to read for everyone. You should set up your practice in an area where it stands out from the neighboring businesses and buildings.
When leasing a medical office space, these 9 tips will help narrow down your options to the most appropriate office space for your practice. If you are using real estate broker services, ensure that he or she has proven experience in finding good medical office spaces. When you all consider all these tips, you won’t experience any challenges in finding the right location of your practice.