For many healthcare tenants, negotiating a good lease or lease renewal against an experienced agent or landlord can be a challenge. While a doctor focuses on proper patient care, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.
As explained in our new book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES, tenants may go through the leasing process only two or three times in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. Negotiating appropriate leasing terms is vital for a doctor as the amount of rent he pays will directly affect the practice’s financial bottom line.
Whether you are leasing a new location for the first time or negotiating a lease renewal for your practice, these are some money-saving tips for healthcare tenants:
Meet the Landlord: Frequently, the property manager, realtor, or leasing representative has some influence but limited decision-making-power when it comes to your lease. While it is not always possible to meet in person (the landlord may be busy or may live in a distant city or town), ask at least to speak to the landlord by telephone. Be prepared for this discussion and ask thoughtful questions (e.g. “How long have you owned this property?”, “Are you planning to list your property for sale?”, and/or “Are you looking for a healthcare provider tenant for your property?”). Even if you must do most of the deal through the landlord’s representative, you can still call the rep back to clear up a few unresolved issues at the end. This can also set a positive tone for the term of your lease.
Size up the Opponent: Different leasing representatives are motivated in different ways. For example, an in-house leasing representative working on a salary will be more concerned with your stability as a tenant. An outside realtor, on the other hand, will finish the deal, collect his commission and may never see you or the landlord again. Sizing up your negotiating opponent and their personal motivation is part of a well-planned leasing strategy.
For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach.com.
Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Jeff and Dale are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com or JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach.com or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.