By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton
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:
Spreading Free Rent Over Time
In order to achieve the maximum free rent period, you can negotiate to spread the free rent over time. For example, if you want the first six months free but the landlord will only give you months 1, 2, and 3 free, take this offer but insist on receiving months 13, 25, and 37 free as well. This lessens the landlord’s risk but you still receive the full financial benefit. No matter you when you can negotiate your free rent, it is better than receiving no free rent at all. Be creative.
Go Slow for a Better Deal
Healthcare tenants often rush a lease deal and leave valuable inducements on the table. If you have time to work with, our recommendation is to take that time. Often, The Lease Coach negotiates for more free rent, more tenant allowance, and/or even a lower rental rate just by refusing to sign on the dotted line too quickly. If the landlord or agent is anxious to close the deal, use stalling techniques to better your position (i.e. saying, “I’m awaiting word from my banker about approving a business loan” or “I need to talk with my business partner about this and he/she is currently out of town on business for another week”). Healthcare tenants who invariably have regrets will usually tell you that the whole process happened so fast that they hardly realized what they had agreed to in the way of lease terms.
For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to [email protected].
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 [email protected] or [email protected] or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.