By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach
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:
Don’t Telegraph Your Plans: A good football quarterback can take the snap, fake the hand-off to his running back, and then pass the football to a receiver thus not telegraphing his intentions. As a new healthcare tenant, try not to speak in terms such as “when I move in …”. As an existing healthcare tenant, do not make statements like, “I would like the carpet replaced” or “I’d like to expand my patient waiting area ….”. These are called buying signals, indicate that you may likely choose to lease the premises or remain as a tenant, and always serve to weaken your bargaining position. Don’t let what you say and the words you choose work against you.
Be Pleasantly Assertive … not Passive: If you don’t take control of the situation, the leasing agent will. When conducting site selection for the first time (or if you want to move), call and ask the agent to e-mail you the site plan and related details. Don’t just drop what you are doing and run over to the site. For the first meeting, have the agent come to your office. For subsequent meetings, try to set times more convenient for you. Remember that you are the customer.
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.