by Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach
August 17th, 2017
When you’re looking for the right property for your new chiropractic practice or wish to expand or move your practice, having a checklist of desirable criteria can help you stay on track. As The Lease Coach, we appreciate and applaud tenants who provide a detailed checklist of what they are looking for in each location.
You should weigh many demographic aspects when considering leasing a location in a certain area or territory. Just because you’ve found a new property with space for lease doesn’t mean the demographics will fit your ideal criteria. As a chiropractic tenant, the following points will be specifically important to you when searching:
Age: The average age of people living in a particular area is extremely important to many chiropractors. Will your chiropractic practice be more attractive to parents with young families or older individuals with aching joints and muscles?
Income: As mean income and the proportion of two-income households vary, so do the ability and desire to spend disposable income at your practice.
Residency: Set up shop where your target patients already live if possible, rather than try to make them come to you (although chiropractic patients can – and do – travel for effective treatment).
Location: If you don’t think it matters which side of the street you’re located on, think again! Certain operations do better on one side of the street than the other. In your case, your practice may likely do better on a route where most people are driving home after work. Many people may not have the time to stop in for an appointment on their way into work and might prefer to do this on their way home from the office.
Visibility (or lack thereof): Lack of visibility for your store front can cause people to drive right by it – especially if traffic is heavy. Trees in a parking lot can block signage and restrict visibility for drivers passing by. Some landlords have been known to overbuild their pad sites near the road, therefore blocking the visibility of the retail plaza behind it.
Adjacent Property: If you find a great property with space available for lease, look around. If there is a bare patch of ground between your desired unit for lease, assume that someday, the landlord will lease that pad site or construct a building there that blocks visibility to both your signage and storefront.
Competition: Be aware of any, and all, competition within the area. Not only should you be acutely aware of your competitor, you should have someone “secret shop” their practice and report back to you about the entire experience. You could also have your secret shopper ask them about your practice (if you are already open) so as to discover what your competition is saying about you. Remember to also think in terms of future competitors. Keep your eyes and ears open for any indication that other doctors may be relocating or setting up shop in your area.
How can you distinguish sites that make sense for your practice? Begin by understanding that just because a developer bought some land and put up a building it doesn’t mean that the site is automatically a winner. Perhaps it was a great neighborhood 30 years ago, but it’s gone downhill? Perhaps the area is overdeveloped, meaning that another retail site isn’t needed or justified? Consider the following two questions before choosing a specific commercial site for your restaurant and signing a long-term lease agreement or a lease renewal:
- Are you planning to open a practice that people will travel for miles to visit?
- Are you taking your practice to where people already are (e.g. downtown, the suburbs, or a large shopping entertainment development)?
For a complimentary copy of our CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Chiro Tenants, please email JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach.com.
Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield - The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Dale and Jeff 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 visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.