Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

3 Tips on How to Relocate Your Dental Practice

October 18, 2017
Relocating Your Dental Practice

Are you wondering how to relocate your dental practice? There are quite a few factors to consider, and it's easy to overlook little details that are actually very important. The following three tips will give you a well-rounded look at these details and help your transition go as successfully as possible.

1. Negotiate a Money-Saving Lease

Never accept a landlord's offer of lease without question or without any attempt to haggle over the terms. Just because they slide a thick, multi-page contract in front of you does not mean it is set in stone or impossible to change. Of course, to get a full picture of negotiating a lease, you will want to bookmark our other post that covers this topic exclusively, but the following money-saving tips will give you an edge when you sit down with a potential landlord:

  • It all begins with a letter of intent to lease. The negotiation process doesn't start with the intimidating-looking, thick, multi-page lease agreement with all its obscure clauses designed to help the landlord. Before you get to that point they will give you an offer to lease, also called a letter of intent. This is a short-form version of the larger lease agreement that will come later, and it deals only with the major points of the contract: rent, lease length, deposit terms, renewal options and so on. This is a good time to set the tone for the negotiation discussions. Be bold about asking for changes and better terms and don't wait to request better terms after you've already waded into the thick weeds of the lease agreement.
  • Create competition beforehand. Don't be shy about approaching several locations at the same time to obtain multiple proposals. Use the existence of those proposals in your negotiation, letting the landlord know that you have multiple interested parties with good offers, and you're not afraid to walk away if they don't try to work with you to give you a good lease.
  • Talk with other tenants in the building. Gather intel. Speak with other tenants in the building(s) that you're considering for relocation. Ask them how their negotiations with the landlord went. This will give you a feel for what the landlord is willing to bend on, what their soft spots might be or other helpful advantages that you can use in your negotiation.
  • Don't brag about success. Landlords talk to each other. It may be impossible to avoid or hide, but if you can avoid it, it's better not to brag about your solid, consistent success as a practice and all the foot traffic you've been getting (assuming that's the case, which hopefully it is). Don't brag to your current landlord, who may pass that intel to potential landlords where you're relocating, and don't brag to your potential landlords. They will use it as leverage to demand a higher rental rate since your practice is so lucrative. This is where humility pays off.

2. Avoid Dark Time in Between the Relocation

The first step involves closely examining the terms of any new lease offer or agreement you receive, but this second step involves looking at your current lease. You need to make sure you can stay in your current location as long as is necessary. If some unforeseen delay happens at your new location that prevents you from moving in when you had planned to, your dental practice will come to a grinding halt if you've already moved out of your current location or started the moving process enough to disrupt your practice. Here are some tips in this regard:

  • How much sand is left in the hour-glass? It's crucial that you know exactly how much time left at your current location. Review your lease agreement and make sure you have a good handle on your time-frame, then plan your relocation accordingly. Don't leave yourself vulnerable to a complete shut-down of your practice.
  • Do you have any fail-safe measures? To use the proper terminology, do you have a short-term extension option with your current landlord? If you know this is an option for you, then you can make decisions about relocation accordingly. If you know you do not have this option, then at least you will know that you've got to nail the timing of your relocation precisely and allow enough wiggle room to ensure you avoid dark time.

3. Schedule Your Move Months in Advance and Create a Detailed Strategy

Dental ConsultantYou will need to schedule your move months in advance, preferably 12-24 months. Before you schedule it, examine the new space and determine if any renovations will be needed before you can move in. For the actual moving day of your office, ultra-precise planning will pay off. Good planning done well ahead of time will help you avoid any costly delays (which could lead to the dreaded "dark time" mentioned in Tip 2) and allow you to open your practice at the new location quickly.

Here are a few pointers for crafting a good moving strategy:

  • Get a hold of the floor plan of your new dental practice office space. Figure out on paper where all of your equipment is going to go. Get your measuring tape out and start measuring every item if you need to to ensure there won't be any unforeseen problems that slow down the move-in process.
  • Take an accurate inventory of everything in your current office, and make sure all of it makes it their new home.
  • This is a good time to buy any new items that you will need. Make sure you incorporate any new purchases into your floor space planning mentioned above.

Don't Go At It Alone

The most important tip: don't be afraid to ask for help. If you need assistance with your relocation journey, we are here for you. Contact us for more tips and make sure to explore our blog for helpful information that can ensure your dental practice thrives in any situation, including relocation and other practice transitions

 Contact Us Today for a Complimentary Consultation!

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