Moving your practice can be a daunting task, but there are several scenarios when relocating may be a good idea. Lease negotiations gone awry, changing patient demographics in the area, health plan/hospital acquisitions of real estate, and expansion of the practice may have you contemplating a potential office relocation.
Before you make a decision, here are a few things to consider:
- How will the move affect staff? Will it be a further commute for your key team members and will it make it difficult to retain them?
- Will current patients easily find the new location and is there sufficient free parking?
- Is there a need for your specialty in the area and if not, who are the entities/hospitals in the community you can align with to secure referrals?
- Will there be build-out costs for the new space and who will be responsible for the cost?
- How will the new lease cost affect your bottom line now and moving forward? Are there additional costs for cleaning, parking access, and common area maintenance?
- Is there an opportunity to buy the building?
- Who is responsible for HVAC repairs and replacement?
- Will your move impact your business insurance premiums?
- Will you need new equipment?
These are just a few factors that can impact your long-term profitability and security.
Once you have made the decision to move forward, you will need to find and vet a new space — the most important and perhaps most challenging step that can make or break your entire decision. Before you negotiate a lease, ensure a thorough investigation as follows:
- Conduct a financial analysis to determine your wants and needs. Some things to consider are the size of your suite, your minimum and maximum of the new base rent, your desired maximum term, the cost of your parking requirements, and so on.
- Conduct a market analysis to determine the area’s market rents and the availability of space in the target area. Determine what the landlord’s concessions are.
- Tour several comparable sites to determine the pluses and minuses of each.
- Analyze and compare the findings of the strategic planning, market analysis, financial analysis, and the site tours.
- Propose your terms and concessions to the landlord’s leasing agent, then prepare for the landlord’s rejection or counter proposal, which starts the negotiation phase.
Moving practices requires a lot of coordination. A step-by-step plan will help you organize the many moving parts involved with relocation. As far as six months out, you should already be working with your staff to ensure a seamless transition. Many physicians and administrators don’t know where to start nor do they have time to commit to such a huge undertaking — and that is understandable given the demands of the busy practice.
As a benefit of your membership, you can take advantage of CAP’s My Practice program for free practice management and business assistance. In addition to being available for general practice-related inquiries, My Practice can provide you with support for practice transitions and relocations and connect you with free commercial real estate services offered by Bailes and Associates, exclusively for CAP members.
My Practice is pleased to help you get started by providing you with these helpful tips provided by the by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and Bailes and Associates. Get the MGMA checklist here:
To learn more, contact Andie Tena, CAP’s Director of Practice Management Services, at ATena@CAPphysicians.com or via phone at 213-473-8630.