One of the biggest reasons to start your own medical practice is that you will have more power over your affairs. Being your own boss means that all the responsibilities of running your own practice fall on you, allowing you to flourish without the overreaching hand of some large bureaucracy. But it also means a lot more logistical work as well. There are many rules and regulations to look through, along with securing the right medical equipment.
Having the correct location for your medical office can make or break it, and you can expect to pay premium prices for premium real estate. Health Pro Realty Group, which helps professionals find medical office space for rent in DC, has detailed some of the most important things to know about medical office space rent before you make a decision.
Where Should I Start?
Look at the average renting rate in your area. You should do a bit of shopping around to determine what is the best rate and location for you. You can expect most quotes for a medical office space to be quoted in square footage. So a rate of $3 means $3 per square foot.
Make sure you know the difference between the amount of square footage that is being rented and what is actually usable. Buildings require certain amenities along with a typical common area, common areas being storage rooms, electrical rooms, elevators, and so forth.
Do I Need to Worry About Any Additional Fees?
Monthly rent probably isn’t the only thing that you’re going to pay when renting a space. You can expect a certain amount of money to be dedicated to the building’s insurance, maintenance costs, and property taxes. Make sure to get the full picture when comparing rent prices.
Tenant improvement allowance is another cost often attached to your monthly rent. This is a payment that offsets the cost of any new construction, from small things like new carpeting and painting, to larger costs like cabinetry, walls, and additional rooms.
What Else Should I Ask About?
Since you’re going to be dealing with the sick, disabled, and elderly, you’re going to want an office that is accessible to all. Also make sure that the offices you are looking at are capable of expelling any biohazard waste.
Make sure that whatever location you pick has enough parking for you, your employees, and your patients. A location with poor parking will make it frustrating for patients, making them less likely to come back.
What Is a Rent Escalator?
The rent escalator is the annual rate at which you can expect to see your rent increase over time to account for inflation. This rate is determined by a percentage, typically anywhere from 2 to 4 percent. Lower rental rates equate to saving money over a longer period of time.
A lower rent escalator can save you a lot of money. Just a 2% difference of rate can equate to tens of thousands of dollars over just a decade. While the difference is negligible over just a year or two, the compounded rate means that an original annual cost of $100,000 at 2% would result in $122,000 in ten years, while at 4% it would be $148,000!
What Else Do I Need to Know to Open My Own Medical Practice?
While there is no magical formula to follow when opening your practice, it’s often recommended to get in contact with a professional consultant to walk you through everything. They’ll be able to tell you about some of the issues you may face and what variables to consider. Oftentimes you might need to hire some sort of contractor to update or make an office more accessible for the disabled. There are also many rules and regulations on a local and federal level that need to be observed before you can continue.
While it is good to do your own research, it is highly recommended to get some sort of agent or lawyer to represent you. Just in the same way you wouldn’t recommend one of your patients to diagnose themselves via the internet, you shouldn’t go it alone when searching for a new space.
When looking at the area you want to set up your practice, make sure you aren’t only looking at the rental payment. Things like insurance, tenant improvement payments, and rent escalator can all greatly affect how much you pay in the long run.