Is your practice bursting at the seams? Need a second location? Maybe you’re getting ready to start a brand new practice? Whatever your circumstances, you are in need of a new space for your practice and buying makes more sense than leasing right now (Stay tuned for a future blog post on how to decide if buying is more financially sound than leasing).
So where do you start? Some people might think price is the only ruling factor, but there are other things that should be taken into consideration. So broaden your focus to include some of the following important choices as well.
Population Has Two Faces
When looking for a location to place your medical practice, look at population size in the surrounding area, but also look at your current customer base. There are tools that will allow you to overlay the two segments to see where they intersect. Perhaps this would be a good place to start looking. Ideally, a location that supports your current patient base (if you have one) and also provides a steady stream of un-serviced patients would make for the perfect location. Again, it really depends on your practice’s business plan.
Other demographic information like age and income are important in order to continue your current patient segmentation and extremely important if you are establishing a new practice. Older populations are going to provide many Medicaid patients. So your desired patient mix should be a crucial factor in the location of your practice.
Competition is a Double-Edged Sword
Try to avoid areas that are already saturated with physicians who have similar practices. The key word is “saturation.” If the area you like is strong enough to support another practice, then it can work out well as you may reap the benefit of overflow patients from other practices. However, this is where professional analytics can save you, because finding that sweet spot can take hours of digesting the numbers.
Having other practices in the area that are not in direct competition with yours could provide some benefit from a referral standpoint. Complementary medical providers who extend referrals are a great way to grow your practice.
Generally speaking, medical practices are often clustered near hospitals however, with many more procedures being done as outpatient, practices are no longer bound by the proximity to hospitals. The upside to this is without the proximity restraint, more properties become viable options which could mean finding an office space that’s priced more economically. It’s a good idea to investigate zoning and permitted uses of a potential property and will save time if done before the due diligence period.
Visibility and Aesthetic Appeal
Depending on the type of practice you have, visibility could be a high priority. If you are opening an urgent care clinic, proximity to residential areas on a main street is a must. If your practice is well established, being located close to, but not on a main thoroughfare will save you money.
Rule of thumb is that a patient should be able to find your practice by taking no more than two turns off a major street or highway. Keep in mind, the vast majority of the people coming to your office may not feel good, could be in some sort of pain, or may be elderly. Making it easy to get to your location adds extra convenience for your patients when it really counts. Also, remember to look at parking and disability access to the building.
The outside of your practice is the first thing people see. It’s important that your location look well-maintained and aesthetically lovely. This first impression effects the way potential patients as well as potential employees feel about your practice before entering the door for the first time. It speaks to your credibility and the confidence patients and employees will have in you and your practice.
Contact a Specialist in the MOS Field of Real Estate
Finding just the right location for your medical office can be challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. As a trusted name in real estate in the Triangle, Craft Commercial seeks to deliver extraordinary results to medical office space investors in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas. We have the analytical tools and seasoned specialists, some with more than 20 years of MOS experience, to guide you in your choice of just the right space. Give us a call to talk about your MOS needs at 919-446-5000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.