Few decisions define your dental clinic, or your life, as much as the location and space you choose for your dental practice.
If you are thinking about renting a dental office, below is a list of things to consider.
Start with defining the right location for your dental clinic
We’ve all heard location, location, location when it comes to the most important factor in determining retail business success, but the point remains. Below are some things to consider when determining an ideal location for your dental clinic.
Demographic Analysis – Which geographic areas will best support your practice?
Income levels, age of population, and total population are the data we most commonly examine. Other numbers to consider are daytime population, traffic count, drive time, among others.. The “right” answer varies depending on your speciality, goals, and the market you are in. For example, an oral surgeon might benefit from learning the number of wisdom teeth removal procedures that nearby practitioners refer out while a pediatric dentist would want to consider the number of youth in an area.
We recommend our clients use demographic reports and the guidance of an experienced professional to determine the best location for their dental practice.
Another factor that heavily influences the quality of a location is the competition. It is unlikely in your best interest to start your office in an area that is already saturated with similar practices.
We highly recommend that you opt for a demographics report that includes verified competition information. Population Growth
How many new households will be looking for a Dentist?
Some of the easiest clients for a dentist to capture as they open their practice are residents who recently moved to an area and a clear sign of this is the number of new homes being built in an area.
As we consider locations for our clients, we consider the number of new households in an area as well as expected growth to find locations that are poised for success.
Where can you find a dental office for rent?
Commercial Real Estate Agents
Commercial Real Estate Agents use their local market knowledge and relationships alongside databases of properties to find and screen available properties for their clients.
Most commercial real estate agents specialize on either landlord representation or tenant representation. We almost exclusively represent medical tenants, the majority of which are dentists looking to find a dental office for rent.
Drive the Street
Driving areas you are interested in can be a good way to get a feel for what is in the market. When trying to find a dental office for rent, you’ll want to be sure to take note of the existing practices that are nearby.
Keep in mind, if you go to a landlord’s broker directly without representation, the landlord’s broker is simply paid a higher fee (to legally represent the landlord) instead of splitting the fee with an agent of your choosing (who will represent you).
Some landlords won’t pay a tenant agent (your agent) if you’ve discussed a space in depth with them on your own previously. This can make it tricky to bring in outside representation later. Thus we encourage you to filter properties through your representative as it tends to lead to your receiving much more favorable terms.
We are biased here, largely because of how much better a situation our clients end up in than those who try to represent themselves or work with their residential-realtor cousin. These transactions are on the more complex side of the commercial leasing world and we strongly encourage you to work with a real estate agent who has experience working with dentists.
There are several listing services that are available for free online. They are less comprehensive than the paid databases and are often less frequently updated. Searching through them is a great way to get a feel for what you like and don’t like in commercial properties as well as what rent numbers look like in various areas. That being said, this is not a reliable way to easily find a dental office for rent. – be prepared for much of the information to be out of date or flat out wrong.
How much space do you need to lease for your dental office?
Because operatory square footage is fairly fixed, the number of operatories and the size of additional rooms are the primary drivers of the square footage you’ll need to lease for your dental practice.
400 – 450 square feet per operatory is a good rule of thumb for a general dentistry practice. Most practices are between 4 and 6 operatories, and are thus are between 1,800 and 3,000 square feet. This rule of thumb includes space for reception and a small private office.
The physical layout of the spaces you consider can make a difference. If the shell of the space is the right shape, 6 operatories can squeeze in to 2,000 square feet, but its rare.
Be careful getting carried away with non-revenue generating space in a practice – only go bigger on reception or team space if it is a central part of your business model.
Pediatric dental practices can often do an open-bay layout and squeeze an extra chair or two in for the same square footage that a general dentistry practice might lease. However, many just trade that saved space for increased square footage in their reception area.
Will you rent a chair out to an orthodontist? Be sure to plan for private operatories if you’ll need them.
Like pediatric practices, orthodontic practices often lease larger than normal reception/waiting areas, and aim for 4 or more operatories. Operatories are usually private, as well.
Periodontics, Orthodontics, Endodontics, and Oral Surgeons often need fewer operatories and can rent smaller spaces for their offices.
What makes a location great for a dental practice?
For a general dentistry office you want to consider a few key things:
- Local competition
- Proximity to target customer demographic
- Does the space promote the practice adequately (high traffic retail vs office space)
- Adequate parking
- No exclusives on dentistry with other tenants
If you’re a specialist, you are likely more concerned with:
- Proximity to referral sources
- Signage and other “built in” marketing provided by many retail sites may be less important
Ready to find a dental office for rent?
We do the heavy lifting of combing through property databases and running demographics and competition reports for you. We work exclusively with medical clients, so we know how dental practices work and what it takes to be successful. Use the form below to get in touch and we’ll reach out shortly.