Lack of relationship with patients is the number two reason medical and dental offices fail. The number one way to build relationships with your patients is to know who they are.
Finding competitive locations for your practice is part art and part science. Supplement your intuition with demographic data, competitive research, and procedural data. We offer several report types depending on where you are in the process of locating and securing real estate for your practice.
Invest wisely in growth using Research and Data Solutions from Practice Real Estate Group
- Area Income Demographics
- Location Analysis
- Area Population Demographics
- Competition Analysis
- Traffic Count Maps, and
- Dentist to Population Ratio by Zip Code
Area income demographics are an indicator of what kind of market you’re entering. For example, if you’re hoping to serve Medicaid clients, you’ll be looking for a lower area income than if your speciality is cosmetic dentistry or plastic surgery. (You can find more about who qualifies for Medicaid here.)
The three main Area Income markets are:
- Mix of Medicaid and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Mix of Fee for service and PPO
Area income targets are just that – targets or estimates – but overall, they can accurately predict client behavior.
Site selection is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to a demographics report. Any marketing company you hire or marketing strategy you craft in-house will lean on demographics to determine who to market to and how to market to them. After you determine who your audience is, you can decide which media platforms to use – direct mail, email marketing, or billboards. Finally, by knowing your client base through in depth demographics data, you can test messaging that resonates with them.
In summary, there are uses far beyond site selection for the demographics report. Demographics reports may seem like just one way to choose a successful site, using the report for marketing efforts once you open can be another way to ensure a strong business.
Contact our Dental & Medical Demographics Team
Practice Real Estate Group’s Location Analysis examined the following data points for an orthodontist client in the one, three, and five mile radii surrounding a specific site of interest:
- Median household income
- Population 19 and Under
- Population 14 and Under
- General dentist locations
- Pediatric dentist locations
- Orthodontist locations
- Population to General Dentist Ratio
- Population to Pediatric Dentist and Orthodontist Ratios
This is merely a sample of the data we deliver when a general dentist, physician, or specialist partners with us. When determining a location, our location analysis demographics provide multiple must- have data points to consider before selecting a specific location.
Area population demographics simply show the number of people living within a particular area. The analysis of this information is highly significant, however, because the existing population and expected population growth of an area impact it’s potential site as a location for a dental clinic. Furthermore, you’ll need to know if your site can sustain another doctor.
As with each section in a demographics report, you’ll want to keep all of the data in mind before making a decision. For example, while expected population growth is a factor (and generally a good sign), it’s not the biggest factor. If an area is already under served but not showing growth, it may still be a good option.
Conversely, if an area boasts a large population but the ratios are still low, then it’s likely not a strong choice.
Corporate dental offices may open in saturated areas because of the strength of their brand. Smaller start ups need to find areas with growth and a current population to sustain the office.
A competition analysis maps one, three, and five mile radii also, but this time showing where similar practices are located in relation to a site of interest. Dots on this map will distinguish types of practices that may compete with yours. In addition, the section lists the exact practices that correspond to those dots on the map with their business names, addresses, and distance from the site.
Traffic Count Maps
Traffic counts refer to the actual number of cars passing by a space, and especially for retail tenants traffic counts matter. Car volume is important because having as many people passing by your signage each day is a good thing. The idea is that the more you see something, the more likely you are to remember it, and with a lighted intersection where passers by are sitting in traffic, brand marketing comes into play.
General dentists used to lease office building space because they wanted to offer a professional experience. However, when agents began breaking their clients into retail areas, their clients started seeing greater returns; simply put – they made more money. Now, generalists in retail spaces is the trend.
Take a General Pharmacy, for example. They’re only at lighted intersections because when someone driving by needs something but doesn’t want to stop at the supermarket, the customer can pull in easily and quickly.
High car volume passing by a space doesn’t necessarily equal more clients unless there is signage. In an office building, tenants don’t generally get signage on the building unless a large portion of the available space is leased. Retail spaces typically come with multiple signage options including,
- A pylon monument, the sign at the front of a shopping center
- Signage above the entrance to the space
- Signage on the side of the building if the leased space is on an end cap and
- ‘Coming Soon’ and ‘Grand Opening’ banners
Again, the more times a passer-by sees a business’ sign, the more likely he is to remember the location. An office building location with no signage is simply harder to know about and to find.
The increase in visibility, does impact rental rates, however. In general, the more visible an office space is, the more expensive it is. A tenant pays more to be in a premier retail spot with more visibility.
How do you choose the perfect mix of affordable and visible?
Dentist to Population Ratio by Zip Code
Knowing the dentist to population ratio by zip code will ensure that you’re not going into business in an area that’s already crowded with other general dentists or those in your specialty.
If you’re working with a healthcare real estate broker, he or she should show you both high and low ratios and how to read them (i.e. crowded, and less crowded) so you can balance that data with other aspects of the site. For example, maybe one site lies in a more crowded area but will have better visibility from a busy intersection.
Usually, this analysis will include a map with one, two, and three mile radii around specific sites. In this way, the population ratio by zipcode is more of the population ratio by area, which allows the report to be more focused on a site.
You’ll use this data to find pockets of space that will ensure you’re opening a practice in an area where there’s a need for your service or specialty.