7 Tips for Successfully Renewing Your Commercial Lease

By Ken Jorgenson, Carr Healthcare Realty

If you love your space, location and yes — even your landlord — start setting yourself up for a seamless lease renewal today. Renewing commercial leases can become a nightmare fast when tenants fail to pay attention to important renewal details. Early action is everything. Use these seven simple steps to save money and your space.

1. Start the process early.
Even if you’re not sure that you want to stay at your current location, you should begin the renewal process at a minimum of 12 months before your lease’s expiration. Then, whether you decide to stay or not, you will have done the research and preparation, and have multiple options. Having options is your greatest asset in lease negotiations. The longer you wait to begin the process, the fewer options you will have, and the more power you’ll give the landlord. So, start early and give yourself plenty of time to create a substantial list of possible locations.

2. Know the conditions of your lease renewal clause.
Oftentimes, leases incorporate renewal clauses as a safety net; if you have the clause, your landlord must allow you to renew your lease according to its terms. Depending on the market, using the lease renewal clause will either benefit or harm you financially. First, find out if you have a renewal clause. If you do, study its conditions (rate increases, notification time frame, etc.) and determine whether you want to act within the clause or start new negotiations.

3. Study your lease.
Before researching other locations, you really need to know the terms and conditions of your own lease. What kind of lease do you have? Is it a gross lease or net lease? Is it a triple net or full service? Also, what are you paying per square foot? Not to overwhelm you with questions, but these all are important factors for you to know when entering negotiations. Along with your rent, you also should take note of what, if any, concessions were afforded to you at the start of your lease.

4. Research the market.
Knowing your market can be a bit of a challenge because commercial real estate listings are not open to public access like residential listings. Multiple listing services (MLS) for commercial properties require expensive subscriptions that typically only real estate agents purchase. When going it alone, the best place to start is within your own building complex and immediate surroundings. Find out what new tenants in your area are paying. Do the rates appear to have dropped? Gathering this information may require making several cold calls, but it will equip you with the information you’ll need to be effective in negotiations.

5. Find alternatives.
While researching your market, you should compile a list of locations that would be viable options for your business if you had to move. Remember, having other options is essential for negotiating a better lease at your current location. Don’t give your landlord the upper hand. It’s essential that you walk into the renewal negotiations equipped with other locations to show your landlord that, while you want to stay, you have other options and can leave if the new terms are unreasonable. Set yourself up to save money and receive other accommodations.

6. Negotiate with everyone.
After creating your list of potential locations, you should begin negotiations with all of them, not just your current landlord. Use your market research, current lease conditions and potential alternative locations to negotiate for favorable lease terms with each landlord. While you may not actually want to move, getting great lease terms with a location comparable to your current location will provide leverage for you to negotiate a successful lease renewal, which equates to money saved for your practice.

7. Rewind and get an agent.
As you may have noticed, like the creation of a lease, the lease renewal process requires extensive and time-consuming work. Negotiating a successful lease renewal demands a lot of research, in-depth market knowledge and strong negotiating skills. Most businesses do not have the time or the desire to become experts in commercial real estate. If you would prefer to have an agent take care of the vast majority of the last six steps for you, then start your successful lease renewal process by contacting a commercial real estate agent.

Ken Jorgenson is a commercial real estate associate with Carr Healthcare Realty, representing only tenants and buyers, and exclusively working in the health care real estate space. Carr Healthcare Realty offers expert advocacy without conflict of interest. They understand the unique real estate needs of health care professionals and their vast experience saves their clients time and money. Learn more and get a free lease or purchase evaluation at carrhr.com.

Scary Good Web Design Tips from Officite

By Kevin Rach

Beware, dear reader, and steel your nerves before continuing further in this article. The stories contained herein are the unfortunate tales of dentists and patients attempting to connect with each other through mismanaged and long-neglected practice websites. Let this be a cautionary tale, and take heed, lest a similar gruesome fate befall your own practice …

“It Came From 2005!”
It took almost half a minute, but when the dentist’s website finally shambled out from the darkness of the loading screen, the patient gasped. It was … hideous.

The unsightly configuration of mismatched and outdated design elements shuffled forward on two poorly constructed footers like an HTML Frankenstein’s monster. “Welcome to my website,” it croaked, its cobwebbed mouth opened wide, revealing teeth in much need of a good dentist.

The patient nearly gagged as the unresponsive mass lurched forward, oversized images dragging behind its lopsided gait. It was almost enough to make her pity the aberration, but there was no time. She had to escape, to find a dentist with a modern Web presence. After all, if this is what the website looked like, there was no telling what outdated horrors lay within the practice itself.

“In Cyberspace, No One Can Hear You Tweet.”
Dr. Igor had nothing but good intentions when he set out on his new experiment. The goal? Using social media to promote his practice and start generating referrals. He set up a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, and started regularly posting. All might have gone well had he not made two crucial mistakes — failing to integrate social media buttons on the main website, and never encouraging a patient to “like” his practice in person.

Dr. Igor has not been seen by a patient online since 2011.

Legend has it that on some clear nights, if you turn up your speakers and listen very hard, you can just barely hear the whimper of his social media posts mumbling about the importance of semiannual exams.

There is still time, dear reader. The horrors described here need never haunt your own practice. With the help of a company like the FDA’s official Web presence provider, Officite, your practice will be safe and sound with cutting-edge responsive mobile design, integrated social media and search engine optimization — the tools your practice needs to survive.

Visit www.officite.com/dental, or call 855.208.9124.

 

Personal Disability Insurance: The Topic No One Wants to Talk About, But Everyone Needs to!

By Dan Zottoli, Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast, FDA Services Inc.  

 

Choosing the right personal disability insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you will make. So much time, money and effort was spent preparing for your dental career. What if you became ill or injured, and could no longer work in your chosen profession? This question is the basis for the decision and the very reason for the need for personal disability insurance. Now that you have come to the conclusion that you need a policy, what policy do you buy?

I always say that the “devil is in the details” with personal disability insurance. Two policies may appear to be similar at first glance, but will have very different paths should a claim arise. One of the most important aspects of a personal disability insurance policy is the definition of disability. This definition will tell the policy when you are disabled (to them) and under what circumstances the insurance company should pay a benefit. The most comprehensive definition will read as follows (with small variations from company to company):

1. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation.

This definition, referred to as “own-occupation,” is the most desired definition and obviously the most liberal. A disabled dentist that meets the requirements set forth in the above definition can return to work in another occupation and still receive their check from the disability insurance carrier. Now, here comes the “devil of details” — some companies will promote their policy as “own-occupation,” when it reads as follows:

2. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation AND are not gainfully employed.

3. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation DURING the regular occupation period.

The word “AND” in the second definition above is substantial. This type of definition essentially states that you will not receive a benefit if you go back to work in any occupation. The term “regular occupation period” in the third definition above will specify how long they will honor the “own-occupation” language. When the regular occupation period ends, the policy will base your qualification for benefits on what you can do based upon your education, skills or experience.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when looking at personal disability insurance. The most important factor is finding the right agent to assist that can explain and clarify the details of each company. The FDA Services’ experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. For more information, contact FDA Services at 800.877.7597 or insurance@fdaservices.com.

 

If a Tree Falls in the Forest and No One is There, Does it Make a Sound?

By Graham Nicol, Esq., Health Care Risk Manager, Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist (Health Law)

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? I don’t know, but if a person gets hurt in the thicket of unlicensed practice of dentistry, is someone going to get in trouble? In Florida, you bet. But, is it a misdemeanor (fines and county jail) or a felony (state prison) if convicted?

It used to be a misdemeanor back when my license to practice law used to be new; but nowadays, it is a felony — the most serious category of crime. Felonies include murder, rape, what that Madoff dude did and unlicensed practice of dentistry. So, what should you do if, as a licensed dentist, you see someone selling grillz in a flea market?

Let me be clear — that is unlicensed practice of dentistry. Obviously, most FDA members are not doing grillz as a large part of their practice because they’re too busy losing money treating Medicaid kids or they have something called ethics. So, most dentists don’t think grillz are “dentistry.” But from the perspective of law enforcement, it’s dentistry, just without a license. So, if you see it, report it!

Call 877.HALT.ULA (877.425.8852) as soon as possible before the criminal hightails it from the flea market to a back room in some sleazy bar next door to the unlicensed tattooist and illegal bookmaker. Not that we would know anything about that.


This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have a specific concern or need legal advice regarding your dental practice, you should contact a qualified attorney.