5 Things Every Savvy Dentist Knows When Picking a Real Estate Agent

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Tyler Van Eps
Carr Healthcare Realty

A commercial real estate transaction can either catapult or cripple your business. As one the highest expenses of healthcare practices, a real estate negotiation needs to be handled by an expert. One small mistake on a lease or purchase can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Protect yourself and your business by identifying these five warning signs that you might be picking the wrong real estate agent.

  1. The agent only shows you one property at a time.  As a business owner your time is extremely valuable.  You should be looking at multiple properties and evaluating them simultaneously.  This gives you leverage in your negotiations, back up plans in the event your first choice doesn’t work out and a snapshot of the market in a competitive environment.  Every landlord is different in their willingness to earn your business. It is critical to have multiple options (whenever possible) so you don’t miss a good deal.
  2. The agent is on the flyer of the space you are looking at.  You are entitled to representation. If the agent you’re working with has a listing agreement with the landlord, their fiduciary responsibility is to maximize that landlords profit. They cannot represent the landlord and adequately represent your interests as well.  Avoid conflicts of interest by signing an agreement with an agent that specializes in buyer/tenant representation.
  3. The agent is asking you questions about your business that are obvious to anyone who knows your industry.  Questions like, “What do you want to offer? How long of a term do you want? And how long does your construction typically take?” These are red flags that demonstrate that they do not know your industry or the needs of your business.  Dental offices have specific electrical and mechanical needs that need to be addressed up front or they could be very costly.  Also, if they don’t understand your business and industry, they can’t sell the landlord on your value as a tenant.
  4. Reputable professionals in your industry can’t vouch for their experience.  Building a dental practice is a collaborative process between your equipment specialist, contractor, architect, lender, and real estate agent.  If your agent is not in sync with those professionals it can turn your project into a nightmare.
  5. The agent has listings in your desired market.  If the agent has listings in the market you are looking in, they have a conflict of interest in representing you as a tenant or buyer and should be eliminated as an option to represent you.  That agent is financially incentivized to push you towards their listings. Also, they have existing working relationships with landlords in your market. If negotiations get tough, does your agent’s loyalty lie with the landlord or you?  You might miss the ideal property because it is listed by your agent’s biggest competitor.

Just as dental professionals can specialize, so do real estate agents. You wouldn’t refer an Endodontist to give your patient braces.   The real estate agent who handles your transaction will impact the trajectory of your business for the next 20 years in either a negative or positive way.  Choose wisely!

Carr Healthcare Realty is the nation’s leading provider of commercial real estate services for healthcare tenants and buyers. Every year, hundreds of dental, medical, veterinary, and other healthcare practices trust Carr Healthcare Realty to help them achieve the most favorable terms on their lease and purchase negotiations. By not representing landlords or sellers, Carr Healthcare Realty is able to strongly advocate for healthcare providers and avoid conflicts of interest while saving their clients hundreds of thousands of dollars. Carr Healthcare Realty’s team of experts can assist with all types of real estate transactions, including lease renewals, expansions, relocations, startup offices, purchases, and practice transitions.

Visit www.carrhr.com to find an expert in your area to help with your commercial real estate needs.

Tyler is a NDA member

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