Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 77

28 Today's Veterinary Business Business Business CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM Many clients who come to me are looking for a place to build a hospital. They might want to open their first practice, or perhaps their current clinic cannot be expanded. Unless they are experienced in the local real estate market, and very few are, my first piece of advice is that they retain an experienced commercial real estate agent. I emphasize "commercial" because if an agent isn't familiar with available commercial land, the relevant laws and regulations, and the needs of a business, a practice owner might choose an unusable location. By Paul Gladysz, AIA, NCARB, CSI, ICC The agent selected should be results focused. I've run across some who want only to make the sale and move on. If they gloss over your list of needs and focus exclu - sively on location, they are to be avoided. Interview several agents, call references and visit the agent's office. Commercial agent fees are not small, so you need to be sure the money is well-spent. The location search cannot be- gin until you know how much space you need. Programming, or project definition, is a necessary first step. In my 30 years of work, every project has been unique. There's no one- size-fits-all or a dependable rule of thumb. At my firm, to produce a comprehensive program document we look at the veterinary services provided now and possibly in the future, the caseload, the clinic's growth history, the demographics, and the budget and schedule. Most projects fall into one of two types: tenant improvements to an existing building or new con- struction from the ground up. Let's cover the basics of both. Geographic Setting Everyone has heard that the three most important things in real estate are location, location and location. I'd amend that to a "loca- tion that works." What should you look for? With an existing practice, consider: Distance from your current practice. The key to a successful relocation is holding on to your clients. Ideally, your new spot will be only blocks away. Some clients Make your move An array of factors goes into choosing the right location for a veterinary clinic. For starters, hire a qualified real estate agent, and then proceed. will follow you to another state, if necessary, but a surprising num- ber won't drive much farther than they do now. Visibility. You must be seen. To maintain growth, your prac- tice needs to attract new clients. For both general and after-hours emergency practices, being highly visible to the greatest number of passers-by is critical. This is where a prime spot on a busy road is important. Specialty or referral practices don't have the same need. Since most of their clients are by appointment from a wider area, being close to a highway exit is a better location for them. I suggest no more than two turns from the exit so that driving directions are easy to follow. 1 2

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Business - JUN 2018