Opening A Med Spa: How to Pick the Right Location
First of all, a doctor’s office is considered a destination. It does not rely heavily on being in the hippest part of town. Patients will travel to see a doctor. Opening a med spa is different because its success relies heavily on its location. So, how do we combine these two together?
Therefore, the BEST way to avoid the hassles is to learn from other existing med spas. Veteran real estate agent, Elyse Cheffer teaches us the importance of choosing your ideal location when opening a med spa. With over 16 years’ experience and multiple top producer awards to her name — she holds the keys to boost your practice’s profitability…
Real Estate 101: Pick the Right Location
- Pros & Cons of Leasing VS Purchasing
- How To Target Audience with Real Estate
- Future Growth Plays Into Decisions & Negotiations
Most importantly, walk away feeling more confident about opening a med spa! In other words, you’ll become equipped and prepared to make an informed decision about your location.
You must be as excited as I am to share these secrets so… let’s dive right in!
Opening a Successful Med Spa...
Purchase or Lease?
Furthermore, Elyse says that for most clients, this is their first EVER piece of commercial property. In other words, they are not prepared to make a large purchase. So instead, clients are opting in to a lease to open a med spa and acquire new revenue.
You have probably rented a property or two before purchasing your first home, right? Consequently, it just makes sense. Unlike a home your med spa requires very expensive equipment, staffing, costly parking and other monthly overheads. Extra expenses that consequently add-up quick! Therefore, these expenses should be factored in to your overall budget when opening a med spa….
You MUST Look Before You Lease:
- Firstly, READ & UNDERSTAND the contract before signing anything
- Next, Consider Additional Costs – not every expense is disclosed upfront
- Then, Make Sure You Inquire about utilities (i.e. electricity, water, etc.)
- Don’t Forget to Consider HEATING/COOLING – both are extra & expensive
- Lastly, Get A Quote On Insurance: (i.e. hazard, flood, etc.)
Furthermore, Elyse reminds us that although leases are generally lower-risk than purchasing — you have to be business savvy when shopping for real estate. In other words, choose your lease wisely!
The PERFECT location. What to Look for And Consider:
Most importantly, Elyse stressed the importance of understanding your target audience. What appeals to one person may not appeal to the next. A higher income bracket means higher style and even higher expectations. So, if your hope is to target the high income clients, then you must consider this when opening a med spa:
- Most important is your curb appeal
- Be situated in a high-traffic area
- Remember ambiance is crucial
As a result, the devil is in those details! You don’t want to miss the mark on your targeted customers, because you cheapened out on your building! On the flip-side, if you want a wider audience who has less discretionary income — it doesn’t make sense to waste money on an expensive space. The return simply is not there.
However, both audiences will benefit from high-traffic areas. Consider things like distance from highways, whether the location is easy to access, and if there’s enough parking available.
Starting SMALL? Why it’s Important to THINK BIG:
Everyone starts somewhere — queue Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” here. It’s hard to scale up overnight but growth can happen quickly. Especially when you’re working with the Med Spa Growth & Profitability Team! It is critical to keep your future in sight.
FUN FACT: Most med spas start out as dermatological offices — which obviously accepted insurance. Those insurance companies might have gotten patients through their doors, but the med spa is responsible for its own marketing when opening a med spa!
Yet another reason why a high traffic area is super important. The easier the access, the easier you will grow!
Speaking of GROWTH… Here are more benefits of leasing!
Remember Leasing Can be Flexible:
Also, flexibility is critical as you work to launch and grow your practice. It’s what allows you to expand as your business is booming! It’s difficult to determine exactly how much space you will need. A lease will allow you some wiggle room when opening a med spa.
Working with a Real Estate Agent? Here’s What to Consider:
We all know that a good realtor is someone who has your back.. not the backs of your building owner or leasing manager! Find someone who has your best interests in mind when opening a med spa.
When Deciding on a Real Estate Agent…
- Look into their background. For example: Elyse’s background is in investments; is savvy financially with real estate, offering the complete package!
- Know Residential is different from Commercial. We all have friends or family members who sell houses… commercial is a whole different story! Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t understand the industry.
- Is your Real Estate Agent trustworthy? Consider their interactions with yourself and others! Make sure you’re working with a professional who cares about your objectives and business goals.
- Factor in their response time. They should be presenting you with viable options and fast! Take note of how quickly they response to correspondence. You need an agent who’s easy to reach and quick to respond.
Is your #RealEstateAgent trustworthy? Open your #MedSpa successfully by having the right location -- and the right #Realtor! #Truth #MedSpaMarketing
Remember: When Opening A Med Spa…
- Hire A Professional. Specializing in commercial leasing who has your best interests at heart.
- Define Your Audience. Keep your targets in mind and express these to your agent.
- Lease Your First Practice. Watch out for hidden expenses. Read your contract thoroughly.
- Think Like Your Patients. Factor in costs to make your patients feel comfortable.
Full transcription of Interview on how to use choose the right location when opening your Med Spa...
Hello and welcome to the Med Spa Growth and Profitability podcast. I’m your host to April Iannazzone. Excited because I have Elyse Cheffer here. Elyse is really great at identifying the perfect commercial location, especially for opening a med spa and salons and aesthetic practices.
First of all, let me tell you a little bit about, Elyse before I let her speak here. Elyse has been working in real estate for over 16 years at least. She’s been effective in assisting buyers and sellers locate and purchase or lease commercial and residential real estate in the state of Florida.
Therefore, she has a passion for people and receive great satisfaction in helping others achieve their goals and objectives as it relates to real estate. Routinely she’s been the recipient of performance awards for sales and customer service. She’s also has received top producer awards consecutively for the last eight years, beginning in 2010.
Additionally, Elyse is experienced as an international speaker. Sharing up-to-date strategies specific to real estate purchase and investments.
Thank you so much for that introduction, April.
I’m actually really excited. This is a topic for a lot of my clients, especially ones that are just starting out and trying to find that perfect location. Not for just my med spa clients but all commercial business clients too.
I’m happy that you’re here. I am curious, what are some of the top concerns that your commercial buyers come to you with?
First of all, they want to know, is it more beneficial for them to purchase or lease? Typically they don’t have the wherewithal to make an initial purchase. It automatically defaults to lease. There are benefits to each.
Since the predominant number will be with leases then the lease information is critical. If you don’t do your due diligence before you sign the contract, then you will suffer afterwards.
It’s important you do your due diligence initially before you sign anything. There’s a number of costs to take into consideration. You have to know what those costs are upfront.
I’ve heard some crazy horror stories about it getting into leases that they thought was the perfect deal. Then they’re like, what did I just sign? So as know, spa location is critical to success.
You know, it really can make or break a business. Even if they have amazing services and people can’t stop raving about them. Where they’re located is absolutely critical. In your opinion, what do you think is most important for med spa owners to consider when opening a med spa?
A couple of things… First of all, they need to know their target audience. I live in Naples, Florida and we have affluent population. If that’s your target market, then you want the curb appeal to be superb and aesthetically pleasing.
However, if your target market are the mass of clients, then they will want to pay less. As opposed to an aesthetically pleasing environment. It’s nice to have a nice environment when opening a med spa. But it’s important to know your target market and then everything else flows from there.
Absolutely. Again, it’s gonna depend on your target market too. I’m sure being, and having great foot traffic might be more important to some than the others when opening a med spa.
Yes, absolutely. Since I’ve been involved with this organization, I’ve taken a gander at the med spas that we have over here in Naples, Florida.
I followed one in particular because they started out as a dermatological operation. Then they morphed into opening a med spa. They’re highly successful and have their target markets too. Because they had these customers that had skin issues, it was automatic advertisement for the med spa next door.
So, they’re both affiliated by the way.
Consequentially, very cool. I would assume that if they started off as a dermatologist, they probably were accepting insurances. So they might’ve had a initial customer base already there.
Therefore, if somebody was searching at the beginning they might not have been as concerned about the foot traffic. Or being the best location because people were finding them through the insurance policies. I’m wondering where they are. Did they just open a separate location next door? Or did it just naturally turn into opening a med spa.
It turned into a med school because one complimented the other. I’m telling you they have incredible foot traffic. They advertise on the dermatology side about opening a med spa.
Plus, they have the receptionist say, ‘if you’re interested in this’, and give a pamphlet to take a look. There’s a side door that goes directly over there. I think that was such great insight.
Yeah, brilliant on their part. What are some of the things you are investing in? All of this equipment and staff. Just to open the business alone is a huge investment.
I also think that maybe at the beginning they want to make sure this business is really going to work. Before they invest in that commercial space, as a purchase, they might want to test the waters as a lease when opening a med spa.
Also, what are some of the things they want to consider between going to purchase verses going to lease? Are there any big things to consider other than the price? What are some other benefits of leasing when opening a med spa?
Again, another benefit of leasing is that you can expand and there’s more flexibility. If you handle everything from the beginning with due diligence.
For instance, I’ll start by leasing this space, but I want the opportunity to expand as my business grows. You want to consider, maximum amount of space in this room and for what? The last thing you want are people standing, right? .
I’ve been to a number of med spas just to observe what goes on. They’ve got nice music playing. All these little things make a difference.
Again, the other section is all the additional costs that are going to come into play. You are not just going to pay base rent, you’re going to have shared expenses too. If you’re in a strip mall you share expenses. Parking can be an expense. You don’t want to be short on parking when opening a med spa. The electricity shouldn’t be a shared. If it’s a nightclub, they run that business all night.
Therefore, you’re open 9-5. All of these are critical areas. You have to pay for water and AC air conditioning. I can almost bet in Florida nobody’s going to guarantee the AC.
Also, you have to consider the hurricane impact and shutters. That’s very important when opening a med spa.
I want to circle back to parking. There is paid parking where you’re going to validate it for your patients. Then making sure that there is enough parking spaces. I know myself, I don’t like driving around in a parking lot. Especially if I’m going to get a procedure.
You’re going to walk out blotchy. You don’t want to find parking in a strip mall or a heavily crowded area. Is that something usually in the lease? Where they can put the amount of parking spaces when opening a med spa?
Yes, they’re preassigned is what they are. Definitely you want to make sure that there is plenty of parking when opening a med spa. At any given time, especially if you’re affiliated with a dermatology office, you could have 30 to 40 people in that parking lot.
You need to have adequate parking. Nobody wants to be walking around for a long period of time. Especially after they’ve just had a kind of procedure.
Remember, parking is a huge issue to consider when opening a med spa. Signage also, by the way. You want people to see you from the road. Tht’s an additional cost too. You don’t just get to have your sign up there just because you’re a tenant. All of these things have to be taken in consideration before you sign the dotted line.
What are the top 2 or 3 things that people usually forget. That you absolutely need to make sure you ask about or include when opening a med spa?
Remember, there are a number of things. That’s why you should have a professional working with you. One who knows what questions to ask. If you’re making a move into a bigger space, you need to be forward thinking.
It takes anywhere from 5 to 15 months to make that move. It’s not like, residential where you’re just moving furnishings from this place to that place. There’s so many other things to consider when opening a med spa.
Absolutely. Again, I’m sure it’s really important to get the right person working on your behalf. Especially when you are building out the spaces too. They’re taking your interests in mind. Rather than the interests of the leasing company or building owner.
Yes, and just because the list price is this, doesn’t mean that’s the price they’re going to get. That’s where a licensed professional comes in. We can watch how long that property’s been on the market. How flexible the owner be, his pricing and incentives.
What is my incentive to lease to you as opposed to someone else? Med people are by nature helpful. They want to please other people. Coming from that perspective is not going to be a benefit for you when opening a med spa.
What you’re saying is there is a big chance that you might get steamrolled. That’s what you’re trying to say nicely. So make sure you have somebody that has your best interest in mind.
When someone is looking for the right real estate agent, someone to represent them, what are some of the characteristics they should consider when opening a med spa?
Their background. For me, my background is in investments. I can show you all the different aspects and avenues. How you can generate revenue and not spend as much.
A lot of times, clients start talking too much. I don’t want them to say anything because you’re tipping your hand basically.
Very true. I would assume that if you have a family member or friend who does residential, you probably don’t want to go down that route. Everybody has their real estate license these days.
What are some of the things that they should look for when opening a med spa? Who’s going to represent them the right way on a commercial property? Are there other key indicators they should look for?
How they interact with you as a person. That is most important. If that professional cares about what your objective is as opposed to their own. If you’re not comfortable with that person, then you know right away.
I’m going to add one of my own tips here for opening a med spa. Response time to me is very important from an agent. Real estate goes very quickly. That response time of them showing you a listing that would be perfect for you.
Then also the response time of them responding back to you. These days there’s texts, there’s email, there’s phone. You shouldn’t be waiting 3 or 4 days to hear back from your agent. It happens all the time. If it happens to you it’s time to move on.
That’s a good point. As a matter of fact, I’m working on behalf of a buyer right now for commercial property. I placed a call for 2 different commercial parcels. I have not received a callback yet. That lets me know, okay, that person’s too busy. I can’t keep my client waiting.
Response time is key. Things do go rapidly and you want to be able to get your business started. You want to keep a forward momentum when opening a med spa.
Another point is that commercial leases are typically not just one year leases. That’s key for a med spa person to know. You’re not going to get just your toes wet. Once you’re committed, you’re committed.
Absolutely. Everybody talks about, I’m gonna have them pay the first 6 months or 12 months. Or I’m getting the first 6 months to 12 months free in the lease. They need somebody who has their back. That’s going to comb through the lease. You gotta figure out where that cost is getting built into.
That’s absolutely correct when opening a med spa. Another aspect is, what’s happening around the area in which you are going to lease? You need to have a guarantee saying I am leasing this space. This is what’s going to happen if there’s a breach in this lease. Maintain control as much as possible.
Thank you for sharing all of this information. I’m sure the viewers watching this have probably been through some kind of a situation.
We do have people that are new. Definitely this is going to be their first time jumping into a retail space or a location. So thank you for sharing everything.
If people wanted to reach out to you and work with you, how can they do that?
It’s always best to call me directly. I always have my phone. Everything is attached to my phone and my response time is very quick. My number is 239-287-1766. You can text me too.
Lastly, if you’re not in Naples, Florida and you’re still interested in working with Elyse, she has team members all over the United States. Feel free to reach out to her when opening a med spa.
She’s a great resource and can help you find the perfect location you’re looking for. Thank you so much for your time today.
Thank you, April.
Guest Expert Elyse Cheffer - Picking the Perfect Location when Opening a Med Spa:
If you’re interested in working with expert real estate agent Elyse, she encourages you to give her a call directly on her cell phone: 239-287-1766.
She is readily available and “always has her phone". Take advantage of the pros people! Someone who has worked in real estate for over 16 years.
An expert in assisting buyers and sellers with opening a med spa -- commercial and residential real estate sales in the state of Florida.
A real estate agent who has a passion for people and receives great satisfaction in helping others achieve their goals and objectives.
Elyse has routinely been the recipient of performance awards for sales and customer service. Receiving Top Producer Awards consecutively for the last eight years beginning 2010 to date.
Additionally, Elyse is experienced as an international speaker. Consequentially sharing her up to date strategies specific to real estate purchasing when opening a med spa.