Realtors and Brokers – Podcast
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- Practice Realtors and Brokers
Hello, this is Scott McDonald and welcome to the Perfect Place to Put a Practice Podcast.
I approach the topic of working with professional practice realtors and practice brokers with a sense that there is much to be said that can be entirely misunderstood and I want to avoid that if I can. At the outset, as a practice demographer, I believe that the work the good realtors and brokers do is entirely invaluable. I work with several regularly and the good ones are unquestionably worth their weight in gold. The bad ones should be locked in a dungeon, however, and made to eat stale crackers and luke-warm cool-aid.
I am sure that those who are listening to this podcast have a clear idea of why they can be helpful but it might be a good idea to share some definitions of duties and then offer some hints on how to work with them to get the most from your time with them.
Good professional practice realtors are almost always highly knowledgeable about their local area. For example, I can do a demographic analysis on where to go in Tucson or Jacksonville, but I will not have the knowledge of what properties are available within these communities that will fit your budget or will suit your needs. Therefore, outstanding local knowledge is a first and vital part of the equation. But not-so-well understood is the knowledge of the professions they serve. An office that is good for an oral surgeon is not the same as a good as office that will work for an endodontist. Office layout, power, water, patient access, and myriad other things will determine the relative benefit of one situation over another. Even cabinetry will be right for one and wrong for another. This podcast session is not intended to identify these differences (they can be had in other sessions). I merely bring up the fact that if you have a generic business realtor with little experience in your type of practice, you are going to be frustrated with the results. There are trends in medical and dental care that great realtors will always be considering and, therefore, experience in your field counts. And it counts for a lot.
As I said, a good realtor will have great local knowledge so I gather information on as many industry specific realtors as I can from around the U.S. And as I keep mentioning, local information is vital. Therefore, I have a couple of great realtors who know New York City but they won’t really be able to help you in Los Angeles.
In my experience, there are some absolutely fantastic brokers who can help you in the transition process and lots of posers. The problem is that they can look very much the same if you go by their advertising. Unfortunately, all of them have had some success, even if it means that they just got lucky. So while testimonials are always nice, just remember that everyone can find someone to say something nice about them.
While brokers do not have to have the level of local knowledge that realtors have, they certainly must have MORE knowledge of the workings of a particular practice type to show their competence. Does it make sense to have a broker who is particularly knowledgeable in orthodontics versus knowledge in Oral surgery? Yes, it absolutely does. That is because the way that production is figured, good will, acceptable collections, insurance relationships and so much more are different from one type of practice to another. I know I am using many analogies in dentistry but that is to illustrate just how different practice variations will be. And, as with realtors, I keep track of brokers who I find particularly competent in their field. That is why rather than posting them here, I recommend you drop me an e-mail and I will share with you a recommended broker that will help you.
The range of services differs from broker to broker. Some merely list practices in a database with information about them. Others take a more proactive approach to helping you negotiate leases, have attorneys who can review and/or draw up paperwork, know covenants not to compete intimately well. Many also offer their services as estate planners and go-betweens for financing. For my part, I continue to serve brokers as an expert on demographics and psychographics. It would be tempting for me to get into the brokerage business as it is potentially very lucrative but I have chosen to stay outside of that ream for one simple reason: if you market analyst gets involved in representing a property, there is an inherent conflict-of-interest. In short, if a location or a practice is not favorable, I have to be able to say so without reservation and, therefore, to help the Client be 100% confident that I am representing their best interest and can be objective.
Yes, there are both realtors and brokers who offer demographics. I am not saying anything at all about the accuracy of their data. However, when they use an objective third party, you can be confident that no one is going to fudge the numbers or put a thumb of the scale of analysis. To those good realtors and brokers who use our services, let me thank you again and to commit to do our best in helping your clients. These good people have the guts to get a demographic report that may not be singing the praises of a property but they do so because they believe that doctors and other professionals are benefited when they have the truth, even if it means running the risk of losing a sale.
If you want to get our recommendation on a professional practice realtor or broker, please contact me by e-mail and firstname.lastname@example.org or by going to our web site to send me a message. This is Scott McDonald and Thanks so much for listening to the Perfect Place to Put a Practice Podcast at doctordemographics.com.