Finding a suitable counseling office space is one of the most critical aspects of private therapy practice. Having a secure and inviting space to see clients makes a world of difference to your work. The pragmatic choices you make will impact the success of your business. Here are a few basic steps to consider as you go about finding a space that suits the needs of your private practice.
Make a Checklist of Your Ideal Office
Try to have a basic idea of what your ideal private practice office will be like. This requires having a robust understanding of your needs and those of your clients, as this will impact the type of space you need. This checklist should help you get started:
- Where does your target demographic reside? Is it easy for them to get to you via public or personal transport?
- Does your counseling office space need to be ADA accessible?
- Do your clients have kids? If so, do you have a waiting room or area for them to occupy themselves safely while their parents are at therapy?
It’s also important to consider if your office space accommodates gender-neutral restrooms, cultural sensitivities, and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
Decide If You Need a Realtor
Using a real estate broker to help find a therapy room makes the process less stressful, as they have the knowledge and processes to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Most people are too busy to stay updated with every listing, and realtors may even be privy to private practice office spaces that have not yet been listed. If you’re not going to find a therapy room on your own, you can either work with a single or multiple realtors.
When you work with a single realtor, they will schedule a viewing of all office locations that meet your specifications. The idea is, they do all the leg work for you, so long as you exclusively use them. It’s common practice for landlords to give them at least one month of rent as commission.
Working with a few realtors entails calling those whose offices you are interested in renting. This takes more time, but the one advantage is that you’ll only view the places you really want to, without a realtor trying to convince you otherwise. In some cases, these realtors may show you additional properties. To be fair, it’s important to let them know you’re not working exclusively with them.
Office Space for Therapists: Study The Market Before Making a Choice
Doing preliminary research will give you a benchmark for the average rental prices in different areas. Prices generally fluctuate based on amenities, location, and whether you want to sub-let, rent full or part-time. When searching, you might want to use keywords like therapy office, therapist office, psychotherapy office, counseling office and therapy practice office, and such to get started.
Always use a trustworthy property portal. Scams abound online, so it’s important to use regulated websites. And even if you are searching for a trusted site, do your due diligence. Pay attention to grammar and any inconsistencies that pop up. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. For instance, any property listing that doesn’t have photos should be avoided.
That being said, even those with photos may be misleading. While beautiful images will give you a general sense of a property, they may have been retouched. Videos tend to offer a truer reflection of what a space looks like. However, it is still crucial to visit the property yourself before putting pen to paper.
Decide on Your Budget
You should determine a budget based on the rates of private practice rental offices in your desired area and your approximate income. All things considered, the budget usually dictates the type of office you rent. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably a good idea to budget 10% lower than what you can afford, so you have some spare cash for miscellaneous expenses that may crop up.
Decide on the Type of Lease
Renting an office full-time can be expensive, especially if your client’s schedule isn’t full all hours of the working week. Subletting one day a week or by the hour may be a more viable option until such time you’re ready to branch out on your own. Subletting also allows for greater flexibility, as most landlords expect a longer lease commitment. To accommodate fluctuating business demands, some landlords offer flexible leases on a monthly, six-month, and yearly basis.
If you do decide to rent full-time, you may have to consider other onset costs, such as furniture and other design elements. Therapy offices are generally more comfortable and designed in specific ways that are conducive to positive client experiences, meaning you have to spend more money on the finer details, which is an additional consideration.
Listen to Your Inner Voice When Visiting the Office
It’s cliché, but beyond the practicalities, when looking for a counseling office space, always trust your gut. If something feels dodgy, it probably is. Our intuition is wired to protect us, and it shouldn’t be ignored any less than our conscience. And even if all the paperwork adds up, but something feels off, rather don’t go through with it and find something better suited.
Renting a counseling office space takes time and planning but can also be incredibly rewarding when you find a place that works. Are you unsure where to find an office for your therapy practice? Our beautiful office space for rent in River North, Chicago, comes with flexible leasing options to suit your business needs. At Next Realty, we’d be happy to help you launch your private therapy practice.
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