In our industry we hear a lot about how to run our office, who to hire, how the office should look, picking the perfect location, how to deal with staff issues, choosing equipment, etc. After we’ve mastered all of those issues, what should we focus on? Maybe, the last phase is owning our practices, or maybe it’s owning our own building.
Owning the building is rarely discussed, and in some cases almost impossible to do. Key word – Almost! Owning your own building can be done anywhere- even in the bigger cities. If you are just getting started this idea is down the road. But, it is never too early to dream, and it is never too early to gather the necessary information to formulate a plan. So you may ask, “How do I get started?” First, look in your area to find a nice location. Afterward, work with a professional that will make cold calls and find land or property that the owner would consider selling. This will definitely be a long term process. It may even take years complete, but it can be done. Let me share my experience. I spoke with a friend in the real estate arena here in San Marcos. I shared that one day I would like to own my own building. He immediately said I should look into it and offered to go riding with me to scout locations. Not only did he find land that was for sell, he told me how to negotiate, what to offer, and what to counter offer. I was in over my head, but he knew what to do – and I trusted him. Before I knew it, my offer was accepted.
After making payments for a few years and when my lease was ending, I began to draw plans for the lot. Again, I am not an expert in this arena so I had a professional, who I meet at Vision Quest, help me. Choosing a local contractor was an option, but I wanted to work with someone who has worked on a project similar to my project.
The hard work has paid off. I now own the building, and it will be paid for in 15 years. The moral of this story is – If I can do it, so can you. Be patient and do not try to skip any of the experts. After all, they are experts for a reason. To you youngsters, start thinking ahead. Middle aged OD’s, now is the time to get started. Even if you think you’re about to retire – go ahead and do your homework; it could still work out for you if the numbers are right.