Purchasing a Commercial Property for Your Practice with Noreen Iqbal | GP 79

A photo of Noreen Iqbal is captured. She is a group practice owner and real estate investor. Noreen is featured on the Grow a Group Practice with Alison Pidgeon, they speak about Purchasing a Commercial Property for Your Practice.

Why should you always move, even if it is sideways instead of straight ahead? What does it mean to take imperfect action? What are some top tips for marketing a new group practice?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Noreen Iqbal about purchasing commercial property for your therapy practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy For Your Money, Green Oak Accounting

Green Oak Accounting

Are you ready to make data-driven financial decisions for your practice? You’re in luck! Check out the Therapy For Your Money Podcast, a podcast all about money and finances for therapists in private practice owners, hosted by Julie Herres.

As an accountant and owner of Green Oak Accounting, Julie chats with industry experts about a number of financial topics, from KPI tracking to group practice compensation. Head over there to listen to the latest episodes, take a look at their therapist resources, and much more!

Meet Noreen Iqbal

A photo of Noreen Iqbal is captured. She is a group practice owner and real estate investor. Noreen is featured on the Grow a Group Practice with Alison Pidgeon, they speak about Purchasing a Commercial Property for Your Practice. Noreen Iqbal, LCSW is a multi-location group practice owner and real estate investor in New Jersey.

Noreen founded Theraproperty, a real estate consultation business created specifically to help therapists, counselors and other mental health professionals buy real estate for their offices and invest in their futures.

Visit her website and join her Facebook Group.

In This Podcast

  • Advantages of investing in real estate for your therapy practice
  • Tips for financing real estate
  • What to look out for when purchasing real estate for a practice
  • What to do first when considering buying real estate

Advantages of investing in real estate for your therapy practice

I think that the biggest advantage is the fact that you’re not paying rent to a landlord, you are actually investing in yourself and building equity. (Noreen Iqbal)

  • It adds value to your space and to your therapy practice because you are able to structure it and change it to best suit the needs of your clinicians, clients, and what the practice develops into, instead of keeping it the way the landlord wants.
  • You invest that money that you would have been paying to a landlord to yourself.
  • By renting out space in the building, you can increase revenue while expanding the space to include other therapists.

Tips for financing real estate

Find a good SBA-certified lender so that it does not take that long to process.

There are two main routes that you can take: the more traditional route and the SBA:

1 – SBA:

  • If you do not have much down payment, they only require 10%, and
  • They pay your first three months mortgage.

2 – Traditional way:

  • This is just like applying for a home mortgage, where you have to show your PNL,
  • You have to show your tax statement,
  • You are required to show your personal and business tax returns
  • Having a good credit score helps you here too

There’s always going to be barriers. You’re always going to be denied a mortgage, you’re always going to be told “listen, we don’t do this” or “the interest rate is too high” but then you just keep going and you just keep thinking of different avenues. (Noreen Iqbal)

You can shop around. Go see different brokers and different banks before you finalize a decision. Look at all your options and compare them before you choose which route to take.

What to look out for when purchasing real estate for a practice

Avoid this:

  • If there is no parking: you need to have parking near or on your property so that it is easy for clients to come to you and to find you,
  • No windows: not only for health reasons, but having windows makes the office space a lot more light, airy, and welcoming.
  • Small rooms: having more space is both an aesthetic and health concern, and it makes the space accessible for people that may be in wheelchairs.

Look for:

  • Consider building it yourself, but if you are buying, then be sure to look for employee and staff lounges to make work more comfortable for your clinicians.
  • Creating a good, shared staff location increases staff connection and fosters a good, comfortable, and friendly environment.
  • Having a staff bathroom.

Never compromise on location and safety for the sake of both your clients and your employees.

What to do first when considering buying real estate

  • Run the numbers,
  • Ask yourself if you are ready to take the risk,

You have to go into it knowing that stuff is going to happen and then it’s easier when it does … you are upset when it happens, but you are not as upset, and you just keep pushing forward. Real estate is a game that you just keep pushing forward. (Noreen Iqbal)

  • You need a good commercial realtor who knows the area and how much things are selling for,
  • Find a good handyman and contractor who is going, to be honest with you about how much you should pay for renovations or changes,
  • Let your accountant know what you plan on purchasing real estate so that you two can plan your finances accordingly together. Make sure all your paperwork is up to date and you have some funds ready in your account,

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner

An image of Alison Pidgeon is displayed. She is a successful group practice owner and offers private practice consultation for private practice owners to assist in how to grow a group practice. She is the host of Grow A Group Practice PodcastAlison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016.  She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice

In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.

Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at alison@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

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