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It’s a common assumption that professionals in the medical, dental and veterinary fields are intelligent and have spent plenty of time learning the concepts they need to be successful in their field. What people don’t know about these professionals is that many of them are also business owners. Owning your own medical, dental or veterinary practice puts you smack in the middle of a business and real estate world of which you may not be as comfortable.

Many new practice owners choose to hire a management consultant to handle all the details and to help lead you through the process of securing commercial office space and setting up your business succesfully. You’re also likely to hire an accountant, an architect and possibly a lawyer to represent your business interests. In order to supply your new office, you’ve got to set up a transaction with a medical supply company. While all of these steps are important and necessary, they still don’t come close to addressing the issue that will be your most expensive – the physical space and all the steps needed to make it operational for your new dental office, medical office or veterinary office.

Getting your physical space operational may cost you more than even staffing your office and paying your employees.


So what things should you be worried about within the realm of getting your physical space operational? Your list may include general contractor and architect fees, remodeling of previously used office space and property utility costs before you can even get started.

Your monthly costs may include monthly utilities and rent, taxes, maintenance and insurance, all of which add up to a sizeable chunk of money every month. While the investment may seem huge up front, remember that the money you put in now may help to lower your operational costs in the future.


The best way to bridge the gap between the self-interests of your PMC and what you want for your business is to hire an office construction consultant. These individuals are truly your advocate in all your medical or dental office real estate negotiations, and should be chosen for your team even before your general contractor or architect. Their function is to represent your interests and offer you factual and accurate information that is relevant to important decisions you will make when starting your practice.

Your construction consultant will also oversee the construction process, and ensure that all the work done by your contractor meets the original designs from the architect.

Your biggest savings may come as your construction consultant reviews any changes in your original order and makes sure they are justified and necessary for your location. A consultant can also help you to negotiate prices and turn-around times for any changes you both determine are necessary.

A construction consultant can also help you with the necessary steps of securing final permits and staying within the confines of the law. Most consultants are up to date on building codes and may even save you money on small variances in your area’s code requirements.

As you think of hiring a construction consultant, consider the simple benefits to your practice. A consultant is with you from start to finish, and understands every aspect of your specific practice. With the help of a consultant, you guarantee from the start that every aspect of your office is set up correctly, saving you headaches and money in the future.

Bottom line is that it is much easier to reach your production goals when your office is set up correctly from the start. Without the help of a construction consultant, you run the risk of the self interests of others affecting your future productivity.


While you’ve been extensively studying patient care and learning all the tools and tricks you need to better serve your patients, you weren’t likely to earn a degree in medical office real estate at the same time. Your professional degree didn’t include courses in construction and real estate, but with the right help, you will find that your most expensive cost is also the place you can save the most money.

In your research and due diligence process, you probably came across the idea of a practice management consultant. These people can advise you on construction, real estate, lease negotiations, permits and site locating. While your PMC may hand you important information, most of the information they get comes from others rather than their own knowledge base. This should create problems within your mind in three immediate areas: loyalty, self-interest and breadth of knowledge.

While a PMC may understand what you need, they are often required to pass off the professional opinions of others as their own. This requires them to make decisions that are outside the realm of their expertise area.

When you ask a general contractor or a PMC to give you an opinion on the workability of a particular space, you put yourself and your practice at the mercy of their self-interest. While they may give you a diluted version of the viability of the space, they want the commission, or want to win the bid for the project. They are limited by their own bias, in this situation.

The construction and real estate aspects of your medical office, dental office or veterinary office are as important as your website development, insurance, marketing, equipment provider and every other major decision you must make when starting a new practice.


While the fees you pay for a construction consultant may be hard to swallow in the beginning, you’ll quickly make up the difference in production in the near future. While you’ll quickly work off the costs of a construction consultant, you’ll reap the benefits for as long as your practice is in business.

Phelps & Frias Commercial Realty can help you to find the perfect office space, and ensure that your commercial lease agreement encompasses all important aspects of your business. Whether you are in the medical, dental or veterinary field, we have the unique knowledge and experience necessary to help you start the process of opening your own business.