It’s an excellent adage in real estate because the reality is you can’t change the location of a home but you can change just about everything else about it! As you work on setting up or re-assessing your practice, location is something to keep in mind. If you’re looking to re-locate your practice within your general location you’ll have the advantage of knowing the area but if you’re new to an area or to thinking about location let’s look at some factors to consider.
Depending on the population you work with you’ll want to be mindful of some critical details right from the start. Are you working with older individuals? It’s handy to make sure it is easy to get in and out of your building, as well as around your space. Do you have stairs to navigate? If you plan to work occasionally with handicapped individuals you’ll want to have access to space that is handicapped friendly. Would it be wiser to pick a location with an elevator or ramps right from the beginning? Plan on working with children and/or parents? A location that allows for hanging out in a waiting area would be useful. A child-friendly waiting area would be even better!
Is your practice more oriented toward the law or accounting? Obtaining space for such a practice next to an auto parts wholesaler might not be the environment you want to be in. Perhaps it is if you specialize in work with mechanics and auto parts wholesalers!
Keep in mind that what might repel one client could easily attract another; an office located in a business area is useful for the workers in those office buildings around you but for someone who dislikes the need to park in a garage and walking it would not be attractive.
Speaking of parking it is good to keep in mind how your clients are likely to get to you. Will a majority of them be taking public transportation or will they be driving private cars? Cabs? Riding a bike to you? Its impossible to know how all your clients will be getting to you but it’s a good idea to take these into consideration when choosing a space. If they are taking public transportation is it close to your office? Are there options or is it just one train line or bus line? A major hub is helpful to draw from different geographical areas. Can they park with relative ease? Is it safe parking? If they are riding a bike can they bring it in or is there a good location to secure it?
Cliché as it sounds the neighborhood is also important. If you’re planning on seeing clients in the hours after dark they will need to feel safe in the area your office is. If its an industrial area but you know it to be safe, great! Keep in mind however that clients only have our name and address to start off so they could easily look at the address and say to themselves, “oh, no way am I going to go to that area!”
One last thing for you to consider as a Thriving Practitioner ~ how far from your own home is it? There’s a ‘sweet spot’ for everyone in terms of distance and only you know what works for you. Many of the pieces we think about for clients are good to think about for ourselves; is this a safe and convenient location, is the parking or transportation here good, are there services around here that work for me? How far away is this from a gym or lunch spot?
Here’s wishing you the best as you scout out your options!