Practice Management

Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES: Commercial Leasing Tips for Veterinarian Tenants V

By: Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach

For many veterinarian tenants, negotiating a good lease or lease renewal against an experienced agent or landlord can be a challenge. While a veterinarian focuses on his/her animal patient’s care, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.

As explained in our new book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES, tenants may go through the leasing process only two or three times in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. Negotiating appropriate leasing terms is vital for a veterinarian tenant as the amount of rent he pays will directly affect the doctor’s financial bottom line.

Whether you are leasing a new location for the first time or negotiating a lease renewal for your clinic, here are some money-saving tips for veterinarian tenants:

Hiring a Lawyer or an Accountant: Some lawyers or accountants may not possess business savvy or practical experience in commercial real estate. Ask other business owners for referrals and check websites to be sure that who you hire specializes in commercial real estate work. Many veterinarians are switching from attorneys and lawyers to Lease Consultants for a more comprehensive hands-on approach – especially when negotiating and consulting work is required. Remember – the legality of the lease document is typically not in question … it is often more important to review the document from a negotiating strategy rather than a legal position.

Who Makes the First Offer? Whether you are looking at a new lease or a lease renewal, it is best if the landlord makes the first proposal. If you make the first offer, it either implies that you will agree to lease the specific site or that you will stay put – thereby undermining your negotiating strength in both cases. Don’t be surprised if your verbal request (especially for a renewal proposal) falls on deaf ears. Write a brief letter to the leasing representative or property manager requesting a written proposal within ten days.

For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Dos & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to

Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Jeff and Dale are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail  or or visit

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