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In this Post: Tips for negotiating terms with landlords for your massage practice since COVID. Hint renter’s hold power!
This pandemic has brought out people’s true colors—those who are only looking out for themselves versus those considering others. Landlords included!
Some landlords have been extraordinarily gracious and kind, while others held firm to the terms set out in their lease. While it was nice of some landlords to allow their tenants some grace, it wasn’t mandated. And in many cases, those were simply dollars lost.
For those of you who experienced grace, thank your landlord. They didn’t have to act so selflessly!
Now, if you are stuck in a lease with a landlord who is unwilling to work with you, I am sorry! You may want to consider moving once the terms of your lease are fulfilled. Right now, renter’s hold power!
Of course, you might say, that’s crazy, I love my office, I love the location, the size, the neighbors… And that’s great if that works for you! There is a lot of headache involved with moving. It costs money. You have to alert your clients. You never truly know what you are getting into until you are there… So, I get it if you think it’s just not worth it!
But for the rest of you, I want to plant a seed.
Renter’s Hold Power
Right now is an excellent time to negotiate more favorable terms for yourself! Landlords need tenants! With more and more businesses realizing that they can save money by continuing to have staff work remotely, my prediction is that many more rental locations will open up for those who must work outside our homes.
(Now you may be saying, “Well, I COULD work from home.” And yes, this does bring up a case for having a home-based practice.)
Many therapists have built extremely lucrative practices out of their basement or spare bedroom. But for some of you, myself included, this simply is not an option!)
When this pandemic came a-knocking, I was in a fortunate position where I was able to move locations without any negative financial ramifications. For that, I feel exceptionally blessed!
As I spent a few months explored various rental options, one thing became glaringly obvious to me. I, the renter, was in the driver’s seat! Landlords were vying for me.
So when I finally settled on a location, I went back and forth with terms, I requested a bit more than I normally might have. I wasn’t afraid to ask for what I needed!
I insisted that the landlord include a clause regarding COVID. If my state were to shut down again, I would be allowed to break my lease and get reimbursed at a prorated rate for the days unused. I didn’t commit to a long term lease; instead, I am on a month to month basis.
It gives me a bit more confidence knowing that I negotiated terms that protected my interests. That in the event I need to shut down quickly, I can without losing rent. In our current climate, we must be able to change directions quickly! By removing this financial obligation from the equation, it will be much easier to swiftly pivot if the need should arise!
Negotiating Terms With Landlords For Your Massage Practice Since COVID
If any of you are in the process of negotiating terms with landlords, stand your ground. You hold the power. Landlords need you! Don’t settle for terms that don’t suit you!
As massage therapists, we typically aren’t the type to enjoy conflict. And negotiating can often feel like conflict. But guys, now is the time to be strong! Practice with a friend or loved one if it will make it easier to state your needs. Whatever it takes, make sure your NEEDS are being heard!
One of my favorite negotiating tips is to state your request and then SHUT UP! Don’t explain yourself, don’t enter into discussions about why that might not work for the other person, just state and be done. Silence is hard for a lot of people! By remaining quiet, you make the other party nervous. Nervous that you may walk away from the deal – thus more likely to acquiesce to your request. I learned this tip from a real estate friend of mine. It works wonders!
Maybe you aren’t moving into a new space, but you are struggling to fulfill terms you initially committed to with your landlord. Remember that landlords are in no position to lose tenants right now. Don’t be afraid to approach your landlord to renegotiate terms! Many landlords will just be thrilled that you aren’t jumping ship!
While it is scary to enter into any type of a legal obligation, like a lease, right now, remember that as the renter, the ball is in your court! Be bold and secure as you make your requests! What’s the worst they can say? No…
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008