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Location, location, location is the mantra of realtors. You’ve no doubt heard that if you’ve purchased a home. And when it comes to the address of your spa or massage practice, the location can be even more important. Your address is part of your brand. You want to be sure that your location reflects the image of your business that you want to convey. You also need to be mindful of the competition. Are you in an area where there are other competing businesses vying for walk in traffic. And convenience is critical. Is it easy for clients and supplier to park?

Assuming your current location meets all these criteria – and maybe more – at some point it will be time to renew your lease. Even with everything your current location has going for it, you may have had a change in your revenue and need to try to lower costs, of which rent is a major factor. Other possibilities may be that you need upgrades and would like to work that into your lease. Or you may need more space to expand spa services or to increase the number of massage services you can offer in a day.  On the other hand, if you are cutting back, you might want to sublease some of our space.

Negotiating new terms for your lease may not be something you look forward to, but it may be critical to the financial well-being of your spa or massage practice. Here are some tips to help you get what you want and need.

Do your homework: You may already know what the commercial vacancy rate is in the neighborhood. If you don’t, check with some of the other businesses in the area for that information. Write down how many vacancies and how long they have been empty. Also find out what other rents are like in the area. If they are going down, you’ll be in a better position when you ask for renegotiation of terms.

Also if foot traffic is important to your business, assess how the traffic has been in the neighborhood. If other businesses are seeing a decline in traffic, your landlord may be more anxious to help you keep down costs rather than lose you as a tenant.

Put a proposal together: Don’t just pick up the phone and have a conversation. Put down what you want. In your proposal ask for even more of a reduction than you actually need in order to have room for negotiation.

Offer something: Negotiation is a two-way street. While you are aiming to get a price reduction or improvements, offer the landlord something in return, such as a longer lease or offer to take on more space.

Start negotiations early: If you decide you won’t be able to stay unless you get better terms, you’ll want time to look around for a new location before your lease is up. Give yourself plenty of time to find new space if you can’t resolve your key issues.

Approach your landlord with the idea that what you are offering is a win/win. If you are a valuable tenant, chances are your landlord will be very open to meeting some, if not all, of your terms.