Emphasis on Location
When seeking a location for a practice, typically a higher income area is desired, according to Wheeler. “The minimum bar we set is a $75,000 median household income and above,” he says. “This eliminates a lot of areas.”
Population age is also a key factor, according to Wheeler, who emphasizes the need or desire of older populations for dermatologic and/or cosmetic surgery.
A dermatologist to population ratio of no less than 1 to 3,000 also increases the likelihood that a new practice will succeed. “But a 1 to 5,000 ratio is the sweet spot,” Wheeler says. “We know there is going to be competition in most areas. We just want to find the best ratio possible.”
For a new practice, strong population growth helps. “If you locate in a stagnant population, those people probably already have a dermatologist,” Wheeler says.
Prior to a practice committing to a location, Practice Real Estate Group usually maps out the competition, so that the dermatologist understands how an existing practice is set up and how the physician can differentiate their own practice from nearby practices.
Wheeler observes an increasing number of cosmetic practices moving from medical office buildings to retail space, with Mohs surgery available in some of their facilities. “You do not need to be in a medical office setting to have a successful practice,” Wheeler asserts. “A retail location offers you more visibility, accessibility and foot traffic.”
A retail location on a main thoroughfare that connects neighborhoods to an interstate or highway will allow potential patients to drive by the practice on their way to their destination multiple times a week for marketing visibility.