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Pros and Cons of a Split Lease

Are you considering accepting a split lease with another OD?  With this decision comes both advantages and disadvantages to your practice, and whether the pros outweigh the cons will depend on your individual preferences and vision for your career.  Here we outline the positives and the negatives of splitting your lease to help you decide whether this route is right for you.

Pros

  1. You won’t have to hire another employee.
    Instead of having to hire a new employee yourself, a split lease will allow you to simply come in and do your own sublease, while the other OD has their own set of patients.
  2. You can keep your current hours.
    If you are happy with your hours and income, and your practice is growing, splitting the lease can be beneficial to you. With a split lease, you will not have to increase your hours to accommodate more clients.
  3. You will can access to more new patients.
    Having another OD working hours opposite yours can benefit you in the long run, as patients can be referred back and forth between ODs if you agree to do so. Consider referring patients for specialty care and for certain insurances only one of you is willing to take.
  4. You can reduce costs.
    As patient volume and retention goes up over the years, your rent will also increase. With a split lease, however, you will be able to see more patients per day while paying the same rent. In addition, you can consider partnering with the other OD to get new technology that can be shared.

Cons

  1. You can lose leverage in your sublease.
    Splitting a lease can cause you to lose leverage in your sublease that is difficult to get back. Negotiation therefore becomes difficult and your options become more limited once the deal has been made.
  2. You will have a forced partnership.
    When splitting a lease, you will be sharing your space with whichever OD the corporate optical decides to bring in. Unlike hiring an employee, you will not be able to choose who you will be partnering with.
  3. You will have a reputation by association.
    With a split lease comes an association with the other OD who is brought in. The reputation of the other OD, therefore, can impact you and your practice. If you are concerned with having as much control over your practice’s reputation as possible, you may not want to split your location with another OD.
  4. Your lease may be terminated more easily.
    With another OD in the same location as you, it is possible that this OD could ultimately become your replacement. This is something to be weary of when considering splitting your lease.
  5. It may be difficult to get patients to follow you.
    After splitting your lease with another OD, if at any point you decide to change locations, it will be harder to get patients to follow you. Patients who are happy with that location can simply choose to become clients of the other OD, resulting in the loss of some of your business.
  6. You may have difficulty branding.
    It may be hard to build a consistent brand with a split lease, especially if patients are seeing both ODs over the years with different fees and methods. It is easier to create a more constant brand when you are in complete control over your location.

Weighing out both the benefits and costs of a split lease is critical before making your decision. Which points do you resonate with the most? How will your decision affect your business in the long run? There are many trade-offs involved in keeping your sublease versus splitting it with another OD, so it is important to think about what factors are most important for you and your career path.