After being in the fitness industry for over 40 years, I’ve seen a lot of things and many have made me shake my head and wonder what the heck some of you were thinking. And yes, we’ve all made mistakes because we woulda, coulda, and shoulda reached out for help and we didn’t. So read on.
The foundation for a successful business is in the lease. It has always been my opinion that fitness facility owners don’t get what they deserve - they get what they negotiate. When it comes to your rent and rights, landlords always seem to have the upper hand and that’s generally due to the tenant creating a poor foundation when going into business.
If you’re looking for a new location, ready to sign a renewal option, or having problems with the space you lease, now is the perfect time to pay your landlord a visit. Many landlords across the country are also feeling the pinch and may welcome a discussion about lowering your rent, offering you a rent concession, or possibly renegotiating your lease. Though there are no guarantees, you won’t know unless you ask. But only ask if you know the ropes.
You wouldn't golf for money against the clubhouse pro, so why would you negotiate your own lease against a seasoned realtor or landlord who negotiates leases every day for a living? Bring a professional with you.
After working with landlords across across the country for over forty years, we have developed several successful strategies and techniques that address these five examples below.
1. You’re ready to sign a lease for the first time. Leases favor the landlord, and your lawyer will check only the legality of the lease, making sure that the legal terms are correct, etc. And that’s what he’s supposed to do. But you can do better, a lot better. Be prepared to negotiate things such as the tenant improvements to the building, and the personal guarantees.
2. Your lease is up for renewal. Instead of just signing and agreeing to the landlord's terms as written in the original lease, why not try to save money? Now is the time to rewrite the lease. Don’t forget, in 1981 you could buy a home for $89,000, a new car for $8,000, and computers weren’t even for sale to the average consumer. Times have changed, so take advantage of the opportunity. None of us could have even imagined 10 to 20 years ago that rents would be where they are today.
3. Your landlord is not performing. Has your landlord or property manager let you down? Have repairs and maintenance been neglected around the building or shopping center? Keep the problems well documented and always communicate in writing for best results.
4. Challenging business climate? Has the economy forced you to be late on your payments? Is your landlord growing impatient and preparing to evict you? Don’t run and hide, try and keep an open communication with him at all times and negotiate.
5. You're contemplating closing your business and throwing in the towel! You have a huge liability and exposure on the remaining term of your lease, including your members. Try and limit your risk and exposure and come up with a creative way to close. You’ve heard of the nightmare stories, where tenants are required to continue to pay rent even when they’re not occupying the space. Doing it the wrong way gives all of us a black eye. Come out a winner and do it right.
If you're a club owner, manager, fitness director, or personal trainer, and you want to get away from the woulda, coulda, and shoulda approach, then contact Global Fitness Association today for help. It’s a great opportunity for owners to learn a few secrets from the hard-earned knowledge and experience Global Fitness Association professionals have gained over the years.
Can you really learn something from seasoned fitness industry veterans? We think so. Give us a call today for a no obligation consultation and answers to your questions.
The strategies you learn and practice now will serve you now and in the future.
For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at www.globalfitnessassociation.com/info for more information.