Know Your Dental Market Before Buying Practice Real Estate

February 14, 2017
DMD Staff

Brandy Keck is a Brockerage Liaison at Carr Healthcare Realty. In this clip, Keck discusses what market factors a dentist needs to understand before purchasing practice real estate. Often, Keck says, her company will recommend that dentists work with a demographics firm to understand the demand for dentistry in their respective markets. Other important factors include proximity to other types of dentists, as well as population-to-dentists ratio.

Brandy Keck is a Brockerage Liaison at Carr Healthcare Realty. In this clip, Keck discusses what market factors a dentist needs to understand before purchasing practice real estate. Often, Keck says, her company will recommend that dentists work with a demographics firm to understand the demand for dentistry in their respective markets. Other important factors include proximity to other types of dentists, as well as population-to-dentists ratio.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“As far as where dentists are going right now, a lot of the dentist we work with choose to work with a demographics firm to really understand the market. Depending on their specialty and the demographics company that you’re using, it may be somewhere of a population between 1,400 to 2,000 people per general dentist in a given area. When they’re looking at those numbers, they really try to figure out where is there a hole and a need for dentistry right now.

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  • WATCH: Market Factors for Buying a Dental Practice

The other thing they have to consider is a growing market. If there’s a market that’s booming right now and a lot population is moving into an area, there’s going to be a need for dentists coming up. We want them to usually have some level of a consultant or a demographics firm that they’re working with — someone that can drive those numbers. And again, it’s a little bit different when you’re talking about an orthodontist versus an endo, versus a general dentist of what those population numbers per dentist look like. But they try to make those numbers work and they try to make it fit within what a given area can handle in terms of number of dentists.

The trend of dentists versus physicians: Our firm, Carr Healthcare Realty, we also work with physicians, physical therapists, veterinarians. I’d say the main difference is, in the private practice space for physicians, they moved away from private practice the last few years and a lot of the hospitals have started to gobble those private practices up. We’ve seen a trend where they’re starting to come out of those scenarios now and it’s starting to go more back to a private practice type setting.

It makes a lot of sense for two physicians to be in close proximity to one another if they can refer patients back and forth. You may see a physician group exist much closer together than you would see two dentists.

In Carr’s world, we really get to know the market as much as we can, especially in the dental world. We want to know where all the dentists are and what the trends are. There are times when we will have an ortho come to us and say, listen, we really want to be located near a general dentist. It may make sense for those two practices to be side-by-side because they can refer patients back and forth. So you see that. There’s just far less dentists than there are physicians, so the number of times that that’s happening happens a little bit more on the medical side than it does in the dental world. But we try that as much as we can. If there are two specialists, or a general and a specialist that would make sense to have in the same area, we’re directing the clients, saying hey, take a look at this property. This may be a good feeder system back and forth.”

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