In real-estate jargon, “curb appeal” refers to the total impression a building creates from the street, including its overall condition, landscaping and individual features. It may be more difficult for a practice to thrive if the office building has little or no curb appeal, even if the practice is well-located. Negative curb appeal may deter some patients from coming to your practice or affect the impressions of those who do — especially if the building is used exclusively by your practice.
Many factors work together to create an overall positive impression of an office building; this harmony can be destroyed by problems such as:
- a parking lot strewn with paper cups or windblown papers;
- a cracked pavement with overgrown weeds;
- a sign badly in need of repair, repainting or replacement;
- poor outdoor lighting (especially significant for a practice with evening appointments);
- exterior paint that is peeling, blistered, stained or badly faded;
- masonry that needs to be repointed;
- trees or shrubs in need of pruning, spraying or replacement; windows with cracked or dirty panes;
- a roof with missing shingles;
- wilted or dead trees, plants or flowers;
- an unsightly doorway.
Action steps: It’s all too easy to grow accustomed to the small flaws that diminish a building’s curb appeal. Seek a fresh perspective by asking your staff and/or three or four of your best patients to evaluate the building as if they were seeing it for the first time Are there overlooked problems? What recommendations, if any, would they make to improve the building’s curb appeal?
This type of feedback may prove useful in the negotiations to renew your lease, making a decision to relocate, or (if you own the building) to make the recommended improvements.