Networking Concepts to Help Grow Your Practice
December 28, 2019
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Who is the Perfect Broker?

If you are selling your practice, the ‘perfect broker’ is the one who takes time to get to know you and your practice philosophy, has excellent communication from start to finish, and understands your long-term goals. Many practice owners want to sell their practice but often their objective is to sell to the buyer who will continue their legacy by practicing the same type of medicine they do, also ensuring the welfare of their employees and clients. At PS Broker, we have our clients’ best interest at the forefront when we are working with prospective buyers – We care personally. There is much more to selling a veterinary practice than selling a piece of commercial real estate. When selecting a broker, be sure to choose one who specializes in the sale of veterinary practices, like PS Broker.

 

If you are buying a practice, a broker can represent your interests as a buyer’s representative. Here, the perfect buyer’s representative is the one who finds the perfect practice for you, as quickly as possible, and at the most favorable price and terms. Unless you are experienced in buying practices and real estate, you are wise to utilize a broker’s experience. The broker will scrutinize prospective purchases and negotiate on your behalf and use a state-licensed Realtor to handle the real estate. PS Broker has repeatedly helped veterinarians get their dream practice and can do the same thing for you.

 

Here’s what you should expect from your broker:

 

Integrity: Your broker is going to be handling the most important transaction of your career. Integrity goes beyond simple honesty – it also means delivering on promises and placing your interests ahead of all others. If you’re paying attention, it doesn’t take long to determine your broker’s level of honesty and ability to deliver. We value our reputation at PS Broker – we’ve worked hard to earn it. We’re known throughout the veterinary industry as honest, reliable, and competitive – and we get results.

 

Communication: Your broker needs to have great communication skills. They’ll be handling transactions that have powerful emotional components, so diplomacy and tact are important, too. If your broker can talk to you in a respectful and effective manner on the phone, then they’ll probably do so when talking to other agents or buyers. If you meet in person, you can evaluate your broker’s skills by observing their body language, tone, and eye contact; observe how they deal with others, too. When you meet a PS Broker team member during a convention or visit to a practice, you’ll meet someone who will look you in the eye and give you a straight answer to your question.

 

Availability: You’ll want a broker who is readily available and responsive – your broker should promptly return your calls, texts, and emails. Negotiations sometimes move forward after-hours, and your agent should be easily reached in order to keep things on track. The PS Broker team has and will, provide needed support after-hours and on weekends.

 

Staff Support: Your broker should have a strong support staff, for two reasons: first, a broker without a support staff is a small shop and may not have the infrastructure to properly market (or find) your practice. A broker who is wearing all the hats isn’t wearing any of them well. Secondly, a broker with a support staff has time to focus on details and negotiations while in-house specialists take care of the marketing, documentation, and administrative details. At PS Broker, we have a talented, experienced full-time staff providing support to our principals, and you can read about them on our website.

 

Marketing Ability (for Sellers): Your broker should have a multi-point marketing plan for your practice, and the ability to execute it. That includes a professional-quality website that is visitor-friendly, visually attractive, and successful at capturing leads and displaying your practice. It should appear promptly in search engines. The broker should also have a strong presence on social media and demonstrate a regular e-mail marketing program that complies with anti-spam laws; ideally, hosted by a professional service like Constant Contact, iContact, MailChimp, or others. Your broker should have professionally produced printed mailouts and printed materials. In order to get the best price for your practice, your broker must identify, target, and impress a very narrow group of people – make sure your agent can do that.

 

Real Estate License: If your practice includes real estate – a building with land – then your broker will be required to hold a real estate license in that state. At PS Broker, our principals hold real estate licenses in several states. In other states, we co-broker with a local Realtor who participates in the transaction and makes sure that everything is in compliance with local rules. PS Broker is thereby able to handle veterinary practice sales in all 50 states, and we have built a solid relationship with our Realtors over the years. We know them to be professional, diligent, and reliable. A broker without this infrastructure would likely have to partner with an unknown quantity.

 

Valuations Expertise: Your broker should be experienced and capable in determining the fair market value of a practice and should be associated with and / or certified by an organization like the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. Determining the value of the practice is crucial to both pricing and marketing. Your broker should be able to use standard calculations and market data to value the practice and be able to show and explain them to you. Your broker should have the experience to understand the selling points – and the problems – of any practice and determine a pricing (or purchasing) strategy that works. PS Broker utilizes state-of-the-art financial analysis to NACVA standards.

 

Advice on Your Exit Strategy (Sellers): Your broker should be able to give you good advice on your exit strategy, a process that should begin at least 3 years in advance of going on the market. A broker who specializes in veterinary practices, like PS Broker, will offer detailed, practical advice that can help your practice attract more and better offers. After more than 30 years, we know what buyers are looking for, and we’ll advise you accordingly.

 

Lenders and Experts: Your broker should have a selection of lenders who specialize in veterinary practices, and other experts – like attorneys – who can provide valuable guidance. Your broker should be familiar with what lenders expect and be able to advise you in getting pre-qualified. PS Broker knows the lending market and has long-standing relationships with the industry’s top financial institutions, and our panel of experts are specialists in veterinary practices.

 

Negotiation Skills: Your broker must be a good negotiator, who can work successfully with sellers, buyers, and their agents. In transactions of this magnitude, people can take very firm positions; and veterinarians cannot help but feel strongly about the sale of their practice. PS Broker has successfully negotiated hundreds of closings – all veterinary practices – and we know how to be both sensitive and tough enough to achieve a fair result.

 

Reference Lists: Your broker should have a list of references, and you should contact some of them directly. Ask them about the above topics, and how the broker performed. Of course, you’re seeing a selected group of references, presumably all good. If a phone number is provided, a call to the reference can tell you more than an email – some people are really enthusiastic about the experience they had with their broker, and they want to share – you’ll be able to hear that.

 

Understanding Your Legacy: Your broker should understand that your practice represents your professional legacy, and that you may not be interested in selling to just any buyer… your broker should respect the fact that you want your clients to continue to receive the same care and commitment that you provided, with the same style of medicine. Your broker should not pressure you to accept a buyer or terms that you dislike. This is a basic principle that we understand and value at PS Broker. When representing buyers, we know that a practice under consideration needs to be a good fit – and when the buyer succeeds in his new practice, everybody wins; we’ve been proud to match veterinarians with the right practice and watch them grow.

 

Documents: Your broker should be able to provide standardized forms that can be used to facilitate the transaction; letters of intent, for example, sales contracts, and addendums, as well as locally required real estate documents. PS Broker uses forms that meet current industry standards and have been reviewed hundreds of times by attorneys.

 

Your Referral: After the closing, your broker should be able to ask for your referral. Your broker should have done such a good job that you’re happy to provide that reference. You should be happy with the outcome and be willing to recommend that broker to friends and colleagues. While you may wish to remain private, that level of satisfaction should exist. On the website, PS Broker has a lot of heartfelt references, and we’d like to earn one from you.

 

You’ll find that PS Broker will do what it takes to be your perfect broker; we’ve done it for hundreds of veterinarians, across the country. Helping veterinarians reach their goals – that’s all we do, and we can do it for you.

 

 

PS Broker, Inc.