Finding an affordable therapy office to rent isn’t always a walk in the park.
You may experience sticker shock when you first start looking at the cost of rent. Or you may realize that your budget isn’t quite big enough to cover the rent of the office space you have been dreaming of.
I want to offer some tips and tools to find a more affordable in-person therapy office to rent.
The Case For Subletting
If you are just starting out, or your caseload is relatively small I suggest you look into subletting. You can either do this hourly or by the day.
When you sublet a space, the per hour cost breakdown ends up being more expensive than how much it costs per hour to rent full time. The benefit is that you only have to pay for the time you are actually using the space. So the cost ends up being a lot more manageable.
If you do have the goal of someday renting a full time office, you can absolutely build to that. You can see this sublet option as a temporary stepping stone to working up to that goal.
5 Ways To Find An Affordable Therapy Office
Here are some tips to find an hourly or daily sublet option:
1) Ask Friends
This may seem simple, but I believe this is a tip that is underutilized.
Ask your therapist colleagues, folks from your cohorts, former supervisors, former professors, or a previous coworker about spaces to sublet.
Say, “Hey, I’m looking to sublet an office space, do you happen to know of a space that may be available?” or “Are you willing to share your space with me?”
Most therapists who are renting a full-time office, are not using that space full time. But they also may not be willing to rent out the space to just anybody. If they know that you are a trusted person and are wanting to use it for a few hours or one day a week, they may be more than happy to share their space with you.
2) Check Local Associations
Go onto your local association chapter websites and see if there are any open office spaces posted there.
For example, in my area, the CAMFT San Diego chapter, has a section on their website dedicated to available office spaces. While I’m not an MFT, I can still use this website to find leads.
3) Check Facebook and Listservs
Create a post that shares your desire to find an office space to sublet and share it in local therapist Facebook groups or listservs.
You may be surprised to find how many folks may be interested in partnering with you after hearing the specifics of what you are looking for.
Personally, every single office space I have signed a lease for, I have found through Craigslist. Genuinely.
I feel like I have to say that not every post on Craigslist is created equally. So please use your best judgment when deciding if a situation feels sketchy or not.
5) Cold Contacts
Cold contact therapists that you are interested in connecting with, or specific locations that you are interested in.
This strategy can be a lot more hit and miss.
When you cold contact someone for any reason, many times they won’t respond at all.
But, you may find some success with this method!
Often when you do find a rental that is not posted, whether through a networking connection or a cold call, it will be more affordable.
Bonus Tip: Find An Atypical Therapy Office To Rent
If you are looking for a ridiculously cheap place, you don’t necessarily have to go through subletting a therapist office specifically. You can put on your creative thinking cap and find an atypical space.
I’ve heard of folks renting from churches, or community centers or other places that may not be a traditional therapist office.
If you go this route, make sure that it offers adequate confidentiality and other requirements we need to consider when offering therapy.
I hope these tips help you get the ball rolling, and help you feel like it is possible to find an affordable therapy office space.
If these options still feel financially out of reach for you, you can still build your practice virtually! Then, when you have enough financial stability to justify subletting an office, you can take the steps to do so.
Some Extra Tools
Check out this article If you’d like a little support in knowing what sorts of things to look for in a therapy office to make sure it is ethical, confidential, and the right space for you.
And, this video will let you hear more about my private practice office renting nightmare. That way you can learn from my mistakes!
Until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well.
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