When we started out in this industry, we came to a quick realization: Broke-ers were putting together one-sided deals for selling dental practices at great cost to EVERYONE. Think about it…
The Selling Dentist was paying HUGE 10% commissions to Real Estate Salespeople. That’s $200k on a $2-million deal, plus HST, plus you still need to pay a lawyer to actually GET THE DEAL DONE! I still feel sorry for those dentists who paid such astronomical fees for a boilerplate appraisal and an open house.
The Buying Dentist was being treated like a Mushroom: fed SH** and kept in the dark.
The Lawyers on both sides had to try to clean up the legal mess that that Real Estate Salesperson could NOT clean up (because, hey, they’re not lawyers, right?).
The Bankers were having difficulty funding the deals based on biased appraisals (remember: Real Estate Salespeople are conflicted because they spend money on marketing, do the appraisals and charge a commission on the sale price!).
The Accountants were confused because Real Estate Salespeople were preparing appraisals (the same people who appraise houses were appraising dental practices)?
So we decided that enough is enough. Time to cut out the middlemen who added little value, weren’t lawyers, and were WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.
So in 2015, we decided to start preparing, marketing (through DentalPlace.ca) and selling our client’s practices. Now, since we represented BOTH sellers AND BUYERS, we knew what the buyers were looking for. They wanted team members on contract, a good lease, and a clean dentistry professional corporation. These are the basics to getting the deal done in a low-risk way. But Broke-Ers cannot help out in this way. They’re not employment lawyers (we are), they can’t negotiate complex leases with nasty clauses (we do), and talking to them about setting up or purifying your dentistry professional corporation before a sale is like handing me a high-speed drill and asking me to section an impacted 8!
So in 2015, we started taking a lot of flak because of our new approach. We ended up saving our dentists TENS and SOMETIMES HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars by charging FIXED FEES throughout the process. We asked Matt Bladowski (email@example.com) of Dental Strategy to do comprehensive (and if you’ve seen one of his appraisals, you’ll appreciate what I’m talking about!) and independent valuations. And we started selling our clients practices.
To date (and this number keeps increasing, mind you!), we have close to 2,000 verified dentists in Ontario who have registered on DentalPlace.ca and signed confidentiality agreements with us to buy our clients’ practices. We have also saved (if you figure our selling dentist isn’t paying 10% commissions to a real estate broker) over $7-million in commission, which we’re really really proud of. And our reputation is top-notch. Why else would we invite buyer and seller on the same transaction to come on one of our outreach programs? We also help dentists prepare and sell to DSOs, which do not buy from broke-ers!
We are super happy to be able to be helping dentists in the industry. And if that comes at the expense of the traditional model of paying a real estate agent 10% commissions + lawyer fees on top … ah well… we’re ok with getting a little flak from the competition … so long as the dentists who know us and deal with us actually are happy with us and our services!
And we’ve gotten SO MUCH BUSIER selling dental practices. In the last week alone, we ran 4 open houses (East York, Thornhill, Durham and Downtown Toronto). I guess the genie can’t be put back in the bottle now that dentists have a taste for a non-traditional model that anticipates and fixes challenges before they arise.
But what do lawyers know about selling dental practices? ACTUALLY QUITE A BIT!!!! We set up temporary dental clinics every year (and multiple times a year) in the Caribbean (Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks) and bring dental students, dentists, hygienists and support staff down to volunteer. We organize the program, secure sundries and equipment donations, get volunteers and go down with them. We know a LOT about dental and hygiene treatments, procedures, equipment, and clinic set up because WE HAVE TO (our next few clinics in the Caribbean will be 20 op offices). We also ask our sellers to donate money or equipment to our worthy charity outreach program if they’re happy with our services and they always do! That’s what’s motivating us to keep going: build a bigger and better program, year after year, and introduce everyone from dental students to established dentists to the world of giving back with their Canadian and US peers.
Not only do we know and teach the business of dentistry, but we also know how to sell. YES! We’ve been marketing and selling practices online and offline for years. We’re very good at it because we’re direct and buyers (some of whom are our clients but not on the same deal) actually trust us for being honest, comprehensive and transparent. Again, why would we invite buyers and sellers on our outreach program if we were trying to pull a fast one on anyone? We want smooth transactions where seller and buyer see eye to eye, risks are mitigated, and everyone gets what they want. Sellers get the maximum sale price, good terms, and a smooth transition with low risk. The buyer gets to know what they’re buying and offers the best deal because they trust the process, the seller, and have good representation.
We represent our sellers to the best of our abilities and that definitely includes advising them on the legal risks and how to mitigate them. Good luck if you’re not a lawyer and you’re trying to do that! You just (legally) cannot.
So that’s my rant. We love what we’re doing; we love talking about what we’re doing, and we’ll keep doing it because we’re making a difference in the lives of so many (especially for those impoverished people in the Caribbean).