You’ve put a lot of sweat and love into your studio, but there are times when it’s sitting empty. This is why renting out your studio can not only maximize the space, but also bring in additional revenue.
In fact, this is why Lynne Paterson, the owner of Prakasa Yoga and Wellness Studio in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, rents out her studio.
“There are downtimes in our schedule when we are not using the space, so to have someone else using it makes sense fiscally,” said Paterson
What she loves more than the extra income is having other people enjoy the space. Since opening in 2010, they have hosted a variety of events: small weddings, book signings, film screenings and poetry readings. “Because our studio was designed as sacred space, we tend to attract people looking for a very special and unique venue, as opposed to a business group just looking for a meeting space,” said Paterson.
Prakasa Yoga uses their personal website to promote their rental services; they rely on keywords to help their website pop-up in online rental services. They also use word of mouth from clients, friends and locals for rental inquiries.
When it comes to setting rental prices, Paterson said it is important to know your overhead, operational costs and the competing rental prices in your area. However, she also said to avoid setting the rental price solely off others. “It has to ‘feel’ right for you, work for your business and for the people renting your space,” she explained.
Another valuable tip to consider when setting terms and prices is to start with asking questions: What is unique about your space? What services does your studio provide that others do not?
“Our studio overlooks organic gardens and into the forest,” said Paterson. “It is a very quiet and private location, but you’d need to bring food or hire a caterer, because we’re not located in downtown with lots of restaurants. It’s a perfect scene for many events, but it’s not a perfect fit for every event.”
She also has advice on what to do once you have settled on the terms you want to use. “Once you’ve written up a rental agreement terms in a form, it’s good to have your business lawyer review it, to ensure the terms and wording are consistent with state and local law,” she suggested.
While Prakasa Yoga and Wellness Studio has personally never suffered any damage from a renter, Paterson knows it’s a possibility. She recommends having insurance that will cover the issue.
Paterson gave three more areas to consider in rentals:
“It’s helpful to enjoy having different people and different events take place in your studio. If you only want yoga-related events at your yoga studio, that is fine, but you’ll likely end up ‘hosting’ other people’s events, not renting out your space. I believe there is a difference. Hosting means being part of the scene, if only to greet people and help them settle in and being available in the background. Renting the space means giving renters full responsibility and use of your space for their event, but not being part of their event, unless they invite you to join.”
Know your boundaries
“Set rental prices and terms of agreement, but be willing to negotiate a little. I’m always happy to adjust the rental price, length of use or even the deposit amount to make rental accessible for people, but I always require a minimum non-refundable deposit in advance. That is my one non-negotiable point. If someone wants to rent the studio, they need to make a deposit to ensure their commitment. This protects us from missing the opportunity to rent the studio to someone else, or plan our own event, should the renter cancel at the last minute. You’ll need to reflect and see what limits suit your personal business style.”
“If someone rents the studio and wants me to also promote their event, I might agree to do so, or not. It depends if I feel their event is compatible with the people on my list. If I do agree, I’ll charge an additional fee for that service. Time is valuable, so it’s important to cover any costs involved with promotion, like paying a marketing person to post event info on social media. In this case, I require copy ready information or a link that I can copy and paste event info.”
All in all, renting comes down to simply wanting to open up your space for others to use.
“In the end, it’s really about loving our space enough to share it with others. And the immense joy that it brings to all parties involved,” said Paterson. “Often, renters send us kind thank-you notes to say how much it meant to them to have their event in our studio. And that’s the icing on the cake.”