We call the landlady of Companions the Dragon Lady. She’s very loud and annoying and quite frankly if she hadn’t given me a steal on rental space I never would have rented from her because she is CRAZY. The property manager called her that when we went to get the key from him, and it fits oh-so-well.
Anyway, she just called. Guess why?
She’s raising my rent.
I only train in the evenings, a few evenings a week. And if you remember, my space is a dump. Really. It’s a dump. Holes in the walls, everything is grimy and gross, I plan so I don’t have to use the disgusting bathroom, walls a sickly pink color, etc. And the training space is poorly proportioned, which limits me to 3 people in a class, maaaaybe 4 if I stretch. And it’s very poorly lit.
Of course, recently I’ve been trying to make it a little nicer, I bought chairs and a table to make a sitting area, and I have a little “library” from which people borrow books. I have replaced the light bulbs (oh, last week?) and bought additional lighting (to really show off the disgusting grunginess of everywhere). I was getting ready to paint, to cover up the grimy walls in the putrid color.
And I like having my own space. I set it up how I want. I have come up with ways to utilize some of its quirks. I love having my banner up all the time, I get clients from people walking by and picking up my brochures out front. I love having my training tools just out all the time. I just love it being mine. I can do what I want. I can personalize it.
But I don’t know that I can justify rent, especially now that it’s 133% what it was before. Keep in mind that it took several months to clear rent. And several more months to clear rent with just what I was making from using that space (I make more with private clients I meet in their home). And now I’m making money through what I’m making from the space…barely.
What to do.
I could pay rent, definitely. But is it worth it?
I’m probably not going to find a better deal on my own space. I’m just not. No one wants dogs in their shopping complex/office building. And rent isn’t ALL that high here. At least relative to the ridiculously exorbitant rents of the Seattle area.
It just feels high for a space that’s not that useable, that limits me, and is gross.
I could rent from the new doggie daycare downstairs. If I had rented her space, I could have 7 dogs in a class, easily, with more space to move around. Just a much more open space in the same footprint. But she put a bunch of couches, etc in there, because it’s a small dog daycare! So I don’t know how I’d even fit people w/o being able to get to the walls, etc. It’s not set up for training. The time to transition would be tricky, trying to shove the chairs back and pick up all the toys that are EVERYWHERE. No classes starting before 7PM. She’s open to it and that would cost a lot less, I’m sure. But…it’s not my space. And we just have different taste. And I’m limited in when I can teach (right now I have classes starting at 6). I can only teach 2 nights a week, so that’s only 4 classes a week. Possibly some on Saturdays. Which is a real possibility…
I could rent from a new doggie daycare I know is opening around July (when my rent goes up). My groomer is opening it, and I love her. I think she’ll have a lot more space, which is nice, but I haven’t seen her facility. I’m sure it’s nice, just because she is meticulous and great. But I don’t know. I know nothing about her operation. I don’t know when she’d close. I don’t even know if she’d be open to the idea. But, in theory, I’d probably prefer working with her, just because of the space and because we are more similar personalities. I’m thinking I’ll write her…see if that’s even a possibility.
I can look for a new space to rent. A lot of looking. Not a great possibility of finding anything. Rent is expensive. Training just doesn’t make that much month-to-month, because there are only so many hours I can spend training. So it’s hard to make it pay off.
Stupid Dragon Lady.