Massage Room That You Can Afford - Make the Most of Massage (2024)

How do you rent a massage room for cheap?

  1. Find a business in the health/wellness field that has a waiting room and a room that serves as a massage room or could work as a massage room.
  2. Meet with the owner/manager of that business and propose a per-massage or a share-the-room rent agreement.
  3. If the owner/manager wants a one year rent deal, then propose that the first 3 to 6 months of the agreement be a pay-per-massage arrangement.

Okay, so those are 3 important steps for renting a massage room for cheap.

But there’s a whole lot of in-between that needs to be filled in for this to get off the ground.

Affordable Massage Room

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.

You have no money and you want to work on your own, right?

How the hell do you afford a massage place?

Well, you can’t actually afford a massage place.

So, get that picture of clients walking into your waiting room out of your head…at least for now.

Okay, so how about affording a massage room?

Yeah, that ain’t happening either.

If you are as broke as I was when I first started out, we’re talking you can afford to do massage in the Walmart parking lot…if you have enough gas to get there.

But as I had mentioned before there’s a way around this pesky needing-money-to-rent-a-room thing,

It’s called pay-per-massage.

First, instead of renting a space that has a room and a waiting room, you look for someone who is already renting that type of space.

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Let’s say Tylese has a yoga studio and is paying $2500 a month in rent.

And she says that you could sublet a room from her for $500 a month.

Wait, Mark, $500 a month is more than the “nothing” upfront you said that I could pay!

Okay, so instead of subletting the room from Tylese for $500 a month, you ask her if you could pay her a percentage of each massage as rent.

Pay Per Massage

So, if you charge $70 for a 60 minute massage, you might agree to pay 20% of what you collect for a 60 minute massage.

In this case, you’d pay Tylese $14 every time you did a 60 minute massage.

The great thing about paying a percentage per massage is that you don’t have to put any money out to rent space. You pay as you go (after you collect the money from the massage).

The disadvantage is that you don’t “own” the room 24/7. In other words, since you’re not paying a monthly rent, Tylese can/will rent that room out to other practitioners on an hourly basis.

But a goal could be that once you got busy enough, you could sublet the room month-to-month instead of paying per massage and make that space 100% yours.

That’s what I did. More about that later.

Finding the Pay Per Massage Place

So, where do you find a place that would let you massage your clients on a per massage basis?

They’re all over. Here’s a short list to work from:

  1. Wellness center
  2. Chiropractor
  3. Yoga studio
  4. Pilates studio
  5. Acupuncturist
  6. Personal training studio
  7. Independent fitness center/health club

Don’t go after chains, like LA Fitness. Chains usually have a corporate way of doing things. Look for that local fitness center where there’s more operating flexibility.

  1. CrossFit and other boutique workout facilities

If you don’t like doing body-parts massage and are not workout oriented you may want to pass on programmed work-out places.

  1. Massage businesses

Some massage businesses will offer a “pay per massage” deal to independent MTs as a way to offset operating costs. You just have to ask around.

  1. Physical therapy offices

National physical therapy companies won’t bite, but the local PT business operating as a wellness center could be willing to talk to you. More about that here: How to Get Your Massage Into Mainstream Medicine.

Before you start working your list you need to know one more thing.

You’re not only looking for a massage room to use on a per massage basis, you’re also looking for a good business relationship.

The Relationship Part of the Deal

To me that means that the person I’m making the deal with shares the same core business values that I do.

One of my core values is to provide above-and-beyond care for my clients—which brings me to my pay-per-massage, success story.

Years ago, some of my clients lived far away from my massage office. Getting to me during rush hour was becoming a strain and I needed to find a space closer to them.

So, I talked to a chiropractor, Heather, who had an office in the area that was closer to these particular clients.

Heather and I hit it off right away, and we shared core business values, like the client/patient relationship comes first. So, we struck a deal ($10 per massage) and I used one of her spare rooms to do massage on a pay-per-massage basis.

Within a year or two my practice at this location grew, and I switched to subletting the room from her for a monthly rate ($200/month).

Now the room was 100% under my control. I was paying way less than if I went out and rented a space on my own. And Heather and I had a great relationship and often referred patients/clients to each other.

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Eventually, my wife and I opened up a massage office in the same building where I had sublet a massage room from Heather.

Don’t Do This

On the flip side, here’s what you don’t want to do when you don’t have any money to rent a room: Go into debt renting office space with no viable plan to bring in clients.

Paying more than you can afford is a mistake that everyone can make, even experienced MTs.

My friends Liz and Jamar, a husband and wife team, had been doing massage for a while. Each had solid followings, and they decided to start a wellness center using a “build it and they will come” business plan.

The wellness center had a beautiful, grand room that could be used for workshops/group classes and a bunch of high ceiling rooms that could be used as offices for a variety of health practitioners.

Liz and Jamar waited…and waited…and waited…but no health practitioners came.

I was one of the health practitioners they were waiting for.

Why didn’t I go?

It didn’t make sense for me to because my source of clients came from the fitness center where I had my office.

Eventually, Liz and Jamar closed their wellness center and began to work their way out of tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Massage Room on the Cheap

When you’re first starting out, think minimal expenditures.

Find a deal where you can pay for a massage room on a per massage basis, but make sure you and the person you’re dealing with share core business values.

As you get more clients, move into the monthly sublet.

When you out grow that room you can rent your own space where you are a stand-alone business.

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Massage Room That You Can Afford - Make the Most of Massage (2024)
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