Coronavirus: How to Negotiate Rent Adjustments

Red sign hanging at the glass door of a shop saying "Closed due to coronavirus."

Your cash flow is in crisis.

If you’ve followed our advice and pivoted your clients to online training (download the guide here) then you’re probably fine. Two-Brain gyms show a 90 percent conversion rate at full membership price, and some are even getting new clients already!

But if you haven’t followed our advice—or if you still need more to protect your cash flow—you can ask for rent abatement from your landlord. Two-Brain gyms have around a 30 percent success rate in this negotiation (not bad odds, really).

Many governments are now allowing some relaxed mortgage repayment rules. So even if your landlord isn’t getting any help now, he or she might in a few months.

Keep this in mind: It’s not your landlord’s responsibility to give you a free month. He or she doesn’t owe you anything.  If the landlord does anything to help, it’s entirely out of kindness.

Here’s what to do:

1. Call the landlord. Don’t email or text. It’s too easy to say no over email.
2. Don’t ask for a free month. Ask for a deferment or to spread out your payments over the next six months.
3. Thank him or her either way.

I’d say this:

“Hey, Tom, it’s Chris from the gym. I’m a bit worried about my cash position next month. I don’t want to default on you. Would you consider spreading out April’s rent over the following six months? It would make a huge difference.”
Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. The landlord will probably say “no.”

In my case, I told all my tenants to send their staff home and I’d give them April rent-free. But I’m selfish: I want the office building free of the virus so I can go into my office and shoot videos for gym owners.

I also told the GM of my gym that April’s rent could be skipped (I own that building, too) in exchange for a specific charitable act (donate 100 backpacks to local kids in need). The gym will get a big discount but will have to buy the backpacks.

Whatever you do, don’t skip out on your rent payment. Bouncing your rent is a sure way to turn a short-term crisis into a long-term business killer.

Here’s how it’s working:


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.