The trend of ‘non-traditional’ tenants in shopping centers continues to grow all over the country. Specifically, medical facilities in retail centers are attracting patients due to their preference of receiving healthcare in safe and convenient locations. Also, medical providers are favored by landlords and investors since they are more creditworthy than most tenants and drive consistent traffic to other stores at their centers.

We spoke with Chelsea Scott, an orthodontic assistant at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists located in our St. Andrews Center in Charleston, South Carolina, to learn about the facility’s success in using social media to promote its practice and how being located in a shopping center has benefited its business.

Can you tell us about Charleston Orthodontic Specialists?

Chelsea Scott: Dr. Savastano started working in Florida 15 years ago and recently moved back to his home state of South Carolina and opened his first practice in Charleston, our Summerville location, in July 2017. We now have our second location open in the St. Andrews Center, and we plan to open a third location in Mount Pleasant in late 2018. We have about 13 employees that rotate between the two current locations and Dr. Savastano splits his time between the two locations as well.

Our patients range from ages seven to 70. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that the first age a patient can be seen is at age seven, so we follow that strictly, but there’s no real age cap on orthodontic treatment.

What types of services do you offer?

Scott: At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we offer braces and Invisalign. For braces, patients can choose from a variety of colors, including gold and clear braces. We offer WildSmiles brackets that come in different shapes such as diamonds, hearts, flowers, and soccer balls, just to name a few. WildSmiles brackets also come in collegiate styles so patients can sport their favorite college team’s colors all day long. WildSmiles braces have definitely been the most popular option, especially for our younger patients. As for Invisalign, the patient decides the extent of their treatment, so this type can take anywhere from three months to a full year. Patients can easily customize their Invisalign treatments as there are many products to choose from in the range.

Why did you choose St. Andrews Center as a location?

Scott: St. Andrews Center is in the center of everything. It’s conveniently located right off of Savannah Highway, a major road that crosses through the greater Charleston community. St. Andrews Center is easy to get to and community members are familiar with the location, a definite win-win situation for all!

What are the advantages of having a medical office in a shopping center?

Scott: Being in a shopping center makes our patient visits more convenient overall. At St. Andrews Center there’s a Harris Teeter, an Orangetheory Fitness, a Stein Mart, and other stores and restaurants that patients might want to visit while they’re in the area for their appointment. Having our practice located in a shopping center yields great marketing for a small business like us. In fact, many of our patients discovered our practice while they were running errands in the center.

What differentiates your office from other orthodontic offices?

Scott: Dr. Savastano strives to provide Grade A services that are affordable for everyone. He stays up to date with the latest orthodontic technology and stays on top of new trends in the space, while keeping treatment prices low for his patients. For Dr. Savastano, as well as the whole team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, patients are always number one and we make sure that we tend to their needs first and foremost. From payment plans to treatment options, we ensure that each patient’s visit is customized to what they need. It’s very rare that we have a patient come in and they do not find an option that fits their needs.

How do you promote your business?

Scott: We’re active in various local affairs and events in the greater Charleston community. We also have wonderful giveaways and prizes that anyone can enter through our social media pages. Anyone can follow us on Facebook and stay updated with our giveaways and discounts on certain treatments. For example, we have a monthly drawing for a free braces treatment, which attracts a lot of patients and potential patients to our Facebook page. Overall, social media plays a major role in keeping patients and consumers up to date with activities going on at the practice, while promoting the practice to find potential new cases. We’ve gained many new patients from posting on social media, so it’s definitely been a big help for us!

Any advice for other medical practices looking to open in a shopping center?

Scott: You can’t go wrong having your practice in a shopping center. We’ve had many patients walk into our office out of curiosity and start treatment in the same day. A potential patient might be purchasing groceries next door and stop in just to check out the office, and the next thing you know, they’ve signed up for a treatment. It’s definitely a great location for any practice or small business.

Interested in learning more about Charleston Orthodontic Specialists and would like to set up an appointment? Check out its website for more details!

This has been an installment of StoreFront, an interview series with leaders of successful retail businesses. For more interviews, visit the StoreFront page. To learn how you can be featured, email us. We’d love to hear from you.