Your gym isn’t just a place filled with dumbbells, benches, and lined with the occasional water cooler.
You built space with a specific atmosphere, one that isn’t really available for rent in any place except a gym.
It’s important to understand the value of the space you have, the type of crowd that will be most likely to rent from you, and that while it’s a portion of your revenue, it won’t be the biggest driving factor of your profits.
Let’s look at some ideas to rent out your gym, but first, let’s figure out just how much you can make in the first place.
How Much Can You Earn by Renting Your Gym?
It obviously depends on what you’re renting it out for. You can’t cater to every type of rental idea, nor should you, but there is certainly a good chunk of money to be made.
Depending on the size of the space and how well your custodians care for it, you can expect to charge around $1,000 per month to personal trainers to rent out rooms for their classes. Any personal trainer who wants to rent out a space already has enough clients that they can commit to this.
Personal trainers would be your most consistent source of income, while events, parties, and sparring matches would be more sporadic.
Do you live in an area with a heavy focus on MMA or BJJ? Is there a reasonably sized, committed demographic who would be looking to rent out your gym?
You have to assess the marketability of your area and which events would work out the best.
Depending on the size of your gym, you could earn anywhere from $1,000 per month for personal trainers, up to $10,000 per month.
If you’re renting out a competition-friendly space (somewhere that can host spectators as well as a “stage” for the competitors), you could rent by the hour and see that hourly rate of around $150-$200 (or more).
Let’s go over these different renting ideas and go in-depth with each of them to discuss their viability, and what requirements you can expect to see.
1. Birthday Parties
We’re starting with this one because it’s actually not that popular unless you have a children’s section for your gym. Adults normally celebrate birthdays in alternate spaces, but a kid’s party in a child-centric gym? That’s going to be a ton of fun.
Parents have a lot of expenses when it comes to planning their children’s birthday parties, which is why you’ll want to find a dynamic price point that makes you happy but also doesn’t burn through their wallets. It’s an entirely different type of marketing as opposed to renting out the space to personal trainers.
For children’s birthday parties, they typically last 2-4 hours, and you can charge around $50-$100 per hour, plus a deposit for incidentals (because kids are inherently destructive).
2. Renting for MMA/Fight Sparring
This rental option can be a little bit tricky, primarily because MMA gyms can be really hard to monetize effectively.
So it’s uncommon for gyms or organizations to host tournaments at other gyms, but it’s not completely unheard of.
MMA fighting comes with liabilities that you have to keep in mind, and as such, you should make sure that when you provide the venue for these events the details are extremely intricate and specific.
You can reasonably charge $70-$120 per hour for MMA fights, more so if it’s a live event that they’re selling tickets to.
3. Renting for Various Competitions
Trying to get your gym rented out for competitions is a constant effort, because your marketing from this month may not be relevant in three months when event coordinators want to book venues for competitions.
You have to put information on your website, in any supplemental content that you can, and make sure that people know it’s an option.
Renting for competitions will not be your main source of rental income, but it is helpful and can take your revenue up a few percentage points. The trick here is to make sure you aren’t inhibiting the general experience for your gym members by hosting an event, so having a separate space is key.
Depending on the event and if they are selling tickets or not, you can either charge $100-$150 an hour for basic space, or up to $200-$300 an hour if you have more to your service than simply saying “Here’s a room” and letting them set up shop.
4. Renting to Local Schools/Sport Clubs
If a local school has a physical extracurricular, chances are they have the equipment to run it (that’s a joke; public schools are terrible at planning basically every activity).
For real, they’re likely to be under equipped for a lot of sports, so you can market your empty rooms to them and find a way for them to rent the equipment at the same time. Chances are, it’s going to be cheaper in the short-term for them than investing in all-new equipment from scratch.
Then you have local clubs that need places to host large classes and hold events. Their main facility might be great for most of what they offer, but for large gatherings, maybe they’ve gotten too big for their britches and need a larger space. That’s where you come in.
This varies in price, but typically you’ll want to charge by the hour, since activities like these will be 1-2 hours long. A rate of $150-$200 per hour is reasonable here.
5. Renting to Personal Trainers in the Area
We discussed monthly rent for personal trainers earlier, but there could be lost revenue with that model depending on how much people are paying for personal training.
If a personal trainer is charging $40 per session and averages 15 clients with two sessions per week, that’s $1,200 per week, or $4,800 per month.
However, some seasons are rough for personal trainers. They may not have enough clients one month, and the monthly rental cost could put them in over their heads. If this happens, you lose a client (the trainer), but a different pricing model could help you retain them while potentially earning more money.
Charge per session. If they charge $40 for that session, agree to a 25% cut of their sessions. In the months that they only have half capacity, you will both make less, but you’ll have a dedicated trainer renting out the space.
In the months where they do well and manage that $4,800 number we mentioned earlier, you actually end up with $1,200 for the month instead of a $1,000 flat rate rental fee.
The choice is up to you, or you can present the trainer with the option of which one they would prefer, keeping a minimum number of weekly classes to be eligible to rent out the space (that way you aren’t losing that much during off weeks).
It’s difficult to gauge which option is better, but ultimately, each gym business is different and you have to do what makes the most sense for your gym at the moment.
You can make $1,000 up to $10,000 per month depending on your gym size and accommodations, and make it a large figure in your revenue.
6. Renting Your Equipment
This doesn’t have to do with the space, but rather the equipment you’ve used to fill that space.
When someone wants to rent gym equipment, it’s typically because they’re only in an area for a short while and want to include a home gym workout wherever they’re staying, or it could be for someone with short-term fitness goals of 8-12 weeks that just wants to give themselves a great at-home gym without the commitment of spending thousands on equipment.
Whatever the case is, whatever the motive is, you can be that solution. If you’ve upgraded your gym equipment recently, you can rent out the older equipment instead of reselling it.
This can potentially earn you more than what you initially spent on that equipment, and it’s not taking up entire rooms for classes, so you don’t have to limit your membership space in the slightest.
The whole point of renting gym equipment is to not spend the same amount that it would cost to become a gym member (and convenience, of course).
You can also rent equipment to other gyms so they’re not paying five figures to set up all the equipment for themselves, and prices will vary depending on which type of clientele you are serving.
Get Creative, Make it Appealing
Your gym is trying to appeal to multiple fitness styles and interests at the same time, which is a difficult enough task on its own. You have to make offers, events, and rental ideas as creative as can be—it isn’t enough to just have a gym.
Make sure you market your gym rental ideas to the right crowd, in some email newsletters from time to time and in social media posts, and understand that you’re not selling a service with it; you’re simply renting out the space.
Don’t over-commit to a rental model that you can’t sustain in the long term.