By Ian Marlow, CEO of FITECH,
It’s no secret that leases require a lot of administrative details and attention, which can sometimes hamper efforts to maintain strong occupancy rates and revenues. Issues such as lease renewals, notification dates, and tenant or landlord obligations may be inadvertently overlooked; files might be hard to locate; and employee attrition and departments accustomed to working separately (without technology integration) can all chip away at productivity and profits.
However, real estate investment and property management firms can build a stronger administrative structure by implementing industry-specific software that helps improve occupancy rates, rent revenues, and compliance.
There are several excellent programs available on the market but the key to boosting productivity and profitability lies in software that’s been customized to an organization’s particular operation.
This ensures that the programs are working in tandem with (or improving) your current internal systems. Here are some examples:
1) The accounting and management modules of lease administration tools can keep track of—and automatically manage—lease option reminders and notification dates.
Notices are sent out on time, deadlines are met, and legal issues are avoided. These real estate software programs will also track tenant payment history and rent increase documentation to help maintain your building’s or firm’s profitability.
Employees/property managers can generate reports detailing your company’s financial picture, current occupancy rates and tenant status; these reports are transmitted company-wide to all relevant parties to save time and ensure that everyone works from the same information. Ask your
IT services provider about customizing these standard programs to deliver the reports and options your organization requires to work as efficiently as possible.
2) Insurance obligations are another reportable element of real estate technology; simply enter all your insurance coverage specifications and certifications and have instant access to the most updated documentation on file, including your tenants’ status regarding fire or flood coverage.
The system’s tickler will also let you know if your office has updated certificates on file (to avoid any undue liability). All the relevant documentation is in the system and easily reported.
For owners or managers with multiple tenants or properties, lease administration tools also allow you to view all lease options at a glance.
Property managers can know what options or clauses are in each individual lease, reported in organized fields that show ROFO, expansion, rent waivers or discounts and other pertinent clauses.
This data at your fingertips enables property managers to avoid potential lawsuits or costly challenges from tenants, and the terms that were negotiated can be properly implemented and maintained throughout the entire term of the lease.
3) Imagine what a customized stacking plan can do to improve your building’s leasing projections. Customized stacking plans provide more accurate reporting that informs leasing teams and brokers of actual available space, provides improved leasing projections and reduces vacancy rates, all in one convenient module.
Custom stacking plan modifications can show future lease sign dates, the square footage of each space, lease expiration, and encumbrances on each space. That way, your leasing agents or property manager always knows your property’s true occupancy rates at any time.
This is especially helpful to commercial real estate managers and owners, whose lease negotiations can go on for six months or longer; leasing teams can be more targeted and proactive by seeing longer-range critical dates such as future lease expirations and lease sign dates.
4) The importance of data consistency across the organization cannot be overstated.
Today’s sophisticated real estate management and accounting programs allow all your organization’s departments–from accounting to leasing to maintenance—to see the same data; this breakdown of silos enables more people to cross-check information and lowers the probability of errors. Enabling all players to pull the same data also helps align management and financial goals more tightly across the organization.
You may choose to integrate these tools into your current system, implement them separately or upgrade your entire system to include them.
Make sure you are selecting and implementing the best software for your budget and current infrastructure, and that your IT solutions provider can properly integrate your systems as needed, with the software modifications that maximize operational efficiencies and organization-wide benefit.
In short, building a solid financial foundation for your real estate company is made easier with the right lease administration and management software modules, especially when customized to your organization’s particular needs.
Real-time status reports will show you what data you’re missing and help your leasing team and office staff engage in more proactive leasing activity and administration, which translates into more dollars flowing to your bottom line. Isn’t it worth looking into an upgrade for your real estate tech tools?