Lease abstraction: Achieving 100% accuracy

rebackoffice, rebolease, lease abstraction

A systematic approach to lease abstraction right from the beginning will help you generate a lease abstract repository that is accurate and relevant, thus strengthening the foundations of your lease portfolio management process. It might call for a slightly heavier investment in terms of time, but will be well worth it. When mapping out your lease abstraction process, here are a few things to consider-

Know what you are up against

Don’t overburden your team members by underestimating the incremental workload or ignoring knowledge gaps and lack of experience. Thrusting your lease abstraction project on your team without a clear understanding of what is required of them and whether they have the necessary knowledge, experience, time, and skill-sets to accomplish the goal will result in botched up, inaccurate lease abstracts that will serve no purpose and perhaps even negatively impact your ability to make the right business decisions.

Leverage technology wherever possible

When we think of lease abstracts, probably the first image that comes to mind is of a lease analyst scrutinizing your lease contracts. But, did you know that the initial perusal can now be efficiently done by deploying Ai tools? With the foray of Ai into lease abstraction, landlords and tenants alike are leveraging technology to streamline many of the processes involved in lease abstraction. It is cost-effective and also more efficient in terms of time.

Involve parties that can add value

Apart from leveraging technology, you should also consider involving 3rd parties who can add value to your lease portfolio management process and to your lease abstraction project in particular. This includes lease consultants, lease software vendors, and lease service providers who specialize in various aspects of lease portfolio management such as lease abstraction, lease administration, lease accounting, lease audit, etc. Such entities can bring value to the table for you, right from the start, including Ai technology and the expertise to help you navigate the complexities of the lease abstraction process from day one.

Having an experienced player on your team even as you embark on your lease abstraction journey can help you avoid common mistakes, unforeseen pitfalls, and missed opportunities that you may find difficult or costly to rectify at a future stage.


Rebolease.com, powered by RE BackOffice, Inc., is a premier provider of lease abstraction, administration, audit, and accounting services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, we are a global boutique firm, providing high-quality services to top-tier clients across industry verticals, covering every type of lease and on any lease platform. We are proud to be a trusted partner, for 15+ years, to leading retailers, REITs, property owners/managers, and corporate accounts seeking strategic advantage. All client projects are performed in-house.

Whether it is one clause, one amendment, or a whole lease agreement, we can do it for you. 

Please contact us today to learn more.  

When to get your leases abstracted? (The answer is not what you think)

lease-abstractionYou know that you need to get your leases abstracted as soon as you sign them so that you have instant and easy access to the key information therein. But, did you know that it is not the only time? To stay on top of your lease portfolio, you have to ensure your lease abstracts capture the most recent information at any time. This means you need to update your lease abstracts at various points in time. These include-

Mergers & Acquisitions

When there’s a merger or acquisition, you need to get the new leases abstracted and their lease abstracts included in your lease portfolio. Even if the newly acquired leases have their abstracts, you may have to get them abstracted to match your standard format. For example, the existing abstracts may not have covered certain fields. Plus, there may be changes in parties to the lease due to the merger/acquisition and that will have to be reflected in the abstracts as well. (Learn how we assisted America’s Largest Provider of shared Wireless Infrastructure manage their active Tower Agreements better after a Merger)

Amendments or addendums

Over the years, there are bound to be updates and changes (amendments and addendums) to your existing leases that need to be carefully reviewed and captured in your lease abstracts. The COVID-19 pandemic last year was a case in point. Retail tenants had to quickly explore the options in their leases that offered them some respite from the financial damages caused as a result of the pandemic and pandemic-induced lockdowns. Learn more about the importance of amendment abstraction in this blog post.

Regulatory requirements

Another time when you may have to revisit your leases and lease abstracts is when there are regulatory changes that affect your leases. A recent example of such an event is the FASB/IASB compliance requirements, including the FASB ASC 842. This blog post tells you more about why you need to take a second look at your lease abstracts from the FASB perspective. 

Tech changes

Sometimes changes in technology could require you to revisit your leases. For example, migration from spreadsheets to a robust lease administration platform, or even from an existing lease administration platform to another.  

The events we discussed above could be termed as catalyst events that trigger lease abstract updates. The goal is to ensure that you leverage such catalyst events to benefit your entire organization and to optimize your lease portfolio management process. 


Rebolease.com, powered by RE BackOffice, Inc., is a premier provider of lease abstraction, administration, audit, and accounting services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, we are a global boutique firm, providing high-quality services to top-tier clients across industry verticals, covering every type of lease and on any lease platform. We are proud to be a trusted partner, for 15+ years, to leading retailers, REITs, property owners/managers, and corporate accounts seeking strategic advantage. All client projects are performed in-house.

Whether it is one clause, one amendment, or a whole lease agreement, we can do it for you.  Please contact us today to learn more. 

Defining the scope of your Lease abstraction project

Lease abstraction project

Managing your lease abstract project efficiently, effectively and accurately, calls for thorough preparation across various spectrums. One of the first things to consider is the scope of your lease abstraction project.

Before you embark on a lease abstraction project, you should determine the scope of the project. At this stage, you need to have clear answers to questions like-

  • What is it that you wish to cover in the lease abstract
  • What information do you wish to capture
  • What is the extent to which you want to capture the data points

Answering these questions will be easier and more objective if you consider the stakeholders involved and their goals. For example, figure out who all will be relying on your lease abstracts and for what purposes. Most likely, your operations, accounting, finance, IT, and legal teams will have an interest in various different aspects of your leases. Communication is the key at this stage. Once you zero in on the stakeholders, the next step is to identify their requirements. What information will they need from the lease abstracts? The answer to this question will help you arrive at the key data points that are to be abstracted. 

Make sure you bring subject-matter-experts (SMEs) on board at this point too, as they can help you make the most of the data you find in your lease by identifying what information will come in handy even at later stages of the lease lifecycle. 

The next step is to finalize the team that will be involved in the lease abstraction project and the project timeline. At this point, it is essential that you don’t let resource constraints or lease data volume impact your lease abstraction project timeline negatively. The goal should be to ensure that your lease abstracts are ready within the stipulated time frame so you don’t swerve from the path of attaining your business goals. 

The successful completion of a lease abstraction project entails managing its various elements effectively, which can be a strain on your resources and time. We can help you through every step of your lease abstraction project, right from lease abstract template design to ongoing lease updates and administration. 


Rebolease.com, powered by RE BackOffice, Inc., is a premier provider of lease abstraction, administration, and accounting services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, we are a global boutique firm, providing high-quality services to top-tier clients across industry verticals, covering every type of lease and on any lease platform. We are proud to be a trusted partner, for 15+ years, to leading retailers, REITs, property owners/managers, and corporate accounts seeking strategic advantage. All client projects are performed in-house. Please contact us today to learn more.

RE BackOffice Adds Value to World’s Largest Convenience Store Chain’s Decision Support System

Lease abstraction ReBackoffice

RE BackOffice (REBO) abstracted and tagged 6,000+ leases to enable the client to update their decision support system with accurate leasing information for their store locations across the US.

SYNOPSIS

The client is the world’s largest operator, franchisor, and licensor of convenience stores with over 8,000 outlets in the United States and 50,000 plus outlets around the world. In order to aid accurate operational decision-making, the client required key lease terms and clauses that aided the decision-making process to be abstracted from their leases and imported into their Decision Support System. The project called for the abstraction and tagging of approximately 6,000 lease documents (up to 100 fields per lease) and the abstraction of approximately 500 new leases and 600 renewal letters/amendments per year. Most of the leases were on the verge of expiration and therefore, had to be analyzed thoroughly before the impending renewal/expiration. This called for the accurate abstraction of key financial and non-financial data that would aid the decision-making process. The data was required in XML format, so it could be imported into their Decision Support System.

THE CORE BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The client wanted to grow their business and provide additional services through their existing locations. The leases pertaining to the locations contained critical information that would impact their ability to offer the additional services. The client needed these key pieces of information abstracted and imported into their Decision Support System which would enable them to make the right operational decision.

OTHER CHALLENGES

Accomplishing the abstraction of 6,000+ retail leases within a time span of 6 months was a major challenge. Since most of the leases were close to expiration, the abstraction and data import process had to be quick, in order to allow the client to make timely decisions as to whether the leases should lapse or be renewed. The firm time constraints meant the abstraction had to be 100% accurate and on time. The decision support system of the client accepted data in XML format, which is not a format of output commonly provided by lease abstraction companies. Finding a lease abstraction vendor who could offer the output in the desired XML format, on time, accurately and in a cost-effective manner was the biggest challenge for the client.

THE RE BACKOFFICE SOLUTION

RE BackOffice accepted the challenge and created an effective partnership with the client that remained strong throughout the project. As a key part of the solution, RE BackOffice added value to the client’s lease abstraction project through the following actions –

Piloting to understand and clarify exact client requirements

Initially, RE BackOffice began with a pilot batch of 100 leases. The pilot abstraction process helped REBO gain a deeper understanding of client requirements and identify possible inconsistencies/ inaccuracies.

Recommendation to the client for value addition

Based on experience and the understanding gained of the client’s needs in the piloting stage, REBO made recommendations that were welcomed by the client. Key recommendations included:

Objective-based abstraction
While many lease abstraction companies often replicate lease language and sections in the abstracts, thus forcing the clients to make sense out of legal language, REBO focused on making the abstract as concise as possible. For this purpose, REBO chose to utilize objective-based abstraction of lease data wherever possible with ‘Yes/No’ types of information filled in. This helped the client gain a faster and deeper understanding of the key financial and non-financial terms—a feature that proved very valuable to the client considering the tight time constraints they faced.

Document tagging & cross-linking
REBO performed document tagging and cross-linking of the abstracted fields to the original lease document. This ensured that the client could access the original clause in one click—a feature that made it easy for the clients to cross-check the abstracted information for accuracy and completeness at any time.

Technology oriented approach to lease project management
REBO deployed the use of our in-house web-based Lease Project Management System– ProjectTrack, to better manage the project so the end result was a well-executed lease abstraction project. REBO also shared ProjectTrack access with the client enabling them to monitor all project elements in real time, such as the number of leases abstracted along with the date of abstraction, name of the lease analysts who worked on them, name of the quality analysts related to each of those leases, quality grading awarded to each lease by REBO’s quality control teams and even the errors identified at the time of quality grading. This ensured 100% transparency and accountability at every stage of the project.

Document management recommendations
The client did not have enough resources to review all lease documents for completeness, which meant missing documents could impede the smooth flow of lease abstraction, and ultimately could negatively impact the targeted timeline. REBO performed a preliminary review of the lease documents for all locations and provided the client with an ‘Exception Report’ which listed all the missing documents. REBO also prioritized its abstraction efforts to finish abstraction of leases for locations with complete documentation first, thus providing the client with ample time to procure the missing documents. This ensured that the lease abstraction was always on track and complete in every aspect.

Commencement of actual abstraction
Upon successful completion of the pilot phase, REBO submitted another batch of 250 lease abstracts in the next month. Thereafter, REBO submitted batches of 1,250 leases every month for the subsequent four months.

REBO’s quality check process
In a bid to maintain 100% accuracy, REBO did not resort to sample checks. Instead, every Lease Abstract was thoroughly reviewed 3 times before it was finalized.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROJECT AND BENEFITS TO THE CLIENT

  • 1,000 leases were renewed, saving $30M+ over-committed term of leases
  • Document tagging provided the client with instant access to critical lease data
  • The project was completed within the allotted timeline
  • The client reviewed and certified the project to be 100% accurate in terms of lease data abstracted
  • RE BackOffice became a trusted lease abstraction partner for the client with the client making a commitment to award a minimum of 1,000 leases for abstraction to REBO on an annual basis

To learn more about our retail lease abstraction services, please visit our dedicated page for Retail Lease Abstraction.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ABOUT RE BACKOFFICE
RE BackOffice is a premier provider of lease abstraction, administration, and accounting services. A global boutique firm, we provide high-quality services to top-tier clients across industry verticals, covering every type of lease and on any lease platform. All projects are performed in-house. We are proud to be a trusted partner, for 15+ years, to leading retailers, REITs, property owners/managers, and corporate accounts seeking strategic advantage. Whether abstracting a portfolio of leases or providing comprehensive lease administration or accounting services, RE BackOffice is dedicated to consistently delivering high-quality services and optimal ROI to our clients

LeaseAccelerator and RE BackOffice Announce Partnership

PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) JUNE 22, 2021

LeaseAccelerator, a leading lease lifecycle automation software provider, and RE BackOffice, America’s leading provider of lease services, announced their partnership today. This partnership allows both LeaseAccelerator and RE BackOffice to add value to each other’s client base with their product and service offerings and thought leadership.

Backed by over 15 years of experience, RE BackOffice is recognized as a global, trusted, and comprehensive provider of lease abstraction, administration, and accounting services, catering to top-tier clients across various industry verticals including retail, corporate, tower, healthcare, REITs, property owners, managers, etc. 7-Eleven, Sleepys, Crown Castle, CBRE, H&M, and JLL are a few of the many leading brands served by RE BackOffice. LeaseAccelerator offers a powerful lease lifecycle automation solution that is used by the public, private, and government organizations around the world, including Carnival Corporation, Dow Chemical, OSF HealthCare, and HP.

“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with LeaseAccelerator. Working together, we can offer our clients a comprehensive solution to lease portfolio management and lease accounting compliance,” said Holly Khera, CEO, RE BackOffice. “When we thought of forming a partnership, we sought a company that could match our wide range of services and had the kind of standing that RE BackOffice has across various industry verticals. With LeaseAccelerator as the only provider in the market to offer a complete lease lifecycle automation solution, they were a natural fit for this partnership.”

“With the deadlines for ASC 842 and GASB 87 lease accounting standards coming up this year, private companies and government organizations need expert advice and services to streamline their adoption. By combining RE BackOffice’s proven lease abstraction and administration services with LeaseAccelerator’s decades of lease lifecycle automation expertise, we remove cost and risk from the adoption process across real estate and equipment leases,” according to Michael Keeler, CEO, LeaseAccelerator.

About RE BackOffice
RE BackOffice is a premier provider of lease abstraction, administration, and accounting services. A global boutique firm, we provide high-quality services to top-tier clients across industry verticals, covering every type of lease and on any lease platform. All projects are performed in-house. We are proud to be a trusted partner, for 15+ years, to leading retailers, REITs, property owners/managers, and corporate accounts seeking strategic advantage. Whether abstracting a portfolio of leases or providing comprehensive lease administration or accounting services, RE BackOffice is dedicated to consistently delivering high-quality services and optimal ROI to our clients. Learn more at www.rebolease.com

About LeaseAccelerator
LeaseAccelerator provides Lease Lifecycle Automation software that ensures long-term compliance, improves operational efficiency, and frees up cash flow. Thousands of users rely on our secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to manage 800,000 real estate and equipment leases valued at $200 billion. LeaseAccelerator offers a platform for growth with asset-level accounting, reporting, and governance; in-app help; and an integrated, competitive leasing marketplace fueled by a global network of more than 500 lessors. Learn more at www.leaseaccelerator.com

How RE Backoffice assisted America’s Largest Provider of shared Wireless Infrastructure manage their active Tower Agreements better after a Merger

REBO LeaseAbstraction

The 6-month long project involved abstracting, standardizing, and updating key data points from the tower licenses acquired as a part of the merger, into the client’s database.

WHO WAS OUR CLIENT? 

The client was the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure, collaborating closely with wireless carriers, communities, governments, and local property owners to provide access to wireless telecommunication infrastructure. The client manages and provides telecom site services to approximately 40,000 cell towers comprising approximately 91,000 installations and has a key presence in all the major markets in the US, with approximately 71% of their towers located in the top 100 markets. 

WHAT DID THEY NEED? 

The client had recently acquired another leading telecom company and approaches to managing the active tower license agreements were very different between the two companies. The client wanted the critical information in the licenses of the newly acquired company to comply with its existing approach. The client already had a database and were expanding it to include key data points from the newly acquired licenses. These key data points related to the licenses acquired as a part of the merger had to be abstracted and updated in the client’s database. The key data points included accurate information about the validity of the communication tower permits and information on the expiration and renewal dates of the licenses related to the communication towers located across the United States. 

This was accomplished in two phases, each phase treated as a separate phase: 

  • First, where they wanted 10,000 cell tower permits analyzed, abstracted, verified, and updated in their native cell tower permit management platform and; 
  • Second, they wanted RE BackOffice to abstract 10,000 cell tower licenses and their related service level agreements. The timeframe for the first project was 90days, while the second project was to be completed in 5 months. 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

How RE Backoffice added value to the client 

  • RE BackOffice deployed a team of 50 experienced lease analysts on the project 
  • For ease of communication, there was one dedicated project manager who acted as a single point of contact for the client. In their absence, a dedicated assistant project manager took over the role to ensure the project progressed smoothly, without deviating from the desired quality and timeline 
  • To ensure the client’s quality goals are met effectively, RE BackOffice put an objective, 3-tier quality control process which had a team of senior analysts verifying 100% of the output 
  • The documents provided by the client weren’t organized as per the cell tower sites. As a part of the document management optimization process, RE BackOffice scrutinized each document to identify the cell tower it represented and uploaded them in the client database for the concerned business unit 
  • RE BackOffice custom-built ad at a platform to suit the specifics of the client’s project. This platform consisted of all the data fields that the client required abstracted 
  • RE BackOffice’s team would update the abstracted data onto the platform which then allowed them to export the abstracts as a single excel file—the way the client wanted 
  • RE BackOffice also identified the patterns linking the Master Level Service Agreements (MLAs) to the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which played a key role in shrinking the timeline of the project by almost 30%

END RESULTS

RE BackOffice successfully completed the project within the said timeline and with 100% accuracy and helped America’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure, 

  • Proactively conduct analysis on upcoming renewal options and/or final term end dates and respond in a timely manner with the potential to prevent unforeseen future terminations 
  • Ensure customer retention and satisfaction 
  • Communicate accurately and efficiently with their customers 
  • Anticipate change and associated short/long term impacts and take the necessary steps well in advance 
  • Organize their cell-tower licenses, permits, and other related documents better, which, in turn, improved their overall operational efficiency on the lease management front

To learn more about our tower lease abstraction services, please click here or download our Tower lease abstraction brochure.