Get your dates right!

 

Lease abstracts involve summarizing the key financial and non-financial information contained in your leases to ensure:

  • You have quick access to critical information
  • You can make the right business decisions regarding the property in question
  • You have a clear understanding of even the most complex of lease terms

Generally, when we use the term, key lease data, the first thing that comes to mind is Rent. A lot of importance is attached to the rent roll and every lease abstractor focuses on getting that right. Tenants and landlords alike recognize the importance of getting the rent roll and its various elements summarized accurately. But there are other financial fields that are equally important and shouldn’t be taken lightly either. We are referring to options related to termination, renewal, expansion and the right of first refusal. These elements are extremely important from the tenant’s perspective because they can help you get a good deal on your existing lease. Here’s how it works-

  • Termination options: These clauses deal with the choices the landlord and tenant have with respect to ending the lease contract at any time. 
  • Renewal options: These clauses deal with the choices the tenant has to renew the lease with the landlord upon completion of the lease term.
  • Expansion or right to first refusal options often deal with the tenant’s right to being asked first in the event there’s a vacancy in the premises. 

It is extremely important that, as a tenant,  you are aware of these options in order to make timely strategic decisions for your business. 

For example, if you end up finding a cheaper or a better location for your business, you may want to consider terminating your lease mid-term, even if it means paying penalties, because, in the long run, that may work out to be more profitable. 

On the other hand, if your property is in a great location and you got a great deal on your rent increase terms, you may want to renew your lease after it finishes its initial term. In such a case, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to renew your lease just because you missed the notice period by 2 days! 

Another example, let’s say the premises adjacent to yours is just what you need as your business grows, it will make sense for you to jump on the opportunity the moment it becomes vacant. 

In order to do any of these things, there are various formalities involved such as notifying your landlord of your intention to terminate or renew within the stipulated time frame, a formal, written, expression of interest, etc., 

So, when we speak of getting the key terms right in your lease abstract, it is much more than the basic rent roll. All key dates must be identified at the time of lease abstraction and as a part of your lease administration process, those dates should be tracked, along with the necessary action items related to them so you can make the most of your leases. 

RE BackOffice is a strategic partner providing end-to-end lease administration and accounting services, including lease audits. We offer scalable, affordable and accurate lease accounting and administration services to optimize your lease portfolio and related processes. Please contact us today to learn more

Why outsource your lease audits?

 

Lease audits are a great tool for tenants to manage lease costs. Lease audits help you identify possible inconsistencies in the operating expenses and CAM charge amounts levied on tenants by the landlord. These include- 

  • Incorrect square footage calculations
  • Faulty base year calculations
  • Duplicate/irregular invoicing

Yet, sometimes, tenants tend to skip their annual lease audits. The reasons vary and range from lack of resources to assuming the landlord’s calculations to be accurate anyway. However, lease audits must be performed regularly and preferably via a professional lease auditor. Here are some reasons why.

Professional Lease Auditors bring expertise: Tenants that have an in-house lease administration team often think they can be utilized for the lease audit function as well, since the two are closely connected. However, to perform effective lease audits, you need very specific skills. Unlike the usual lease abstraction or administration tasks, lease audit involves scrutinizing every invoice, a perusal of the landlord’s expense reports in connection to the premises, reconciling payments and advances with bank statements and so on. It also involves interpreting the amounts invoiced in the context of the clauses in the lease. 

Lease audits are time-consuming: This task not only requires a keen eye for detail but also a lot of patience and an in-depth understanding of lease accounting and lease language. The whole process of lease auditing is time-intensive and your existing resources may be too busy to invest their undivided attention into the audit. 

Liaising with stakeholders: Lease audits entail communicating with the landlord and other stakeholders to get access to the required information, so the audit can be performed effectively. Your staff may not have the time to reach out to the landlord and other stakeholders, and they might also be more receptive to hearing from a third party than from the tenant’s office. 

Lease auditing firms can lend extra credibility to your claims: Sometimes, the tenant and landlord may not agree on the audit results and the matter may end up in litigation. However, an experienced lease auditing firm will be adept at handling such instances and may help salvage the situation by helping both parties arrive at an amicable resolution without litigation. Also, in the event of discrepancies, when you have a reputed lease audit firm advocating for you, matters are more likely to be resolved sooner and amicably as there’s more credibility. 

RE BackOffice is a strategic partner providing end-to-end lease administration and accounting services, including lease audits. We offer scalable, affordable and accurate lease accounting and administration services to optimize your lease portfolio and related processes. Please contact us today to learn more.

Case Study: RE BackOffice helps America’s leading mid-sized retailers of the largest communication brands to save more than $140,000 annually with effective and efficient Lease Administration Services

 

This week we share a case study that discusses how RE BackOffice helps America’s leading mid-sized retailers of largest communication brands to save more than $140,000 annually with effective and efficient Lease Administration Services. Some of the key challenges faced by our clients include-

  • High cost of hiring, training and retaining lease administration resources
  • High rate of attrition affecting lease portfolio management and timely updates
  • Financial losses due to missed opportunities and underutilization of assets resulting from decentralized, fragmented and inaccurate lease data.
  • Lack of qualified resources to conduct regular audits to identify discrepancies and possible cost savings

Find out how RE BackOffice helps these clients overcome these challenges with its efficient and effective lease administration and accounting services.

Download Case Study

About RE BackOffice
RE BackOffice is a strategic partner providing end-to-end lease administration and accounting services providing scalable, affordable and accurate lease accounting and administration services to make your lease portfolio management more efficient. Contact us today to learn how you can leverage our experience and expertise to drive revenue and cost savings by optimizing your lease portfolio management process.

Is your lease abstraction set-up accurate?

 

You know how important it is to keep your lease portfolio up-to-date. You probably even have resources in-house to help you stay on top of your lease portfolio. But, what about accuracy? Are you capturing the right data fields? Any investment in your lease administration process won’t pay off if your base data is incorrect. So, how do you go about ensuring your core lease administration process is on-track? Here are a few things to consider-

Your lease abstraction template

You know lease abstracts play an important role in helping you understand the key elements of your leases. Plus, they come in handy when you need quick access to the critical lease elements at the time of strategic decisionmaking. However, you need to ensure that your abstraction template captures all the relevant information. While some core fields such as rent, options, key dates, etc., are needed irrespective of what industry you belong to, there may be fields that are important for your business or industry in particular. Apart from such fields, there may be certain, less common clauses in some leases that must be captured. So, the first step to ensuring you are capturing the right data is a) Being able to identify what data matters to you and b) Having a template that caters to your needs by capturing that information.

How is the data captured?

Once you have the right template in place, the next step is to set guidelines for data capture. You want the data abstracted to be complete, yet concise. Your lease abstract should read like an abstract, highlighting the key elements of a particular clause. It shouldn’t be a copy-and-paste exercise, including all of your lease terms into your template. This approach defeats the purpose of lease abstraction. 

What role will technology play in your lease abstraction and administration process?

At the outset, you need to be clear on the role technology will play in your lease portfolio management process. There are automated lease abstraction software tools in the market, that extract key information from leases and populate them onto a predefined template. While automating the lease abstraction process can offer considerable benefits in terms of lower turnaround time and resource costs, it cannot completely replace the human element. Lease abstraction and administration requires analysis of leases and related documents to arrive at accurate and most-useful data sets to help you drive critical business decisions concerning your real estate portfolio. 

An experienced lease administration vendor who specializes in the initial process setup can help you ensure your lease administration and abstraction processes are set up properly. They can add value to your lease portfolio management process by

  • Conducting a review of your existing data capture mechanisms and templates for accuracy and usefulness. 
  • Evaluating your current process and cadence and offering guidance on how you can make it more efficient
  • Suggesting changes to your existing lease abstraction templates to help you optimize your existing templates

About RE BackOffice

RE BackOffice, Inc. is a premier provider of strategic commercial real estate back-office functions, including lease abstraction, lease administration, and real estate marketing services. Since 2006, REBO has been a trusted partner to top-tier commercial real estate companies, retailers, and service providers seeking a strategic advantage. Whether managing a portfolio of leases or providing graphic support through stacking plans, renderings and websites, RE BackOffice’s team of professionals is dedicated to delivering high-quality services and optimal ROI to our clients. At RE BackOffice, your back office – is our front office.