Most companies have a lease administration process that is barely getting by. And that’s not surprising. Lease administration is really hard. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Lease administration as a process is necessary, but rarely valued in the way acquiring a new property or tenant is. Most companies invest the bare minimum to track and collect a minimal amount of data. The tools most lease administration teams have available are outdated, not as helpful as they can be, and require time-consuming work arounds to get them to be more efficient.
If you want your business to grow and prosper, getting by is no longer good enough. Maybe you sell a property and realize the net operating income is lower than it should have been resulting in a lower price. Maybe it’s a tenant dispute; or even worse, a lawsuit. Maybe one of your lease administrators leave and you cannot find another one. Tragically, getting by eventually turns into crisis mode with companies scrambling to find a solution.
At Grant & Lewis, our commercial lease administration service was created to ensure there was another option to just getting by. We know great lease administrators are hard to find. We wanted to build and train a team who specialized in lease administration so that our clients would have access to the expertise they need without the challenges of building it themselves. We wanted to ensure our clients wouldn’t have to worry about losing a lease administrator and the information only they know.
We’ve created teams of lease administration experts to help our clients succeed. Our teams are well trained, have access to the tools for the most effective lease administration, and more importantly, are passionate about our clients. When you engage Grant & Lewis as part of your lease administration team, you can be confident you’re working with the best team and tools available.
Most lease administration teams underperform. They are always buried in some activity or research project for the operations team. The software tools they use for lease administration were not designed to make lease administration effective. But they struggle to make them work. And work quickly. Which means the lease administration team, despite their best efforts, make many mistakes. Some of the mistakes are minor like invoicing a tenant for expenses they are not responsible for. Some mistakes are more costly like not knowing about a cap adjustment to current expenses. Either way, these mistakes, big or small, cost money. At best, a little extra time spent answering questions for tenants and revising reconciliations. At worst, a lower net operating income resulting in a lower property value.
Having a scalable lease administration team, whether as your sole lease administrator or as another member of the team, can add significant value to a company. Our teams not only include highly effective lease administrators, but each team also comes with a lease administration manager to ensure our teams operate efficiently and that nothing slips through the cracks. We also use cutting-edge tools that were specially designed for highly efficient commercial lease administration. As a specialized company, we make investments in our people, in processes and in software tools to ensure we always deliver expert service. When commercial lease administration is done well, you get the lease information you need with the confidence of knowing your team is operating effectively.
Most companies are built around a competitive advantage. Some companies are great at entitlements. Some are great at leveraging capital. Others are just great operators. Competitive advantages are how companies compete against one another. The more a company can leverage their expertise, the more opportunities they’ll have to close deals and build successful real estate portfolios. Very few companies have a lease administration department that does more than just get by. Which means they are limiting your opportunities and potential for financial growth. Companies that just get by invest resources into their teams with a minimal return on investment. They spend time working with the team to negotiate balances that were neglected. They have to double check lease language to ensure what they received was accurate before making decisions. Building a lease administration department as a competitive advantage is difficult and requires a tremendous investment. Most companies don’t have the expertise to even build a lease administration department. And spending time thinking about it means real competitive advantages are neglected and opportunities wasted. Engaging an expert lease administration team makes lots of dollars and sense. You get the benefit of a managed lease administration department with the right tools without having to build it yourself. At Grant & Lewis, effective lease administration is our competitive advantage. Partnering with us will help to create an instant competitive advantage for your company. Not only are we best in class today, but our continual investment in our teams and software will ensure a competitive advantage you can bank on in the future.
Executives often wonder about the value lease administration brings to a company. They see it as a necessary function without giving it a second thought. Something they need to do, but nothing more. But eventually a big mistake is made with substantial consequences. How could this have happened, they wonder.
Lease administration is highly prone to mistakes. There is a substantial amount of lease information to track and report on. Most current software tools were not designed for the workload placed on commercial lease administration teams. And most companies don’t have highly defined processes. If you have any experience working as a lease administrator or managing a team of lease administrators, it feels very much like drinking from a water hose. Making mistakes is expected. The only hope is not to make big ones.
Having a well-organized, expert lease administration team is the best way to manage operational risk. At Grant & Lewis, our superior lease administration teams have highly defined processes for collecting, storing, and distributing critical documents. They also make daily efforts to collect open balances and compliance documents like certificates of insurance. Our great lease administration teams also have advanced recovery systems to ensure tenants are invoiced for their share of expenses in accordance with the lease documents. Charging tenants for the wrong expenses can waste a significant amount of time and drag heavily on net operating income. So, our lease administration teams also proactively manage risk. They understand the consequences of missing exclusive use language and sign rights, and the impact lease language has on the leasing team.
What’s the key to our remarkable success? We believe great lease administration comes from consistent and thoughtful effort. Developing a deep understanding of the lease administration process and using the right tools is important for success. Engaging our team is a great way to start doing the little things right. Taking care of the little details will add up to very big financial success for your business.
If you know anything about commercial lease administration, you know how complex it is. The sheer number and variety of skills required to be successful at lease administration generally makes hiring and training difficult. Those who do succeed in lease administration are quickly promoted to asset management and those that aren’t, generally leave for better opportunities elsewhere. Which leaves most companies in one of two situations: Just getting by or constant turmoil of hire, train, lose personnel and repeat. For most companies, striving to get by seems like the most ideal outcome. Few companies dare to dream of what it would like to have a great company let alone know what it takes to get there.
Vary rarely do companies realize they are stuck in this vicious cycle. Lease administration is a very specialized process which rarely draws the time and investment needed to make this process successful. Today, most companies have lease administration teams that are operating on their own without the advanced tools they need to be successful. Ultimately, “good enough” will turn into something bad and the executive team will be forced to focus on the contribution the lease administration team makes to the overall success of managing real estate.
Grant & Lewis can help. No matter where you are, whether you have a great team already established or just wish you did, our team has years of successful experience to provide whatever you need. If you don’t have a team, we can be that team. If you have a team but want to make sure they have the support they need, we do that too. And if you just want the peace of mind of having a great lease administration team ready as a backup, it costs almost nothing. Spending a little time with an account manager to help them understand your company can ensure you never have to know what if feels like to not have an expert lease administrator. Isn’t it worth a little time to build a relationship with an expert lease administration team?
The first step in any engagement is to identify where help is needed. Every company defines the lease administration role differently, so the first goal is to understand which processes will be assigned to the Grant & Lewis team. Companies typically loosely evolve role assignments based on the strengths of their team at the time the roles are modified. The identify step is an opportunity for companies to really evaluate their current roles and with the assistant of our team, identify where the company’s operational strengths lie and where the company would be better off brining in support.
Once the process assignments are identified, it is time to clearly define how the process will work. For each assigned process, we will define the necessary inputs and how we will access the inputs. We will also identify the process steps, discuss the teams involved, and the potential risks we need to mitigate for. Last, and most importantly, we will define clearly what the outputs of the process are and explicitly define a timeline of when those outputs will be received by the client team. We will also define the feedback process and how and when changes are made.
The final stage is assigning a team and executing. The lease administration manager carefully reviews each of the defined processes with the assigned team ensuring each team member can clearly identify each deadline. The process and outputs are then reviewed by the team and risk factors for each process are discussed and a risk mitigation plan implemented. As the team begins execution and delivery of services, an account manager stays in regular contact to ensure the process is running smoothly and as a conduit for providing feedback to the operations team.
Let’s find out if we’re a great fit. Schedule a no-obligation consultation to learn how we can provide best-in-class lease administration, and enhance your real estate portfolio.