And Why It’s Worth It
Your office’s lease is probably one of your most significant expenses, and since it is not the most flexible of assets, the best you can hope to do is get the most out of every square foot.
However, without the ability to properly manage a lease, it’s nearly impossible to extract value from one.
Lease management software provides this solution. It helps maximize the value you get from your rental agreement, from how well you use your space to the return on investment it can generate.
Although they are advertised to fulfil the same purpose, there is great diversity in both the quality and functionality of lease management software options on the market.
As a general rule of thumb, you get what you pay for. However, it is crucial to carefully assess the features of the software to ensure they will meet your needs.
We’ve outlined nine standard features that are a must for effective lease management to help guide you towards your best bets.
Make sure you tap into the benefits of the best lease management software by choosing a solution that facilitates:
- Property & Operational Data
- Ensures Compliance
- Cloud-Based Data Storage
- Customizable Reporting & Alerts
- No License Fees
- Business Optimization
You’d be surprised how many organizations still use paper-based filing systems.
Even worse, their records are sometimes not even centralized—the horror.
There are many problems with this kind of system, but the most recognizable one is efficiency costs – collating lease portfolio information becomes an arduous task, consuming lots of time and energy while also being highly prone to errors or missing information.
Lease management software stores all data centrally and electronically, meaning it is there, ready and waiting whenever it needs to be accessed.
Automation also frees up your team to address more critical tasks, like analyzing the reports, looking for inconsistencies and resolving any discrepancies.
Property and Operational Data
Your space provides context for everything else you do, and the more you know about your space, the easier it is to maximize your use of it.
Good lease management software will provide a top-down view of exactly what you’re paying for, including:
- Total square footage of your lease
- How space is delegated
- Total occupancy and capacity
- Location of facilities
- General floor plan
The more information you have at your fingertips, the more informed your decision-making will be.
Often, much of this data will come from an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). Integrating lease management software adds a layer of insight that’s crucial for realizing the value of a lease and becomes particularly important as your company expands.
Failing to comply with legislation and regulations leads to penalties, and in some cases, the loss of your license. Top-of-the-line lease management and accounting programs will provide users with all the relevant tools needed to effectively analyze the data and red flag any discrepancies which will hinder compliance.
No software guarantees compliance, but it is the purpose of lease management software to simplify and automate processes, including the completion of financial statements obligatory for compliance.
A full audit trail is an evolved step up from multiple Excel spreadsheets as they can quickly become numerous and duplicated making it hard to track changes properly. The fact that all portfolio information is digitized means that retrospective and transitional reporting is easy to complete, too.
Essentially, the electronic system of lease accounting software creates reports, monitors user changes and tracks the portfolio information, saving everyone copious amounts of hassle.
Cloud-Based Data Storage
Even when over-saving digital spreadsheets with most recent versions, there is still the potential for lost files, accidental use of superseded versions, difficulties in collaborative working and the influence of separate user habits.
With technology continually increasing the speed of business, it is even more crucial to be able to access accurate and updated data from anywhere for efficient and informed decision-making, which traditional arrangements of on-site data management does not permit.
Cloud computing mitigates these issues significantly by providing real-time updates and centralized data storage. It also has added benefits such as storage scalability and greater accessibility without the costs of large on-site servers.
Especially considering the factor above, which can increase security risks, a highly secure system is non-negotiable as commercial lease management involves the use of a lot of sensitive data.
Look for software that emphasizes the importance of data protection and security so there is no risk of a breach of your database. Good indicators are SSL encryption and two-factor authentication, as well as advanced firewalls and automated notifications for new logins.
Customizable Reporting & Alerts
At the same time, lease management software is not one-size-fits-all. In fact, customization capacities can be a great advantage.
But you need to strike a balance between customization and system optimization. Look for options that let you tailor reports and alerts to suit your own needs while also having built-in report generators that compile the information you are most likely to need. These systems will also be able to provide live updates on performance and catch issues early on.
Timely notifications help ensure that your team is on top of all deadlines. Missed critical dates are costly for property managers as it often results in holdover penalties and fees.
In addition, a system that allows you to create the reports your stakeholders want to see will also be critical to fast growth. Not only will you not have to waste time looking for the information they require to make decisions, but they will automatically receive it on a predictable basis, allowing them to better plan significant decisions.
It’s a cycle: You save time having the management of your lease portfolio taken care of by a piece of software, meaning you have more time to focus on growing the success of the business; and when this goes well, it means your lease portfolio is going to grow in size, which your software can handle without any extra time or effort, letting you get back to the important stuff.
Software that will grow with you and has in-built scalability features are the only ones worth investing in because they already anticipate your success.
No License Fees
Mainly because this indicates that you are purchasing a Software as a Service (SaaS) product.
This is desirable as these types of systems run on an online portal for which a company pays for tiered access and accounts to use, rather than individual copies of software. In addition, you have continued access to and support from a team of experts of the software that can offer training, customer care, guided implementation, and of course, the ever-crucial emergency assistance.
This means that multiple users can use the same piece of software without the traditional cost implications of buying multiple pieces of software or multiple subscriptions (see Scalability above).
Convenient and cheap.
This is always the ultimate goal, isn’t it?
We would argue that lease management software is key to getting you that much closer to achieving this goal.
A centralized lease portfolio accessible by your whole team means that many eyes can analyze your documentation, increasing your chances of spotting potential opportunities for improvement.
In addition, the software itself can identify potential problem areas and effectively notify those responsible.
Most software companies will offer user groups and member communication platforms whereby all their clients can share knowledge and experiences. Not only do you benefit from the direct SaaS offerings, but you can also expand your network, discover better ways to use your product, and gain insight into how well your portfolio is performing relatively.
We hope by now that you are convinced of the multitude of benefits that lease management software offers.
Aside from the features of prospective software, invest in a lease management platform you’ll actually use. Make sure it provides streamlined data and insights and offers you improved functionality to take positive action.
Looking to take the next steps in making the transition? Or perhaps your current provider is not meeting your needs? Contact our team at Horizant to learn more about how we can help you find, implement, and optimize the best lease management solution for you.