Often when we speak to a prospective client there is someone in their organization that is the “Resident Historian” for many of the location “stories” and/or complex lease transactions. These team MVP’s have a wealth of anecdotal information that helps connect the data and documents in a continuum that can be understood, and is extremely valuable when reviewing billing scenarios, such as operating expense pass-through.
Recording this “history” as part of a location record can be an important part of Succession Planning. WHEN that person is no longer there…who will tell those stories? Will they be lost? They don’t have to be. Although the “Resident Historian” understands how key information all fits together, over time the intent of a document is lost. Will their successor be able to connect the dots when they step into that role? Even if the Resident Historian is able to relay all the details and nuances perfectly and all inclusively, how is the successor going to be able take down and store this information to reference later? This is where Lease Administration should be helping! Thinking about the Lease Administration process in the most basic sense; Lease Administration is the creation of a Critical Information Reference Document with the ability to locate and pull that information when needed. The process of recording these explanations that help new readers or researchers understand the location is just a matter of deciding to invest the time in tracking it, planning out where to put the information, and finding a smart way to gather and place this data into each record. Whether it is placed in specific fields, notes/comments near the field related to the story or elsewhere, it needs to be consistent so that it is reportable.
At PSG, we believe building this historical intelligence into the abstracting process and database management is important. We routinely include this type of “abstract notation” so that as organizations change, this important connective data can become part of the organizational wisdom. It’s especially important for Global locations where local statutes and customs are regularly part of the thought process about a lease, but that information is not specifically spelled out in the lease itself. Being able to interview/extract that data while abstracting or in a planned phase after initial abstracting is performed takes intention and time, but is worth it in the final product.
Continuity can be the difference between a Lease Administration database that is strong, useful, and progressive, and one in which the data confidence erodes after personnel changes over time. Once this erosion sets in, it often leads to uncertainty, and eventually an expensive and time consuming “re-abstracting”. This does not have to be the case. Just like cross-training and other departmental succession planning, our suggestion for this month is to think about all the information that exists “in-between the lines” of all the documents and fields, and use today’s technology to capture it so becomes part of your departmental intelligence.
Some of the places where this information is invaluable:
- Acquisition Information
- Square Footage Changes
- Space Usage
- Ownership Information
- Expense / Base Year or Other Allocation, Limits, Agreements