Leases are critical business documents that drive key strategic decisions, and your lease abstracts help you make those decisions. While lease abstracts are the first step to staying on top of your lease portfolio management process, getting your leases abstracted in-house can be challenging due to various reasons such as the high resource costs, lack of resources, tight timelines, etc.
In our blog this week, we discuss questions to ask a lease abstraction vendor before your sign them up.
Question 1: Do you perform all your projects in-house?
Did you know that often lease abstraction and admin vendors outsource their work to other agencies? You should be aware if your vendor also engages in similar subcontracting projects as it can affect you in 2 ways:
Data security and confidentiality: If your critical lease data is being shared with someone else, it can have serious consequences. Unless you are convinced of the data security measures adopted by your vendor and the sub-contractors, you can’t rest assured that your data is safe.
Possible delays: If your vendor is relying on someone else to do the actual work, any impediment on the subcontractor’s end will end up delaying your project and result in missed deadlines—something you cannot afford when dealing with critical time-bound, needs-based triggers like due diligence and acquisitions.
Question 2: How big and experienced is your team?
It is important that you ask your potential lease abstraction and administration vendor about their team strength and collective experience. These factors play a key role in the quantity and quality of output they deliver. One of the reasons why many companies prefer to outsource their lease abstraction and administration processes is because of the scalability and flexibility they get by outsourcing. If your vendor doesn’t have enough staff strength to scale up with you during times of resource shortage, or when you have an exceptionally higher load of leases due to factors such as a new merger or acquisitions, then you fail to leverage a key benefit of outsourcing.
At the same time, be sure to ask about the overall team experience, as this has a direct impact on the quality of output and also on its quantity. An experienced team will be able to deliver high-quality output in a relatively shorter timeframe.
Question 3: Will you collaborate with our other stakeholders?
For the lease administration process to be effective, often, the lease administrators will have to get in touch with others in the legal or accounting functions of the landlord or tenant’s business. This is especially true in case of recurring lease administration tasks such as reconciliations, collections, etc., You may even have an in-house lease admin team with whom your vendor may have to collaborate often. Having a lease administration vendor who liaise for you will make the entire process more efficient and you will be spared the hassle of multiple emails and calls to collaborate with different stakeholders across the country or even the globe, if you have an international presence.
Question 4: Can you give us client references?
Ask your potential lease abstraction and admin vendors for client references. When outsourcing a process as important as lease portfolio management, you want to make sure that your vendors truly place great emphasis on customer delight and creating positive customer experiences. One of the ways to verify that is by asking for client references and testimonials. It is even better if the clients are from your industry.
Question 5: What about client support?
Ask your vendor about their client support set up. Do they offer 24-hour client support? Are they available on all working days of the week? What about the point-of-contact? Will they offer you a single point-of-contact throughout the course of your project? This becomes especially crucial when you have offices operating from different parts of the world. Having a single project manager to handle your lease portfolio can make the process more fluid, transparent and efficient.
Question 6: Can you customize your service offerings?
When it comes to lease portfolio management, every client, every industry is different and the one-size-fits-all service model won’t work well. For an outsourced lease portfolio management process to work well, it is important that your vendor caters to your industry-specific needs and customizes their service offering to meet them effectively.
There are a lot of lease abstraction vendors in the market, but you want to make sure you pick one with the right amount of expertise, experience, industry knowledge, and reputation so your lease abstracts are accurate, concise, complete, and relevant to your business needs helping you make better operational and strategic decisions, consistently.