What to Look for in Lease Management Software
By Noam Livnat
Chief Product & Innovation Officer
Your building’s lease is likely one of the biggest expenses on the company's balance sheet. And unlike many of your operational costs, you have little control over a month-to-month lease. The best you can hope to do is get the most out of every square foot. To do that, you’ll need the best lease management software.
Lease management software helps maximize the value you get out of your rental agreement, from how well you use your space to the return on investment it can generate. Here’s the robust tools and other options you should look for when selecting lease management software.
Lease management tools
Above all else, commercial lease management software should help you physically manage your lease. This is as simple as paying a landlord or archiving important lease documents. It needs to be a resource for being a responsible tenant. Some of the simplest features of distinguished lease management software include:
- Document storage and archival
- Electronic signature and verification
- Cloud functionality and connectivity
- Lease reporting and document generation tools
- Secure file exportation and data transmission
Without the ability to properly manage a lease, it’s nearly impossible to extract value from one. Getting a handle on the documentation and proper processes for lease management is the first step toward responsible tenancy. Always make sure your lease management software lives up to its intention: Helping you oversee your lease(s).
Macro property data
The more you know about your space, the easier it is to maximize your use of it. Macro property data is a good place to start. Use lease management software to create a top-down view of exactly what you’re paying for, including:
- Total square footage of your lease
- How space is delegated (number of floors, rooms, etc.)
- Total occupancy and capacity
- Location of facilities
- General floor plan
The biggest aspects of your space provides context for everything else you do. For example, you can’t determine space utilization until you know what the capacity is across the total square footage of your facilities.
Most lease management software will focus heavily on macro data. This is, after all, what determines the context and cost of the lease itself.
Operational insights are a more granular look at how you’re currently using macro property data. Your lease management system should show your operations in relation to the property. For example:
- How many individual workspaces are there?
- How many people are staffed in a particular space?
- What portion of your total lease cost does each space account for?
- What is the total space utilization rate of your workplace?
- How often are specific workstations used?
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.
Operational insights become more important as your company adds more locations or expands its footprint to more diverse spaces.
If the chief objective of lease management is to control costs and maximize value, few features are more important than accounting integrations. Make sure your lease software offers these features:
- Cost breakdowns for multiple properties
- Integrations for IWMS cost data
- Balance sheet integrations and export options
- Charge and cost aggregation (maintenance, upkeep, improvement, etc.)
- Accounts payable/receivable integration
Good lease management software will track all associated facilities management costs and break them out in the context of the lease. More importantly, software will integrate with various accounting software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to help executives plan growth and extrapolate facilities costs.
Mapping and contextualizing
Mapping is an increasingly important feature of lease management software, on both macro and micro levels.
On a macro scale, executives need to be able to see their properties in relation to the geographic areas they’re located in. If you have offices in New York, London, and Hong Kong, does it make sense to add one in Mumbai? Will moving your offices from Philadelphia to Reading save enough on your lease to justify the move, while keeping you close to customers in New York City and Washington D.C.?
With micro mapping, it’s all about charting the square footage of your workplace. Do you really need 400 square feet of your total 1,600 square feet dedicated to experiential workstations? Are the restrooms on the fourth floor large enough to accommodate everyone who works there? Mapping facilities creates a floor plan that enables insightful action beyond crunching numbers. It’s a visual way to maximize the value of your lease.
Make sure the software meets your needs
There are a robust array of features important to lease software. But it all boils down to how you put them to work. Aside from vetting the features of prospective software, invest in a lease management platform you’ll actually use. Make sure it provides data and insights in an easy-to-use manner, and offers you functionality to take positive action.
Used correctly, lease management software is a powerful asset in maximizing space ROI—especially across multiple properties and for growing companies.
Keep reading: selecting the best facility management software.