Lease Administration at Ensemble Real Estate Solutions
Lease administration plays a vital role in the success of Ensemble’s commercial real estate service offerings. In order to showcase the important role lease administration has and will continue to have at Ensemble, we conducted an interview with Claudine Rousseau, the Lease Administrator, and Lorie Eckert, the Brokerage Administrative Assistant, of Ensemble Real Estate Solutions.
How would you define lease administration?
Lease administration is an integral part of the management of leasing process, which includes ensuring that the obligations under the lease are met from administration, construction, marketing, accounting, legal and property management.
Could you please provide an overview of the lease administration process?
While it varies slightly depending on the portfolio, typically it starts with drafting a lease document from the terms the brokers have negotiated. Once the tenant signs the lease, it is abstracted and the commission is calculated. Our abstract is sent internally to our leasing agents, property manager, design and construction team, marketing and accounting, triggering each department to start their part of the process. The lease documents, abstracts and commission invoices are sent to the asset managers (Landlord) for their review, approval and execution. Once the executed documents are returned, they are processed and filed, and executed copies are returned to the tenants.
How has lease administration changed since you have been with Ensemble?
Lease administration has changed dramatically at Ensemble over the last several years. Initially, Ensemble was the Owner/Operator of the buildings that it developed and lease administration was much more routine as we were working internally directly for the Landlord. Ensemble has since sold most of their ownership interest and now provides leasing representation and property management services to the REITs who purchased Ensemble’s portfolio as well as several owners of individual buildings and other portfolios. With the broadened client base, there is much more diversity in lease administration dealing with different asset managers making decisions and different procedures for each.
Additionally, lease administration has taken an active role in a relatively new business line unique to Ensemble, the Tenant Advisory Group (TAG™). TAG is a dedicated group of Ensemble’s seasoned healthcare real estate professionals who manage our multi-location healthcare clients’ diverse lease data and help them identify opportunities to make sound decisions quickly without draining their own resources. Lease Administration’s role in TAG includes centralizing and managing all clients’ lease documents and creating an abstract for each property summarizing the key financial, business and legal information in the lease.
What is currently going on with lease administration?
Currently, we are finding other resources to help streamline our lease administration processes to make them more efficient. With the TAG initiative, we implemented a new software system,
ProLease, to manage our clients’ leases, which we are continuing to explore to be able to capitalize on its full capabilities. HonorHealth in Arizona has recently awarded Ensemble a contract to manage the accounting for all of the buildings they own and the leases for which they are a tenant, so over the next several months we will be working with accounting to assist in providing the lease terms for the HonorHealth set up.
How does lease administration benefit our clients?
It allows them to focus on their own businesses while actual real estate experts handle their portfolios. With Ensemble’s guidance, our clients will gain a greater insight into their portfolios, avoid missing critical dates, find opportunities to cut costs and will be able to maximize their investments by consolidating or disposing of underused assets.