Covid-19 impacted each facet of everyday life, including rent management. As the pandemic raged, business operators across the country struggled with managing the sheer volume of new lease agreements after abatements and deferrals had been agreed upon. 

That’s where Property Works stepped in. With the new Rent-Deferral Tool, also known as the Rent-Disruption Tool, clients were able to track lease amendments and deferrals across numerous properties all in one place. 

Karla Finnegan, Vice President of Sales, recently described the wide-ranging benefits of the Rent-Deferral Tool in Property Works’ webinar “COVID Rent Management: What We Learned.” The webinar described the myriad ways the Rent-Deferral Tool helped clients during the pandemic, as well as the important lessons business operators have learned in the era of Covid-19.

What Is the Rent-Deferral Tool?

Property Works developed and released the Rent-Deferral Tool in March 2020, immediately following the announcement of Covid-19 restrictions in the United States. 

“The majority of our clients are restaurant- and retail-based, and they knew the pandemic was going to be a major hurdle,” Finnegan said. “Our team realized that there was going to be a huge influx of default notices and new lease terms to keep up with.   Our clients needed to be able to record, track, and manage such a large volume of work in one place.”

Property Works’ IT department went to work to release the Rent-Deferral Tool to help ease the burden commercial-lease holders were facing. Within the new software tool, clients can:

  • Input and modify a variety of payments (rent, insurance, CAM, vendors, etc.)
  • Make batch adjustments
  • Track deferred payments
  • Record default notices down to specific units & individuals
  • Import notes on verbal agreements between landlords
  • Log obligations, adjustments, and service requests
  • Track specific Covid–related issues (penalties for defaulting, force majeure comments, etc.)

One client, a major national restaurant brand, leveraged Property Works’ Rent-Deferral Tool to streamline data across departments, and in so doing helped emerge from bankruptcy. Due to the company’s departments not working cohesively and using multiple spreadsheets, money owed was difficult to track. Property Works’ service team meticulously imported all of their data into the Rent-Deferral Tool in such a way as to provide accurate financial representation and forecast.

“This tool will continue to be very handy for clients, even after the pandemic ends,” said Finnegan. “Clients that are holding rents because of disputes, or who are in a legal situation or perhaps gearing up for bankruptcy, will benefit from the efficiency of the software and ability to easily track payments across the board.”

What Did We Learn During the Pandemic?

The past year has offered many lessons in how to prepare for and deal with worst-case scenarios in commercial lease management. Below are some helpful take-aways that should be considered moving forward:

  • Store and maintain your data in a comprehensive software tool. Unfortunately, many business operators have tried to manage their finances through Excel spreadsheets alone. During a crisis, this method of tracking is nearly impossible. To ensure finances are accurately represented across properties, always import your data into a comprehensive software tool.
  • Don’t skimp on the abstracting. When you cut corners to save a little today, you may end up spending a lot tomorrow. By investing in a one-time fee to abstract all of your data into a system, you can run any number of reports to pull out information exactly when you need it.
  • Reposition your portfolio. Increasing your overall value by repositioning your portfolio is a key opportunity not to be overlooked. When you do so, it is vital to have all of your data in one place and a team to prepare the reports and help you through the process. Property Works’ expert services and software do just that.
  • Partner with a team, not just a product. Having a partner that understands your position and will jump in to take the lead when you need it most is a wise investment, pandemic or not. Property Works understands that every business operator is different and can offer the support and partnership needed to be successful.

Final Thoughts

Property Works assisted clients of all sizes wade through the complexities of running multi-unit businesses through the toughest year in recent memory. With the help of the Rent-Deferral Tool, businesses are empowered to take control of their finances across units by accurately tracking payments, adjustments, obligations, and more in one place. 

To view the “COVID Rent Management: What We Learned” webinar, please click here. For all inquiries and to begin optimizing your portfolio with Property Works, reach out to us today. We look forward to partnering with your business.