Insufficiently Armed to Make Informed Strategic Decisions; Q&A with Alison Davies, Director of Corporate Real Estate Management at DTZ

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Davies

Q How can I effectively manage property data? Many companies are mak AA-k ing business decisions with -out a complete picture of their real estate portfolio, resulting in expensive mis -takes and risk of noncompliance. The real danger can often lie in the information we are not even aware of and from real estate data we have not yet captured.

The number of companies with little or no consolidated information about their real estate assets and liabilities is surprisingly significant. This is extraordinary when real estate is in the top three largest costs for most companies, alongside people and technology.

However, a robust real estate administration system can be developed by following three simple steps that, once in place, will enable the real estate team to make a more dynamic contribution to business strategy: Step 1: Get reliable centralised data It is quite common to find no single real estate data set and a variety of inconsist-t ent approaches between different business units. There can also be an eclectic mix of spreadsheets, multiple incompat-t ible databases, paper files or simply nothing at all.

Document sourcing followed by lease abstraction into a common format is the solution. The summarising of relevant terms from a complex document is a skilled task and far from a basic administrative process. It is therefore essential that abstractors are familiar with all aspects of property legislation.

Step 2: Keep the data relevant and ensure good governance Best practice for even small portfolios is the hosting of the data on one of the range of commercially available database solutions, tailored to suit all budgets and needs, offering point solutions or integration with other related activity such as facilities management. …