When one of New Zealand’s biggest public companies identified the need for a software solution to manage their rapidly-growing property portfolio, they found the market very short of solutions for their particular requirements.
There were a number of solutions available – both local and international – that were fine for managing commercial property for the owners, investors and landlords; however none specifically addressed the requirements of a large corporate occupier.
The Property Finance team faced significant delays in processing their monthly rentals, had no visibility over rent review forecasts, lease expiries and options, and were producing most reports either manually or using complex – and fragile – spreadsheets.
It also didn’t help that their floorplans, lease documents and correspondence were held non-centrally in a variety of formats and locations.
Their first attempt at finding and implementing a software solution was not a success – all the information, financial management and reporting was viewed from the owner’s perspective. There was little functionality or reporting from the Tenant’s perspective, and that’s what this client needed.
The client commissioned Vision Software to design, develop and deliver what proved to be the first Corporate Real Estate solution in New Zealand, and quite likely the southern hemisphere. VisionCRE (now Qube Vision) was the first solution to enable properties and leases to be managed both from the Owner’s perspective and that of the Tenant – a huge breakthrough and one that revolutionised the management and reporting of our client’s extensive leased portfolio.
Qube Vision also included a seamless Document Management solution, which was immediately capitalised on by the client and every lease document, floorplan, CAD drawing, photo and piece of correspondence was systematically collected, collated and loaded into the correct repository.
Hard copies could be filed away securely, and anyone requiring access to key documents could do so instantly from within the Qube Vision application. They could share the documents and truly collaborate, and it saved a great deal of time and effort.
With the data all in the correct structure, reporting was transformed and critical dates were met, rent review forecasts were provided to the board, and the biggest bonus was yet to be realised.
As part of the exercise to populate the database and review and benchmark the lease costs, an anomaly was quickly revealed. One of our client’s stores occupied a piece of land on two separate titles. A hotel occupied part of the site on a sub-lease arrangement, and was responsible for its share of the Council rates and other outgoings, which were not insubstantial.
It was discovered that for several years, the client had been paying the Council land and water rates for all the land, as it was responsible for, but had failed to recover those costs from its sub-lease tenant.
The benchmarking and comparative reporting, including operating costs per square metre, had highlighted the fact that this one property was paying double the amount of other stores.
As a result, our client was able to recover several years of back-dated rates and outgoings from its tenant, and the savings paid for the total purchase and implementation of the Qube Vision product – before it had even gone live.