To Err is Human
During a relatively routine test of the state’s emergency missile warning system, a technician at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency opened a drop-down menu and was presented with two choices: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” On January 13th, 2018 at 8:07 AM, he accidentally selected the wrong option, initiating a full-on missile alert sent to every cell phone in the state. In an instant, one small human error launched the entire Hawaiian archipelago into a state of chaos and hysterics.
Thankfully, most human mistakes don’t cause statewide panic. But nonetheless, mistakes—especially ones in business—can lead to some serious problems.
In leasing, information gets re-keyed all the time (CRM → lease; lease → abstract; abstract → financial software; etc.), and each time it gets re-keyed, the error risk is compounded. The solution, of course, is to minimize redundant data-entry procedures through the use of software.
For a highly impactful example of how software eliminates risks and drives efficiency in the real estate world, look to the lease abstract.
Lease Abstracts: An Essential Headache
As a centralized hub of information, lease abstracts are a connecting point for nearly everyone in a commercial real estate organization. Without an abstract, the pace of daily operations in legal, accounting, and asset management would slow considerably.
Unfortunately, extracting the essential information from a 60+ page commercial lease and formatting it into an abstract is a tedious, time-consuming job that nobody is eager to do. And that’s putting it politely. There have been attempts to make the process easier through the use of AI and machine learning, but even with these solutions the underlying problem remains: leases are fundamentally unstructured documents. In simple terms, that means that every letter, number, and symbol in the document is treated equally by a computer.
An Ideal World
In a better world, leases would have an underlying logical data structure. Building information, commencement dates, rent tables, and other important information would be indexed and the relationships between these variables would be defined. By adding a data structure to the document, generating an abstract would be trivial. Just tick a few checkboxes to indicate the information you’d like to appear in the abstract, click a button, and in a few seconds your abstract is generated.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what LeasePilot was built to do. It’s a data-first solution to document automation. That’s a strong value proposition in its own right, but it’s made even more powerful by the fact that LeasePilot is an open-ended platform.
If you’ve used MRI or similar software, you’re probably well aware of the headache caused by re-keying data from an abstract into a new account record. In most cases it takes several hours, and like abstract creation, it’s a job that nobody does voluntarily. But with structured data, it’s a job that doesn’t have to be done at all. Data that would otherwise need to be pulled from an abstract can be sent directly from LeasePilot into MRI, bypassing the need for an abstract altogether.
How it Works
Leasing is, by and large, an analog process with a number of digital band-aids slapped on top to ease the pain. Digital documents, for example, have made file creation, editing, and organization easier, but the information contained in each MS Word document is isolated from the larger business ecosystem in which it exists. For all practical intents and purposes, this means the data is still analog. That is, in order for it to be useful in other contexts like accounting and finance, a human must act as a bridge, manually transcribing information from a Word document to wherever else it is needed.
A truly digital workflow eliminates this need entirely. Instead of information existing in isolated, unstructured silos (Word documents), it exists in an indexed, structured database and comes together when and where it’s needed.
Integration with MRI
Software like MRI makes the ongoing management of lease agreements a breeze. What isn’t a breeze, however, is the process of manually entering deal terms into MRI.
Enter: MRI integration with LeasePilot. By tying the two platforms together, data can be passed seamlessly from one platform to another.
New Leases: If you’ve just executed a lease, all of the deal data contained in the lease is passed over to MRI, pre-populating all relevant fields.
Renewals and Amendments: If you’re renewing a lease or adding an amendment, the document can be automatically generated in LeasePilot. Just input the updated deal terms into MRI and send the data over to LeasePilot. It really is that simple.