Lease management is more complicated than ever before. Tenants and landlords are navigating a lot of hurdles, including organizations’ need for greater flexibility – according to the Visual Lease Data Institute companies are prioritizing agility within their leases, with 88% of senior Real Estate Executives reporting that companies are planning for physical space needs just one year or less in advance – and now ESG reporting requirements on the horizon. The standards released by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) are expected to be followed soon by guidelines from the SEC, adding another layer of complexity specifically for landlords who will be responsible for this reporting.
All of these changes require the right technology-backed controls framework to successfully meet both lease accounting and ESG reporting standards. Here are three ways the right lease management can help organizations stay on top of these changes.
1. Ensure clear communication and documentation
Leases are complex and dynamic documents – it’s critical that tenants understand and can track the terms of their lease. Misunderstandings about expenses and what’s owed can often lead to late payments and negatively impact a tenant-owner relationship. This also helps property owners track tenant payments to identify more financially stable and accountable tenants who pay rent and other expenses on time. The right lease controls ultimately benefit both parties through improved communication and a better understanding of the lease agreements.
2. Increase lease agility and flexibility
Tenants increasingly want the flexibility to react to changing circumstances, whether that is a dynamic work schedule or an uncertain economy. The ability to track a tenant’s performance or occupancy through lease management will help inform property owners on how to structure future agreements and establish more individualized terms for each tenant. Lease management can also improve communication between both parties by allowing them to quickly convey messages like important dates about the building and potentially dangerous weather.
3. Staying ahead of ESG reporting requirements
ESG regulations are here and more are around the corner, so company leaders need to be planning ahead to stay in front of reporting requirements. This reporting is also likely to be closely watched by investors, employees and customers who all have indicated they expect to see greater transparency from companies when it comes to where things stand with ESG.
Owners run several risks if they do not have the ability to report on their leased and owned asset portfolios’ environmental output – from water usage to carbon emissions and on. These risks include falling out of favor with key stakeholders, including employees, tenants and investors, and being wildly unprepared for climate change regulations and reporting standards. Having the ability to provide this level of environmental transparency to tenants will only gain in appeal as it allows them to use these metrics toward their own internal ESG goals as well. Implementing strong lease controls and the right tracking technology, like the VL ESG Steward, now will position these owners ahead of the rest.
The bottom line: The right lease controls will enable successful reporting within a complex system.
Lease accounting has never been easy, and it’s only become more complicated with the introduction of new ESG reporting standards, which will ultimately fall to organizations and their accounting teams to manage and maintain. ESG standards are only expected to expand, which means companies will have to further adapt their accounting to suit regulations. The right controls in place will enable successful reporting and maintenance for teams that must meet a growing range of business needs.
Learn more about the VL ESG Steward here.