OSCRE (Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate) has unveiled standards-based technology that will enable substantial new efficiencies around facilities management. The new technology will enable the rapid, accurate creation and communication of lease summary documents—the essential information that lies at the heart of the management of leased assets.
Currently, lease summaries are produced in text formats which are transcribed and re-keyed multiple times; a way of working that is fraught with delays, errors, and inefficiencies. Bringing together sponsors Aviva Investors, Canada Life Investments, CB Richard Ellis, Hammerson, Jones Lang LaSalle, Land Securities, Legal & General Property, and British Land—together with leading software vendors—OSCRE has facilitated the creation of new standards-based technology that removes these challenges and opens the door to new efficiency opportunities for all parties involved.
There are already software solutions available and ready to import lease summary data, and now there are solutions ready for the export of standards compliant data files, meaning that lawyers can be better positioned to support the needs of their property investment customer base. Investment firms now need only to instruct their lawyers to send lease summary information to the assigned property management firm in electronic format and the benefits of doing so will begin to accrue.
Mick Flynn, managing director at Trace Solutions commented: “We want our clients to get the most from their systems and look for initiatives that increase business efficiency. Loading data is one of the most labor intensive tasks for our clients, and so it was an obvious choice for us. Over the short history of the IT industry, we have seen hardware, operating systems, and programming languages move from being completely proprietary to being interoperable. The last piece of this puzzle is data. The time has come to finalize this aspect of interoperability.
Trying to get companies to use compliant software is a chicken and egg situation. The key to success is to persuade investors to buy in to the benefits of the standard and instruct their lawyers and managing agents to start using it. The sponsors of this project have opened the door to now allow other investors to do the same.”
Graeme Lambert, property finance director for Canada Life Investments said: “Canada Life Investments engaged with this initiative because it could see the real benefits of establishing standards for improving data flows between all parties—property owners, investors, lawyers, surveyors, managers, and administrators.
“This project has an abundant list of advantages for both ourselves and for the parties we work with in lease documentation processing. We see a significant time saving opportunity and even more importantly, the chance to improve accuracy with the layers of re-entering critical lease related information greatly removed.
“We need to ensure that we invoice the right tenant, for the right amount, at the right time, and this enhances our ability to do that. We are hoping to halve the processing time required,” Lambert concludes.
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