12 Questions to Ask During a Lease Management Software Demo
by Laura Richards on November 22, 2023
So, you're shopping for the perfect lease management software for your organization.
The real estate and accounting teams have a list of needs. And let's not forget the questions your leadership team has. It's a lot of pressure to make the right choice for your lease portfolio.
To choose the right software for lease administration, lease accounting, or transactions management, you need to ask these key questions during demonstrations. Most importantly, make sure the answers you get are up to snuff.
Lease management software
1. Do you work with any service providers or accounting advisory firms?
The answer: The vendor should work with the big four accounting firms as well as the biggest names in real estate to complete implementations, provide integration services and configure solutions. If the industry doesn’t trust them, why would you?
2. Can we centralize our lease management with your solution?
The answer: Absolutely you can.
Stop having different teams rely on different solutions. When you pick a provider that has a holistic view of lease management, you can handle your lease accounting, lease administration, transaction management and portfolio planning in one centralized hub. A single source of truth is ideal for any enterprise organization.
You have one single resource for your real estate portfolio data, and everyone can perform their required functions out of one application.
"That's a major value add," said CoStar Real Estate Manager Solutions Engineer Donovan Fernander. "You have one single resource for your real estate portfolio data, and everyone can perform their required functions out of one application."
3. How can other stakeholders in real estate and leasing benefit from this solution?
The answer: When your real estate and accounting teams are in sync, you'll be amazed at how much your company can accomplish.
Workflows will run more smoothly, and data will be accurate at every step of the lease lifecycle. When you nail the audit, the entire company wins.
4. Are your solutions audited by a third party?
The answer: Yes AND…
Make sure they undergo frequent SSAE 18 SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits.
5. How is data migrated to the platform?
The answer: Should be clear and concise. And it definitely should not include countless hours of data entry by your team. ETL templates, utilized by your team or the vendor, are the way to go if you want to ensure accuracy and minimize time spent.
6. How challenging is the data migration? How much time and manpower will migration require from my team?
The answer: Experts should have you covered, and you shouldn’t be abandoned with a set-it-and-quit-it solution.
If the salesperson you're talking to can't say, 'We have guaranteed implementation,' you're talking to the wrong software provider.
"If the salesperson you're talking to can't say, 'We have guaranteed implementation,' you're talking to the wrong software provider," said Danny Jacob, Solutions Engineer at CoStar Real Estate Manager.
7. How do we ensure that only the correct person is doing their designated tasks?
The answer: The solution has safety measures that ensure no one is messing with data that they shouldn’t.
"Best practices ensure SOC controls...only designated users can perform that function," said Fernander.
8. Once we're live, what does my team do when we need additional guidance?
The answer: You’ll get continued support from our team for as long as you’re a customer.
A lot of start-up software companies are excited to get your business and much less excited to help you once you’re a customer. Find a company that understands your needs and encourages you to ask for help every step of the way.
9. Does your lease administration software provide insights into greater commercial real estate market trends?
The answer: You’ll get integrated market data for no additional charge. Because quality data can and will help you identify trends and opportunities, making the lease administrator’s job easier.
10. How is the accounting team notified to material lease changes that impact compliance and need to be processed?
The answer: The platform will automatically handle this for you. You have too many leases to be performing remeasurements on the fly. Dependable solutions are there to ensure accuracy every step of the way.
11. How are discount rates managed and updated in this dynamic interest rate environment?
The answer: Automation! Bulk discount rate matching is a game changer for accounting teams. You’d be crazy not to use it.
12. Do you have references I can speak to or reviews I can see?
The answer: The vendor should be ready and willing to provide you with references. If they can’t, you should ask them – and yourself – why that is.
With these 12 questions, you can avoid the disappointment of buying a solution that doesn't live up to its promises. More importantly, the answers you get will show you what lease management platform can meet and exceed your expectations.
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