- Data being stored and managed manually in multiple spreadsheets
- Critical Lease dates and clauses were too often being overlooked
- Performing simple property management tasks had become extremely arduous
- Vast detail for each retail outlet can be easily captured and managed
- Clear visibility into property data allows for accurate insights and reporting
- Portfolio data is accessible “on-the-run” and critical event alerts are set across the business
MRI LeaseEagle has revolutionised how we manage our property portfolios…
– Noni B Assistant Property Manager Barbara Rebiffé
Since it was founded in 1997, NONI B has grown into one of Australia’s most respected fashion retailers, with 220 stores nationwide. The company’s vision is to be no less than the best fashion retailer in the country, with a focus on quality service and value. In 2000, the company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – a development that has shaped the company’s drive to achieve excellence at every turn.
It is this commitment to excellence that underpinned a major change in the operational side of the company’s property management portfolio in September 2012. It was a change that facilitated industry leading management and first-class development of each store across Australia.
Vast property data locked in complex spreadsheets
With such a high number of stores to oversee, it is no surprise that property management is one of the biggest budget portfolios in the company, and one of the greatest challenges. Until last year this challenge was met with a great deal of skill, but also an equal amount of paperwork and administration baggage.
“For the first four years I was with NONI B the way we monitored leasing contracts and managed property-related data was extremely arduous. Data was manually sorted within spreadsheets for each property. It was very time-consuming,” said Assistant Property Manager, Barbara Rebiffé.
During this time, Ms. Rebiffé discovered some information regarding MRI LeaseEagle in her predecessor’s file. Impressed by what this solution could offer, she followed up the MRI LeaseEagle team immediately.
“The MRI LeaseEagle team’s presentation convinced me from the get-go that here was the solution we so desperately needed to more efficiently and effectively manage our vast property portfolio,” explained Ms. Rebiffé.
“When I took on this role, one of the greatest challenges was having no software solution that would notify me about important upcoming dates within lease agreements,” said Ms. Rebiffé.
The MRI LeaseEagle solution is renowned for its clever reminders and management processes that make rent review, option exercise, lease expiry and specific clause reminder dates a permanent and unforgotten item in retailers’ diaries.
“The tipping point came while I was reporting on an ill-performing store. Going through my predecessor’s notes I came across a lease clause. The clause allowed us to leave the lease – so long as we did so by a certain date – in the event that the store was not performing well. No reminder had been set for that date and of course; with about 220 stores to monitor it was not something immediately on the radar. Sure enough, we had missed the date in the clause by a week. It was enough to convince the Board that budgeting for a software solution for the property portfolio was a bottom-line priority.”
Working with MRI LeaseEagle
Working with the MRI LeaseEagle team to implement the solution was as easy as loading the data into the system. Despite having vast amounts of data for each store to incorporate, it was completed without a hitch.
Ms. Rebiffé continued, “Going through the process with MRI LeaseEagle was amazing. They listened carefully to what we needed and even if it was not yet in scope for the product, they adapted the solution and got it done for us. And as the software developed I received updates about new capabilities relevant to our business. At any time I needed support, I could simply call the MRI LeaseEagle team and they would walk me through any problem I was having. And as far as training was concerned, the team was fantastic.”
Now, NONI B uses MRI LeaseEagle for recording monthly sales information regarding occupancy costs, lease analysis, preparation of renewals, rental figures and communication and reporting of sales to shopping centre managers. Ms. Rebiffé continued, “I now have various templates for different reports ready and waiting for data, and with just a press of a button it pulls the data down into the folder. The lease analysis is done in five minutes. Where it used to take up to two hours, now it’s so fast it has freed up my time to actually visit the stores I’m reporting on. Because it’s accessible through the web, I just take my iPad with me and it’s all there at my fingertips. No more reams of papers to shuffle through. MRI LeaseEagle is a one-stop lease management shop.”
NONI B has completely changed its approach to property management, reporting and leasing with the help of MRI LeaseEagle. According to Ms. Rebiffé it’s been a small investment for huge benefit.
“MRI LeaseEagle has revolutionised how we manage our property portfolios. I now store all my documents in there, from lease negotiations to store plans and construction completion certificates. Even the latest store photos get uploaded into MRI LeaseEagle. From the road I can see the store I’m about to vis it, what the fit out work needs to encompass, what the stores need to look like. Everything. I even add in relevant notes from business managers and managerial staff, who let us know about activity in the centre and if any competitors are popping up. All the notes go into the communication log. Basically, anything I can get my hands on goes in the system.”
With this capability at her fingertips, Ms. Rebiffé has been able to challenge landlords successfully with regard to CPI charges or when lease renewals come up for review, and the savings have been notable.
She added, “For the first time, I am actually looking forward to developing our property portfolio budget. Given everything it has changed for us so far, I just know MRI LeaseEagle will save us days and days of preparation, reporting and presentation. I’m excited to be in such a strong position, thanks to the solution that MRI LeaseEagle developed – and continues to develop – with us.”