Blog December 1, 2020

Data-led lease strategies can guide commercial landlords and retailers through uncertainty


There are definite signs that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19, as great news on the slew of vaccines in development continues to make headlines. But that does not change the fact that the pandemic has sorely tested the retail sector and could continue to impact commercial real estate, even as the world begins to return to normality.

If lockdowns and restrictions persist, they could take a heavy toll on brick-and-mortar retailers – not to mention restaurants, bars, cinemas and storefront services – as the northern hemisphere heads into winter. Many businesses are focused on finding ways to survive financially and make the best strategic and legal decisions amid ongoing uncertainty. To do that, they need comprehensive and accurate data on their businesses – with gaining insights into their lease portfolios as an essential goal.

Indeed, to weather the storm, retail tenants – and the commercial landlords they rent space from – need to ask tough questions about their lease portfolios and what they need to do to position themselves to withstand COVID-19 and its aftermath. That means they need to understand what their position is across their lease portfolios, whether they are the lessor or the lessee – and, in most cases, the two need to work together to come out of the situation with their businesses intact.

The good news for MRI clients is that Leverton Intelligence – described by MRI CEO Pat Ghilani as “new DNA within MRI” at our recent ‘Ascend Anywhere’ users conference – employs AI and machine learning to rapidly abstract lease data from a broad range of digital and paper sources. Ghilani noted: “In today’s marketplace, the ability to know what’s happening inside your lease or your tenants’ leases is paramount to survival.”

In a recent article for Forbes, Abe Somani, Managing Director of Leverton Intelligence at MRI, takes a detailed look at how the lack of access to good quality data is one of the major challenges the retail industry and commercial landlords have faced during the coronavirus crisis. At a time when they require more information and data-driven insights for quick decision making, both sides are slowed down by leases that hold inaccurate, out-of-date or simply inaccessible information. To understand where they really stand with respect to leases, not least their legal obligations and options, rapid AI-driven lease abstraction is vital.

In his article, Abe looks at the issues facing retailers and their landlords, what they need to understand to overcome these, and how they can do that. View the full article here on the Forbes website. Learn more about MRI’s AI-powered lease abstraction solution here.

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