Redevco initially chose Horizon to manage its retail property function in one of the countries it operates in. Subsequently, the real estate specialist started implementation of the product across the rest of Europe due to its overall effectiveness, flexibility and ability to support a complex international portfolio.
Redevco is an independent, pan-European real estate investment management company specialised in retail property. The more than 500 assets under management are spread across the strongest retail concentrations in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Austria. At present Redevco offers real estate solutions for more than 1,000 retailers.
A new property management software solution
Redevco was seeking to replace its property management software as it had become dated and unfit-for-purpose. It was specifically looking for a single reporting solution to cover its entire property portfolio, tenant income and service charge management, giving the business a complete oversight of the entire portfolio with the ability to drill into each region, country, property and tenant. Given regional variations, it wanted a solution with dual-currency functionality. The system also needed to offer local configuration that can be controlled by each region. After a thorough selection process, Redevco chose to implement Horizon.
“What we really liked about Horizon was the people we’d be working with. We were very impressed with their honesty and truthfulness, and were extremely confident that we were going to receive the product and service that we had been sold.”
Sven von Glinski, Head of IT, Redevco
Expanding the implementation
Redevco initially only planned to introduce MRI’s Horizon solution in Turkey. Following the success of this implementation, Redevco decided to roll out the system across its entire portfolio. The business adopted a country-by-country phased approach, with Redevco’s Central Europe, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain/Portugal and UK operations all going live concurrently. Clemens Brenninkmeijer Managing Director, Redevco Netherlands, said: “MRI’s open, honest and professional approach throughout the selection process greatly impressed us and gave us confidence that we were selecting the right partner to work with for our property management system solution.”
Key functionality for Redevco
Redevco uses Horizon primarily to manage all aspects of financial relationships with its tenants. A key part of this – given the make-up of the business – is its multi-language functionality. This allows invoices to be created in one language and sent in another, depending on the business language of the individual tenant.
Horizon is responsible for determining rent due for collection from Redevco’s tenants. As part of this, it calculates turnover rents across all locations and countries. This enables Redevco to charge its tenants based on their specific sales figures, which can be recorded and billed at an agreed frequency (this can easily be adjusted on the system depending on the tenant). Horizon also takes account of any lease incentives Redevco offers to its tenants. Should the company wish to offer a rent free period or stepped rent structure, for example, it straight-lines the income across the full rental period. It is then reflected in the general ledger in accordance with UK GAAP or IFRS standards. Horizon’s capability to provide accurate theoretical rent reports (i.e. comparing actual rental income with potential income should all available space be let) has been a particularly useful feature for Redevco as it seeks to comply with statutory requirements. This has offered the business vital information about existing performance and possible improvement areas.
“My team have been very enthusiastic about the Horizon application and the way it helps us manage our business. Overall, I would definitely recommend MRI. The team is client-focused, open and willing to work with us to create the best solutions, while the consultants are extremely skilled and a pleasure to deal with. It has been clear from our dealings that MRI is a business partner you can trust. They do what they promise.”
Sven von Glinski, Head of IT, Redevco
Outside of typical stationary retail units, Redevco has also used Horizon to calculate and bill for mixed use space (i.e. portable stands and/or adverting boards/billboards in the shopping centre). Similarly, it also uses the system to manage short-term leases.
Horizon is responsible for calculating and issuing service charges, which vary depending on the individual tenant. A complete list of all suppliers across Redevco’s property operations are managed through Horizon, ensuring that all costs can be coded appropriately. This results in a transparent and straightforward reconciliation process and provides a clear, accurate and detailed breakdown of the overall service charge that can be passed onto each tenant. Similarly, insurance premiums are recharged and invoiced to individual tenants through Horizon.
The flexibility of Horizon
The product was adjusted to some of Redevco’s more specific requirements, a relatively straightforward process due to Horizon’s overall flexibility. “While Horizon has proved an extremely strong product that meets many of our needs, its flexibility to be tailored for our specific business purposes has been a key benefit,” says Sven.
As an example, we built additional territorialisation features. As a result of this, Redevco is able to split data management by different countries. A feature of this functionality is the ability to set up different administration rights depending on location. As a result, users can be empowered to administrate and produce reports on the system locally (based on access rights and an overall structure set by head office) – which improves operational functionality. At head-office level, this gives Redevco a complete oversight of the entire portfolio and provides the ability to drill down into each region, country, property and individual tenant.
Redevco’s previous system did not fully support the variations in lease indexation standards across each of the company’s locations in an automated manner, requiring these calculations to be made in Excel instead. However, we modified Horizon’s already extensive lease indexation capabilities to ensure it would be fully functional across all of Redevco’s units regardless of specific location or country. This is mirrored in the calculation of tenant deposits: Horizon provides Redevco with the ability to link these securities with indexation increases over time to produce accurate management of all sureties.
Ticking every box
Horizon is responsible for Redevco’s property management processes across its entire multi-lingual and multicurrency portfolio. Its unique territorialisation functionality enables the business to ensure the solution appears tailor made for each country using it while also being centrally controlled. It is the master system for recording who Redevco’s tenants are and responsible for:
- Calculating rent due for collection – including indexed and turnover rents – and invoicing
- Calculating long-term theoretical and deferred rent costs
- Calculating service charge reconciliation and payments
- Recharging insurance costs
- Recharging maintenance costs.
Integration with Coda Financials
Horizon has an extremely effective built-in financial management system. However, Redevco wanted to continue using its existing system (Coda Financials). During the implementation process, we therefore built a series of interfaces to play to the strength of both systems, keep them in sync at all times and ultimately created a two-way seamless integration. As an example, all of a tenant’s charges are uploaded from Horizon to Coda, and details of tenant payment are loaded from Coda back into Horizon. When they log in to Horizon, users can see an itemised breakdown of the amount billed vs amount owed and amount already paid.
“The MRI team’s continued ambition to listen to the needs of its clients and translate these into workable solutions in their product makes them a valuable partner.”
Sven von Glinski, Head of IT, Redevco
While Redevco uses Horizon extensively, our solution has considerable additional functionality not currently used by the real estate specialist. Some of these features include:
- Utilities charges: Electrical and heating equipment usage monitoring and rebilling across the portfolio through BMS functionality, which also provides accurate and projected utilities usage data.
- Purchase orders: Raising, controlling and integrating all purchasing commitments related to property management, which can then be reviewed and signed off through the system.
- Footfall analysis: Measures and records footfall in malls and displays these through interactive CAD floorplates and graphical dashboards, enabling users to make comparisons by unit and/or between floors and specific zones. These can then be factored into KPIs and tracked against income.
- Pre-lease process: Horizon tracks and manages each stage within the pre-leasing process, ensuring an approach aimed at selecting the most suitable and appropriate tenant.
- Sales data: Horizon captures store sales information by being seamlessly integrated with separate EPoS (Electronic Point of Sales) systems. Where this data is used to generate rents, Horizon automatically calculates and invoices even the most complex of turnover based leases. More importantly, it can be used to identify which units are performing well and thus to drive important management decisions.