The acquisition days of getting a large box of due diligence files are almost long gone, just as the days of the “floppy” drive and CDs. In fact, my own laptop no longer has a CD portal: our world is progressing rapidly to leverage technology platforms and Commercial Real Estate is no exception. Research has shown that digitizing documents saves both time and money. For instance, instead of wasting time looking for paper files and then spending money on mailing costs, you can find exactly what is needed and send them to the appropriate parties almost instantly.
And further, having key documents not readily available can actually hinder the transaction process and potentially delay escrow. If there is a missing lease file and the Buyer is coming to the end of his or her due diligence period, as an example, it is likely that there may be a request for an extension, or a potential re-trade if that missing file contains terms that can materially impact the economics of the deal.
A missing file can be easily avoided earlier on in the process with digitization. To help get your files ready for a property disposition, here are three key tips.
Prior to positioning the property on the market, ensure all your files are not just collecting dust in a large storage unit or filing cabinet. There are many state-of-the-art scanners. Or, if you would rather have someone else perform the heavy lifting, document scanning companies can provide efficient services. A centralized storage system can decrease issues where files may be stored in different physical locations.
Dropbox, Google Documents, and SharePoint are examples of free and low cost solutions that are user-friendly and accessible to anyone given the appropriate links and permissions. You can upload the files and send them to the Listing Broker or the receiving party within a matter of minutes. Even mailing a USB Drive is now considered a less efficient method of delivering materials. The benefit is truly accessibility. The files can be accessed anywhere at any time – even by a busy buyer while traveling away from the office.
Having a clear and concise method for organizing files is also helpful. Once the files are scanned, a system of creating folders such as “Leases” for all lease documents and “Reports” for all third party reports will enable searchers an easier time going through the documents. A concise method can also decrease the likelihood of confusing files or errors. Real Estate companies have often multiple properties and large amounts of documents that can become misfiled if not properly organized.
Avoid having a missing file delay your property from hitting the market, or causing escrow delays. And be sure to connect with your Shopping Center Advisers to help make file coordination as smooth as possible and get your property ready for the 21st Century.
Lagos Shopping Center Advisers can help make due diligence organization and coordination a smoother process, just get in touch with us.