One of the first hurdles that growing retail companies have to tackle is sourcing and negotiating suitable new premises to support their expansion plans. The bar is raised considerably higher when those plans involve extending operations into international markets. Not only must corporate real estate managers and their teams get up to speed with the legal intricacies of negotiating lease contracts according to different countries’ legislation, they may also need to swiftly develop a process for understanding unfamiliar languages or particular terminologies.

Given the complexity of the lease negotiation process as a whole, it is all too easy to overlook the importance of engaging with the multilingual aspect of leases from the outset. The facility to work in several languages and familiarity with key terms is crucial to successful lease administration and management of data. And that’s where Guildhawk’s Lease Abstraction service comes into its own.

Broadly speaking, Lease Abstraction involves extracting and interpreting the essential elements of a lease contract, thereby enabling the potential tenant to understand the relevant parts of a particular contract without the time and cost outlay associated with a full translation. All our client has to do is provide a form listing the pieces of information they require, or we can devise this together. Typically, this form will cover parties to the agreement and their duties; parameters of the property; terms of the lease; fees, charges and taxes; maintenance and care of the premises, etc. One of our experienced linguists will then analyse the original contract, extract the required information and present it clearly and concisely in English (or whatever language the client may require). The client then has all essential information centralised in one place, in a consistent format, and can check for compliance with any relevant requirements, track important dates, compare and contrast leases on a like-for-like basis, and so on.

Lease Abstraction is a growing field in which we already have proven expertise and an extensive portfolio. We’ve worked with clients as diverse as US fashion pacesetters Michael Kors, Swiss healthcare specialists Roche, and Asian pharmaceutical giants Takeda. We’ve analysed leases for properties throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and China, encompassing sectors as varied as aerospace, engineering, logistics and financial management. Our team of multilingual professionals are carefully selected for their in-depth sector knowledge, meaning our clients can rely on accredited project managers with wide-ranging experience of managing global accounts, and linguists with demonstrated contract expertise.

So I’m very excited to have the opportunity to introduce Guildhawk in-person to delegates at the National Retail Tenants Association conference in Florida, 15–18 September. The ‘Expanding Knowledge 2019’ event is organised by one of the USA’s most influential real estate administration education resources, the NRTA, of which we’re proud to have recently become an affiliate member. The current NRTA membership comprises over 450 real estate professionals, representing more than 215 companies, including some of the biggest household names in industry, commerce and retail, along with prestigious affiliated professional services and consultancies.

The annual conference is widely recognised as one of the major resources for lease administration training, real estate best practice, information and networking, making it the perfect platform for Guildhawk to connect with other players in this highly complex sector and explain how our particular areas of expertise uphold and complement the NRTA’s mission of educating members to improve profitability.

During the conference, myself and Guildhawk’s Head of Projects, Rachel, will have the chance to participate in a variety of workshops, seminars and discussions covering topics ranging from how currency impacts global lease management to retail considerations for the emerging cannabis industry. We will touch base with existing clients and hopefully begin relationships with new ones, all while communicating to the group what we have learned over many years and many projects.

Events such as this serve to remind us of the importance of, and opportunities for, collaboration, support and information sharing in our dynamic, ever-changing industry. In just three action-packed days, Rachel and I will have the privilege of exchanging ideas with a collection of like-minded colleagues working on an international scale. Business cards at the ready; it’s going to be a busy trip!