Lease.IT intends to bring the leasing of shopping centers into the era of digitalization. Credit: Citycon

Lease.IT: Digitalization of Leasing in the Retail Sector

Leasing lies at the core of the shopping center business. Wolf Theiss has developed a web-based software platform, Lease.IT, that simplifies and accelerates the rental process.

Frequently inefficient communication and chaos due to overloaded mailboxes, significant delays in the preparation of standard documents, the need for multiple entries of data into unconnected databases, the resulting errors and inaccuracies, and the lack of immediate availability of economic data on the portfolio contracts of a shopping center: These are some of the findings of a critical analysis of the processes involved in the preparation of hundreds of shopping center rental agreements, for which Wolf Theiss’ leasing team (see marginal note) has provided assistance for many years.

“It had become quite evident that the disparity between the speed and precision required by modern real estate processes and the slow traditional processes of leasing had to be remedied. Work processes have to be accelerated and simplified, the quality of data processing has to be improved, and the leasing of shopping centers has to be brought into the era of digitalization,” explains Peter Oberlechner, Head of Real Estate Law at Wolf Theiss. He continues: “Leasing lies at the core of the shopping center business, and this core needs to be elevated to a contemporary level, and antiquated, slow, and error-prone processes need to be radically revised.”

With Lease.IT contracts can be generated “at the push of a button” while simultaneously enabling all data to be imported into the landlord’s systems without the need for repeated entry. Credit: Wolf Theiss

Official Market Entry

Consequently, the optimization, acceleration, and simplification of the workflow required for the generation of lease agreements in the shopping center sector is required. Instead of sending countless e-mails back and forth, communication between the landlord’s and the tenant’s teams involved in the leasing process, as well as the creation of contracts, should take place via a web-based platform, which would, in turn, make all the center’s data and information available and provide statistics and evaluations in real time – all at the click of a mouse. 

This marked the intellectual birth of Lease.IT, a web-based software platform dedicated to the creation of lease agreements. Together with Wolf Theiss software subsidiary RBS – Responsible Business Solutions, legal and technical in-house expertise have been combined and an innovative product has been created that – as the name suggests – redefines the leasing process. Wolf Theiss presented the Lease.IT concept for the first time at PropTech Vienna 2017, and it was very well received. The official market entry is currently underway.

Lease.IT is a web-based tool designed for the creation of lease agreements, with which contracts can be generated “at the push of a button” while simultaneously enabling all data to be imported into the landlord’s systems (invoicing or other system) without the need for repeated entry. This software platform also automatically generates statistical overviews of, for example, leasing status, rental amounts, contract periods, and construction phases, which can be displayed in various visual formats, such as diagrams. “This easy-to-use solution digitizes and completely redesigns the process of creating portfolio contracts,” explains Birgit Kraml, Real Estate Partner at Wolf Theiss. “Lease.IT can be used in every language and under every legal jurisdiction. The platform can also be used as a live data room for one (or more) centers, which would also make plans, photos, and notices available at the click of a mouse.”

The landlord can then enter the data contained in the respective lease agreement in an easy-to-use template. Credit: Wolf Theiss

How Does Lease.IT Work in Practice?

Wolf Theiss fully automates all of the contractual documentation of a given shopping center: Heads Of Terms / Letters of Intent, draft contracts, warehouse leases, handover reports, center guidelines, etc., and it uploads them, as well as the landlord’s entire toolkit, which contains special/alternative clauses and individual contractual terms, to the web-based Lease.IT platform.

The landlord can then enter the data contained in the respective lease agreement in an easy-to-use template. At the click of a mouse, all contract documentation is generated and all lease agreement data is available in computer-readable format, which can be fed into the landlord’s systems. Communication between the landlord and the tenant takes place via the secure platform and is fully documented at all times. The technical teams of both the landlord and the tenant have access in a controlled manner – every access instance is documented and traceable. Upon request, Wolf Theiss will re-examine the documents and issue a legal inspection statement. All documentation will then be made available for download by the tenant.

The data is securely encrypted, located on physical servers in the EU zone (no cloud solution), and protected against unauthorized access by third parties. Only authorized users may access the portal.

Lease.IT is a smart, new web-based IT tool designed to simplify and accelerate the leasing process for shopping centers. It offers a number of additional features, such as an intelligent communication tool as well as a database for the center. The leasing process has been raised to a completely new level – a smart PropTech solution for the shopping center of the 21st century.

About Wolf Theiss

Founded in 1957, Wolf Theiss ranks among the leading law firms in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe specializing in international business law. Some 340 lawyers work for local and international industrial, commercial, and service companies as well as banks and insurance companies at the firm’s 13 offices located in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Through the combination of law and business, Wolf Theiss is able to provide comprehensive and constructive solutions based on legal, tax, and entrepreneurial know-how.

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