Signing on the Digital Line

By Dan Friedman, Senior Editor
Publication: Commercial Property News
Date: Monday, April 15 2002


Lease Comparison

The corporate search for space usually results, particularly now during a tenant's market, in a number of competing possibilities. At least three Excel-based software packages:  Lease Cost Solutions Inc.'s LseMod, ProCalc Inc.'s Tenant Rep Package and Tenant rep .com's Swiftcalc have been designed to aid the corporate real estate professional in comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each possible lease. "Our lease analysis offers lease versus lease and lease versus buy for both international and domestic transactions, as well as before and after tax comparisons," explained Jim Duport, president of Lease Cost Solutions Inc., who worked as a corporate real estate manager for 18 years prior to founding his company.

LseMod automatically creates reports on profit and loss, net present value, cash flow and a one-page management summary comparing alternative and "what-if" scenarios. Lease Cost also has another software program, SpacePro, that helps calculate corporate needs, given the number of workers and the type of work involved.

ProCalc allows comparison of as many as eight different scenarios on one page, or an unlimited number of deals on multiple pages. The user can compare eight different buildings or the same building eight different ways.

"I use it to analyze various properties I'm going to lease or sublease," reported Tom Randazzo, manager of corporate real estate for National Semiconductor Corp., who uses LseMod. "When we go into a particular market, I get various proposals and feed them into LseMod. It allows me to compare apples with apples." He added that he liked the ability to detach any and all parts of the analysis and e-mail it to various departments finance, the comptroller's office or the department that is actually going to use the space. "It provides you with financial reports and color charts that compare properties in all sorts of ways. It's very impressive when you send it to a senior executive."

"Before we used LseMod we had to roll our own with each deal," said Walt Spevak, senior director of corporate real estate at Autodesk Inc., a software developer and manufacturer. Spevak oversees 95 facilities around the world totaling 1.2 million square feet. "Now I can just plug in new information and within minutes have a new lease analysis."

Swiftcalc, the youngest of the competing lease analysis software packages, was launched in April 2001 by Cleveland-based Tenant rep .com. John Tobin, Founder & Partner of Tenant rep .com claims that Swiftcalc can do all that LseMod and ProCalc can but at a much lower cost. While LseMod licenses its programs for between $1,475 and $1,570 and ProCalc charges an even steeper $2,650, Swiftcalc can be installed for $389. Swiftcalc's challenge in breaking into the corporate real estate market, according to Tobin, is its affordability. "Most of our customers are smaller firms," he said. "It works just as well for larger corporations, but we're underpriced. Most corporations think they have to pay more."


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