How to Streamline Your CAM Process to Increase Efficiency & Productivity
Efficiency and productivity; two words that we truly delight in. Nothing is more painful than to walk into an organization, or hop on a Zoom call, and see team members glassy-eyed and burnt out. While this can happen anytime, it’s commonly seen as we head into February. After all, many organizations have just walked the gauntlet of year-end, tax season, and for our real estate clients, those pesky CAM reconciliations are looming, with their deadlines fast approaching. There’s good reason why teams dread CAMs each year. It’s not only the weight of still completing their normal job duties, it’s also the time and energy that goes into getting these done , knowing the room for errors and miscalculations can be commonplace. Below is just a list of common issues that need to be followed up on for CAM Recs:
Inaccurate or incomplete abstracting of tenant leases CAM language
Leases with gray areas for interpretation, especially around expense pool exclusions and annual caps
Poor categorization of expenses in the accounting system of record
Poor communication of tenant/landlord verbal agreements, especially in the time of COVID rent related relief that may have impacted tenant estimate charges/payments
Lack of a consistent reconciliation process from year-to-year
Ongoing tenant disputes from prior year reconciliations
Determination of appropriate amortization of large, capital expenses
Property Management Software not designed well to accommodate reconciliations
So how does an organization get ahead and lessen the blow of impending CAM season?
There Are Opportunities Within Your Process The good news is, you’ve got a few options. First, you could take the list above and add any additional issues that you find and see how you can get ahead of them. If your number one issue is the poor categorization of expenses, work to create some guideposts for coding that can be used to correct the data and which can be shared to ensure a repeat of the issue doesn’t occur with your 2021 data. If your biggest issue is ongoing tenant disputes from prior years, clearly map out the items that remain disputed, and create a ROI that shows how much actual money is on the line depending on how the dispute is settled. Often times, these items have a much smaller impact than appear on the surface. Most importantly, don’t forget to communicate with others on your team, ,so that people are informed, and can offer assistance and resources.
Many companies also choose to outsource their CAMS. This allows their teams to continue doing the work necessary to keep the ship on track without creating a wave that might overturn the boat. They’ve determined it’s best to bring in extra resources for CAMs and relied on a trusted partner, like us here at Finch & Daisy Consulting, to take care of the management, from start to finish, of those CAMs. While biased, we’re proud of the way we work with our Clients on CAMs to truly achieve a seamless and headache-free experience. Communication is clear and concise, we’re proactive in getting all necessary documentation and questions asked upfront, we’re extremely thorough and we have people on our team who are dedicated experts in this process. You have a single point of contact and are updated throughout, concluding with clean and timely CAMs, that you didn’t even need to touch.