As we marked our 24th annual conference, we turned a page in our development as a professional resource for the real estate lease management field. Clearly, our profession is moving away from some challenges we faced in the past and looking forward to what I see as an exciting future.

That being said, I want to set a tone that emphasizes the value of NRTA membership as an exclusive club of professionals. The theme I would like to emphasize to you is that:

As an NRTA member, You’re extraordinary. So Are We!

NRTA’s lease management education resources have evolved as an important information resource for corporate CFOs.

Each person who attended the recent NRTA conference is a business specialist with a highly valuable acumen vital to a company’s obligation to manage its respective real estate investment in a changing and threatening environment.

We talk about how managing shorter lease time periods is not only changing the frequency in intensity of building upgrades but also the entire financial picture a CFO relies upon relative to real estate investment.

A recent study by NRTA member company CoStar shows that leases for traditional mall tenants have declined from an average of six years to four and a half years. Many former anchors are being replaced with non-traditional tenants—who also are dealing with landlords who are desperately working to fill mall and property sites with value—and we all need to learn to not only live together but to thrive.

Real estate lease management is vital as retailers and commercial tenants alike consider investment in their footprints. Traditional lease cycles are changing to a short-termed, more nomadic point of view. New accounting rules relative to physical investment and upgrades, the amortization of tenant allowances are now important parts of lease negotiations.

These are some of the special considerations we, as lease management professionals, study and excel at. These are the things business decision makers need to appreciate, and then rely upon us as their solution builders. It is this expertise coupled with your eagerness to be the best you can be—as evidenced by you being an NRTA member—that makes you extraordinary.

I am really thrilled to give a special shout-out to many of our new corporate members, who have discovered the good business value of participating in the NRTA. You can find their names on our website. Please notice they are not all traditional retailers.

Many are commercial tenants who, like retail, are dealing with today’s real estate lease management challenges. This expanding list of diverse companies represent healthcare, insurance, banking, and educational centers.

Business leaders are looking for solutions and finding the NRTA as an important professional resource. Let me say that it is not an accident that Google, Bing and other online search engines send thousands of business professionals having commercial property management questions to NRTA’s website as a primary resource for information and best practice insights.

Finally, I want to congratulate the 400+ participants who attended our conference. Good for you for recognizing that nowhere else can you have this type of education experience.

Good for your company leadership, for recognizing the important ROI opportunities your participation represents—meaning that what you discussed and discovered while here will translate into real savings and efficiencies for your lease management protocols.

by Lisa Krizek, NRTA President