The Zombie Apocalypse is coming and the phoenixes are rising for the ashes – it is time for property managers to pull out the big guns.
The undead walking the streets of the commercial property market are businesses with multi-year commercial leases that have only survived the pandemic lockdown by accepting virus-related government support.
The Zombies’ stablemate, the Phoenix, is no better. They’re failed enterprises that have been re-birthed using a new name but with the same unscrupulous directors. They circle commercial landlords in search of new leases or renegotiated terms with little care for meeting the terms of any lease.
Zombie and Phoenix companies seeking retail and industrial property are dangerous to all property managers and their clients.
What’s also scary is that 57% of companies that go into external administration never have that event recorded on their financial history - according to insights from Equifax.
Property managers have a fiduciary duty to protect the interests of their clients, and that means finding out everything possible about prospective tenants and their ability to be a good tenant.
That’s not easy and a standard ASIC check may no longer be sufficient due diligence, together with a growing awareness that director guarantees are also increasingly insufficient.
Inadequate due diligence creates the risk of legal action and puts your clients in financial peril if the lease terms are broken and vital rental income dries up.
However, new integrations within your REI Forms Live, Realworks and Forms Live accounts are designed to protect you by incorporating extensive new company reporting from Australia’s largest credit provider, Equifax.
Integrated with your workflows, these new Equifax commercial credit history reports provide detailed insights into the credit background, not just of companies, but individual directors. This will make zombie and phoenix spotting easier than ever.
Below are some tips to support you further...
1. Watch for tenants who occupy more space than they need. This is the number one clue to a business that might eventually struggle to meet its lease terms.
2. You need to be certain prospective and existing tenants have sustainable businesses beyond government support. Use Equifax and its alert system to monitor any change in the circumstances of your tenants.
3. Use the “Trading History” report through the REI Forms Live, Realworks and Forms Live system. This links directly to Equifax’s database. It will reveal all ASIC information, plus the credit history of the company, its directors and any owners who stand to benefit. Reports can be purchased and downloaded individually.
4. Additional reports from Equifax included in the integration can also provide a profile and credit score for each director.