How Duke Realty Leveraged itamlink to Improve Day-to-Day Property Tax Workflows

“We are able to do our activities more efficiently and that’s important. itamlink has a modern platform and is user-friendly, cutting down our time to learn the system.”

Ken Rogers

Director, Real Estate Taxes | Duke Realty

Background and Objectives

“Real estate taxes are the single largest operating expense for most real estate property companies,” says Ken Rogers. As Director of Real Estate Taxes at Duke Realty, Ken oversees the real estate tax function for the company. From ensuring timely payment of all tax bills to reviewing and appealing property tax assessments, he must find ways to reduce time spent on low value tasks and improve efficiency in his department.

About Duke Realty

Duke Realty is the leading U.S. industrial, domestic-only REIT. They manage an industrial property portfolio of approximately 160 million square feet in 19 major U.S. logistics markets.

Company Type

Real Estate Investment Trust
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Amount of Operating Property

160 million square feet

Number of U.S. Logistic Markets

19

Country

United States

Industry

Real Estate Investment Trust
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Number of Tenants

160 million square feet

Number of Properties

19

Country

United States

Challenges

Reduce Time Spent on Day-to-Day Manual Processes

Ken’s team wanted a way to reduce the time they spent on day-to-day monitoring of tax notices, bill payments and appeal processes. By managing low-value tasks in an efficient, cost-effective way, the company could empower staff to spend more time on higher value tasks within the business.

Maintain Competitive Rent Prices

Managing real estate tax “becomes a key issue when you are leasing space to tenants," says Ken. "Since commercial tenants focus on total costs of occupancy (rent plus operating costs), it is critical that landlords minimize the real estate tax component of those costs. This enables landlords to achieve feasible rents while staying within total occupancy costs dictated by the market.”

How itamlink helped

Streamlined Property Tax Appeal and Payment Processes

Bill payment is a critical task Ken’s team tackles. Online bill approval has made it easier for his team to complete other high-impact responsibilities, rather than worrying about approvals. This allows managers to review and audit payments, ensuring that they are paying the appropriate amounts. What’s more, it serves as a high-level review of their taxes in relation to previous years.  

Ken’s team has also found the benchmarking module in itamlink useful for making better appeal decisions. The module has helped them identify appeals they may have otherwise missed. As well, it provides them with consistent metrics for setting realistic targets and appeal settlements, allowing them to remain competitive from a leasing standpoint.

Centralized Critical Dates and Deadlines

The calendar system has helped Ken’s team facilitate timely payments of tax bills and, at the same time, reduce the time and effort expended on repetitive searches. The calendar function centralized all their critical dates and has kept them ahead of the game instead of constantly chasing their tail.

Improved Ability to Make Strategic Decisions

Ken’s team was able to customize and add functionalities they needed to meet their goals right in itamlink. What’s more, they can now perform activities more efficiently with the software. Ken identified three key benefits of itamlink that helped his team:

  • A more efficient system for our processes,
  • New decision-making tools, and
  • Better-quality data and results.

Using itamlink’s built-in automated processes, Ken’s team has been able to spend more time on decision-making.  

Ready to learn more about itamlink?

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“One of the most important qualities is that everyone in the company can use the system. After one of the initial demonstrations of the software, one of the property managers said he could actually see himself using itamlink. That’s what sold us on the system.”

Ken Rogers

Director, Real Estate Taxes | Duke Realty

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© 2021 Rethink Solutions. All Rights Reserved