Asset Leasing Agency
The third of a community’s 24 agencies is the Asset Leasing Agency, which is part of the Human and Financial Capital Department.
The agency is part of the Village Bureau, together with the Human Relations and Stewardship agencies. In the community, participants do not own physical property in the form of housing, plant, and machinery. Instead, they rent whatever they need from the community at a fee. The Leasing Agency facilitates the leasing of these physical assets. The Leasing Agency also plays a role in the participant’s admission process. The agency considers whether a participant, having been passed by the Human Relations and Stewardships Agencies, will secure the space and equipment they need. It is only after this that they are officially admitted into the system.
The Leasing Agency’s automated system requires participants to detail their needs, as well as other details which then help the system allocate the appropriate resources that the participant needs to live and work. The agency president trains the department agents (village presidents), who interact with participants as they navigate the system. This includes training the participants on how to use the system, as well as assisting them where they are unable to receive the assistance they need from the system. The agency president, on the other hand, adjusts the system to become more responsive to participants’ needs, as advised by the village presidents, as well as from their own monitoring of the system’s workings.
As indicated earlier, the Leasing Agency’s primary objective is to facilitate participants’ access to space and equipment, as well as advising the community on whether the supply of such assets is optimal. To achieve this, the agency performs a number of roles either on its own (core responsibilities) or in coordination with others (coordinated responsibilities).
The Leasing Agency’s automated system assists participants from the time just before they join, to when they are active participants in accessing community property at a fee. The agency uses the system to set the rates and, in concert with relevant community agencies, to control entry into the system. The agency’s core responsibilities are:
- Participate in the participant entry process
- Facilitate the formulation of space and equipment use guidelines
- Monitor community use to ensure compliance with guidelines, as well as the ability of assets to meet community needs
- Administer the system which sets and collects rents for equipment and space
- Train department agents to do X, Y, and Z
Participate in the participant entry process
After participants have had their skills and social details vetted by the Human Relations Agency and been found to possess what the community requires, their next step is the Stewardships Agency. Here, their professional background, business aspirations, academic qualifications, and credit score, among other details, are vetted. Should they pass this stage as well, the Leasing Agency’s system gets to work to verify whether the social and professional (or business) requirements of the individual can be met by what the community has at its disposal. The system looks at things such as the assets requested, the size of an applicant’s family, any special needs, and their ability to pay the rent. The system only approves the application after being satisfied these attributes are consistent with the community’s position. In some instances, potential participants may feel that automated decisions have not gone their way and choose to engage the agency in person. The village presidents handle this, either explaining the system’s workings or looking into specific cases and making the call on whether the cases have merit for overriding the automated system.
Facilitate the formulation of guidelines on use of equipment and space
As with other agencies in the community, the formulation of standards and guidelines is shaped by public participation. The Leasing Agency thereafter fleshes out the community needs and preferences, while considering the optimal use of the community assets, to draft the guidelines. These guidelines govern the use of assets, such as density for living space, the obligations of a tenant or lessee, as well as the pricing of the rents, time of payment, penalty for default, among others.
The Leasing Agency facilitates the implementation of the standards and guidelines on asset use. It does this by providing training on its online platforms, which promote responsible use while considering social, economic, and environmental issues. The agency thereafter monitors the utilization of these assets, advising on better utilization, as well as refreshing participants’ grasp of regulations. Monitoring also gives the agency an idea of what is needed to ensure the community performs optimally. The village presidents may perform manual monitoring from time to time and relay their findings to the agency president, who adjusts the system accordingly.
Setting and collecting rents
In setting rent, the Leasing Agency’s automated system considers relative rent rates for all the equipment and space in the economy within which the community operates. It also considers the particular interests of the community. These interests include the expected return on investment, outstanding loans to the Commercial and Investment Bank Agencies, as well as entry requirements. For instance, if the community needs to encourage entry, the Leasing Agency will drop rents, relative to information individuals can access from outside the system. The agency also manages the system through which participants pay their rent. Where a participant is in default, the village presidents might personally engage the participant to establish cause, as well as suggest remedies that do not prejudice the community.
The Leasing Agency also performs some roles in coordination with other community agencies, as it aims to facilitate participants’ access to community assets. This coordination is either horizontal (with agencies in the Village Department), vertical (with agencies in the General Community Support Vertical), or diagonal (with other agencies beyond the vertical and department).
The Leasing Agency coordinates extensively with Agency 2 – the Stewardships and Agency 1 – Human Relations during the entry process. The Leasing Agency provides advice to the two other agencies on which assets and space are available, a factor that informs the other agencies’ approach to vetting. Once a participant is accepted inside the community, the Stewardships Agency coordinates with the Leasing Agency so that participants can gain access to their required tools of trade.
The Leasing Agency coordinates with Agency 18 – the QHSE Agency, as the Leasing Agency trains participants on the effective and safe use of assets. The Leasing Agency also liaises with Agency 24 – the Asset Management Agency to ensure that assets procured or developed by the community are enough and fit for use. The two agencies also liaise as the Leasing Agency facilitates the formulation of and later implementation of regulations guiding asset use. The Leasing Agency provides the Asset Management Agency with the information needed to plan on what the community needs, in line with economic considerations, as well as participant entry considerations. For instance, the Leasing Agency may recommend the purchasing of more equipment suited for welders, if the community needs to attract more people with such skills. The Leasing Agency liaises with Agency 9 – the Commercial Bank Agency as it sets rent rates so that these rates consider loans owed by the Asset Management Agency, and the bank meets targeted return on investment.
Coordination with Other Agencies
The Leasing Agency liaises with Agency 11 – the Bylaws Agency as it aims to align policies on asset use with community bylaws. The Leasing Agency also liaises with Agency 5 – the Nutrition Agency, so that those who are focused on food production and processing can have easy access to quality space and equipment needed to produce enough food to sustain the community.
The Leasing Agency’s position in the Village Department gives it the required capacity to engage participants through the online platform as they secure the tools they need to live and work. The agency goes about its mission by facilitating the rental of these tools and offering sound advice on how best to deploy them for the community’s greater good. The agency appreciates the associated return on investment tied to each asset. Together with other agencies and departments, the Leasing Agency works to enable the return on investment to be favorable to both the participant and the community at large.
 Having participants rent what they need, rather than buy it has a number of economic factors backing it up. The most obvious is the low initial cost of acquiring the asset, which the individual can choose to exactly match their requirements, especially with regard to specialist equipment. Such a stance also increases the variety of assets available for community participants to use (Holt-Ca. 15 advantages to renting equipment versus owning it. 2019. 16 06 2019).
 A more immediate reason why the community favors owning the goods is to eliminate the inequality that such assets may bring. By having each participant rent what they need, each person having the same space to live, and equitable allocation of working space, it is difficult to use physical assets as a source of advancing one person over another. Instead, the community focuses on skills and work ethic to succeed (Deininger, K. and P. Olinto. Asset distribution, Inequality, and Growth. Policy Research Working Paper;No. 2375. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2000).
 There is a direct and positive impact of training on performance and efficiency. When the district presidents train the participants on how to use the system, it will then be possible for them to derive the maximum benefit from it, and alert the agency on any aspects of the system that do not operate optimally. It will also be possible to save district president’s time, which could otherwise be tied trying to guide participants through it (Afroz, N. “Effects of Training on Employee Performance – A Study on Banking Sector, Tangail Bangladesh.” Global Journal of Economics and Business 4.1 (2018): 111 – 124).
 Just as witnessed with BYOD approaches, having the organization own all the assets used for production levels the playing ground, and may be a positive factor in motivation. For the community, it will also ensure that the community does not scare aware talented people, who may be unable to afford or access the assets they require to live and work in the system (Ranger, S. BYOD: 10 reasons it won’t work for your business. 05 07 2012. 17 06 2019).
 Automated talent vetting systems, such as those used in e-HRM, have several advantages. They are better equipped to be objective, collect and retain more data, and enhance the communication process. When working properly, their chances of erring are nil. In some instances, they may not have the human touch needed to make particular judgement calls, given a unique set of circumstances. In such instances, the district president will step in to evaluate and offer guidance (Nawaz, N. and A. Gomes. “Automation of the HR functions enhance the professional efficiency of the HR Professionals-A Review.” International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering 4.2 (2014): 364-373).
 Asset management policies are aimed at protecting the organization from loss while enabling those given the rights to use them derive maximum value. In the community, policies will be formulated to protect the community’s assets (especially equipment), and the people using them against loss, including third party use, and mitigating any risks (USQ. ICT Information Management and Security Policy. policy document. Toowoomba: University of Southern Queensland, 2018).
 In the case of space, it is important to have clear guidelines to guide tenants’ use of property. This will reduce loss, as well as the risk of any misunderstanding between the two parties. The guidelines also contain some guidelines for the “landlord”, in this case the Leasing Agency. They include a duty to keep the premises habitable, fix any maintenance issues promptly, and regularly monitoring the property (Findlaw. Landlord Tips for Managing Property. 2019. 15 07 2019).
Setting rent rates can be considered as a pricing strategy. Through the community’s different stages, it will want the rent rates to reflect and aid its overall strategy on attracting or limiting membership into the community. Where it needs to attract more, it will adopt penetration pricing, lowering the price relative to the market average. As it grows in prestige, it may aim to make a premium of its superior product, and adopt value based pricing. In all instances however, it must consider its cost of production (cost pricing) (Baker, R. Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2010).
 While not widely embraced, training tenants on effective property use is an important part of a property owner’s strategy to protect their assets. In the community, the participants will be trained to properly use assets, in order to avoid liability, and ensure the property is in the best possible condition to help them (Chris. How To Train Your Tenants to Respect Your Property. 2011. 16 06 2019).