With consistent growth in commercial, industrial, and residential property construction, effective maintenance and management of real estate is more important than ever. Buildings are becoming smarter and technologies more accurate and efficient. But all this progress requires a unique approach and methodology to manage and use analytical data for the successful operation of the business. These days, a facilities manager is far more than just someone who has all the keys and knows how to work the heating – there are highly specialised skills and traits that will help your properties achieve their full potential.
Despite the pandemic, the global smart building market size continues to grow annually, reaching $57.30 billion in 2020. Global smart home profits are predicted to reach nearly $265.37 billion in 2028. In addition, the IoT segment, together with its sensors, was valued at roughly 388 billion US dollars in 2019 and is expected to grow to more than one trillion dollars by 2030. In the same way, the demand for such components of smart houses as security systems, service and comfort, lighting, and control of electrical appliances will grow and generate income.
Modern real estate objects have become much more complex and large-scale. Therefore, a specialist or a team of specialists is needed to properly manage all these smart systems, building maintenance services, and infrastructure. Modern facilities management (FM) is the organisation and administration of processes within the facility and the optimisation of all related tasks and processes aiming to increase efficiency and save money. Such a task requires a high level of coordination and monitoring and specific skills, innovative approaches, and knowledge of the latest professional software for managing processes and personnel.
So, what does a modern facilities manager do?
Facilities managers are responsible for all the services that enable a facility to function correctly. Their responsibilities can include the following:
- directing multidisciplinary teams such as cleaning, maintenance, and security
- approving contracts and providers of security, parking, cleaning, and catering services
- ensuring that essential amenities, such as water and heating, are in good working conditions
- managing the project’s budget and cost-effectiveness;
arranging the space between buildings
- ensuring that facilities adhere to government requirements as well as environmental, health, and security rules
- calculating and mitigating risks
- advising companies on how to improve their energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- supervising construction, renovation, or refurbishment projects
- preparing reports and making recommendations
- monitoring employee relationships, achieving team alignment and effective collaboration.
The main goal of a modern facility manager is to plan how to take the company to the next level. This task goes beyond the preservation of the property itself and includes the creation of a safe, clean, and healthy environment for the building’s residents and stakeholders. A real estate facility manager is a strategist who quickly finds consensus to achieve the set results. Today’s facility managers need more than standard qualifications and professional management experience to be successful in a job. They must have excellent soft skills to effectively communicate and build strong relationships with employees and strategic partners.
If your organisation is looking for a qualified facility manager, it is vital to ensure that the potential candidate can handle any unusual or emergency situation. An effective facilities manager has specific work experience in your area of business. For example, schools and corporate offices function differently, just like managing a shopping centre differs from managing an apartment block. So, here are some of the main characteristics that distinguish a first-class, modern facilities managment specialist:
4 Characteristics of a modern-day facility manager
1. Self-control and stress tolerance
Since day-to-day operations are associated with many problems and challenges, a facility manager has to think on the go and quickly find solutions. This person must withstand stress and stay calm to motivate the team and create a productive working environment. Dealing with multiple stressful situations is an essential skill for a facility manager.
2. Being tech-savvy
High-class facility managers always have skills beyond those specified in the job description. Facility managers need to gather the correct information to make informed decisions, including costs and expenses, consumption patterns, budgets, and trends. Critical thinking combined with an analytical approach is essential and effective facilities managers will use digital solutions on electronic devices. Real estate management programs such as PlanRadar, Appfolio, Buildium or Re-Leased can improve service productivity and overall control of the properties.
3. Strong soft skills in pursuing a common goal
As a leader, a facility manager should have strong emotional intelligence. A facility manager should be able to communicate with multiple teams, suppliers, and subcontractors. Professional facility managers treat key suppliers as strategic partners, not just regular service providers. They find ways to involve all their partners in the processes closely. The modern-day property manager appreciates their employees, leading to greater productivity and success in all work. Here are some soft skills that any FM should have (in no particular order, since they will undoubtedly vary based on the sort of managed facility): leadership, creativity, adaptability, compassion, active listening skills, and flexibility. Each skill is essential for creating an efficient and enjoyable work environment for everyone.
4. Communicative skills
Facility managers serve as a single point of contact for building concerns, space planning, and data analysis in the workplace. These days, with various communication channels and fast-paced work settings, effective communication requires effort and planning. Quality communication means never making assumptions. A qualified facility manager should build clear and effective communication channels (using management software and other useful tools) to be aware of workplace problems, tasks, emergencies, and staff morale. For example, a professional facilities manager will not wait until the ventilation system fails when the outside temperature rises; they will always have a contingency plan, including tracking the weather forecast to prevent possible load and taking action in advance. Thus, better communication can result in reduced downtime due to incidents at your facility, a safer workplace, and fewer fines or other regulatory measures imposed when you’re out of compliance.
Today’s facility managers: ready for the buildings of the future
To summarise, a modern facility manager is a multitasking and very energetic personality with broad knowledge of construction, marketing, and technology. It’s a specialist who has a keen sense of people and can satisfy client requests by creating a comfortable and convenient environment. Taking on the responsibilities of building facilities management is rewarding and challenging. It is a profession that necessitates industrial knowledge, technical competence, and commercial savvy. Developing the skills mentioned above will assist a facility manager in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of everyday operations.