An increasing appetite by Knowledge hubs to diversify into co-working services coupled with the growing desire by freelancers, remote workers and Startups to work together in a shared, communal setting will open new market opportunities for Facility Managers (FMs) firms an opportunity to further expand their existing market portfolios, Real Estate Analysts have said.

The Analysts predict that as the supply for co-working office space continues to spread in major cities in the country, the owners of these assets will have to contract FMs to manage their facility and the shared support services, so that tenants can concentrate on their core business.

A recent report by BusinessDay stated that co-working office space is visibly gaining prominence in two major cities – Lagos and Abuja and could eventually define the commercial segment of the Real Estate market in the next few years.

The report noted that this growth is primarily fueled by the setup of most co-working office space which are configured to attract a particular group of tenants who are in similar industries.

This assertion is increasingly proving true as operators of Co-working office space is leveraging on its ‘plug and play’ solution to lure multinationals in search of a quick and easy start to operations and Startups who need to a smaller but efficient space to get their business off the ground.

These opportunities however imply that FMs need to slightly redesign their service offerings to suit the needs of these tenants, such that they enjoy the benefit of a serviced office space without breaking the bank.

Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead acknowledged the increasing number of co-working office space springing up in major business districts in Lagos and Abuja, noting that these spaces will no doubt open new business opportunities to FM professionals and by extension the entire FM industry.

“Just like we have done in various sectors of the economy including Telecomms, we are watching the co-working office space market closely to identify the value we can offer tenants of these unique facilities,” Engr. Akintunde further added.

To him, as the FM market continues to grow in size, FM professionals will remain committed to offer services that deliver value to owners and users of Real Estate assets.

In addition to this new market opportunity, trends show that the Residential segment of the Real Estate sector is currently being redefined with the emergence of multi-user communities as opposed to the past where most of the properties were single owner occupied.

Udo Okonjo, Chief Executive Officer, Fine and Country West Africa who highlighted this trend while speaking at the 2018 Nigerian FM Roundtable explained that this will also create another opportunity for FMs who are innovative in their service delivery.

She explained that given the peculiarity of these communities which are often defined by high density, tall buildings and multiple users, service providers to these facilities will need to master the act of managing shared services at such projects.