Concerned by the depreciating value of Real Estate assets in most property markets across the West African sub region, Facility Management (FM) professionals are mulling new effective strategies that would strengthen their roles in preserving, retaining and maximizing the value of all class of assets under their custody regardless of its size, location or complexity.
The professionals are optimistic that as savvy investors flood the West Africa’s property markets like Ghana, in search of high-yielding Real Estate investment opportunities, the FM industry would evolve beyond its current state of just managing physical assets to delivering tangible value to all segment of the Real Estate sector using data, automation process and contemporary technologies that meet these needs.
Ghana is witnessing significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in all segments of its property and infrastructure market; with major dynamics responsible for Real Estate growth such as rapid population growth and urbanization, currently on the upward swing in the region.
In response to this trend, Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead Facilities, reasons that the current practice of considering Facilities Management as an afterthought or remedial approach to asset management will no longer be sufficient in driving the growth dynamics Ghana’s Real Estate market requires.
Delivering a technical paper on; Maximizing the Value of Real Estate Assets through efficient Facilities Management Services at the maiden edition of the Ghana FM Roundtable recently in Accra, Engr. Akintunde explained that for Real Estate asset owners and managers keen on maximizing the value of their assets while staying focused on their core businesses, the need to engage a competent FMs who specialize in using Information Technology (I.T) solutions to comply with Global best systems, standards and process using benchmarking data has become imperative.
Professionals at the forum agreed that with FM accounting for up to 80-90 percent of the Real Estate lifecycle, only projects which are designed, constructed and managed with the fundamentals of FM will attract the right value over its lifespan.
“The FM scope in building projects and management covers Design, Procurement, Construction-Installation, Commissioning, and Operation & Maintenance,” Engr. Akintunde stressed, adding that for Real Estate owners to maximize and sustain the value of their assets overtime, the input of FMs should always rank high during the aforementioned stages of every project.
Income-producing real estate assets such as Retail facilities, Prime Grade Office spaces are proving to be the cash cow for investors across most West African cities – where such assets are in short supply. However, despite its viability and huge Return on Investment (RoI), these assets are also exposed to some risks such as wear and tear, damage, and deterioration over time.
To combat these challenges, Engr. Akintunde explained that Asset owners and managers must engage competent FMs who employ defined processes, systems and standards in operations and maintenance activities which have proven to be crucial to cost reduction, improved quality of services and the overall sustainability of the structure and even more importantly; elongate the lifespan of the asset.
According to the FM expert, the effective implementation of precautionary measures such as Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) which minimizes the breakdown of facilities and critical equipment such as lift, water supply, power generating sets is also critical in maximizing the value of Real Estate assets.
He further argued that crucial FM activities such as service requests, managing property portfolios, creating the FM strategic plan, searching for information, verifying data in an accessible format can all be automated, to empower FMs become more efficient in the timely management of information, performance measurement etc.
The Ghana FM Roundtable is an annual FM and Real Estate Business policy and strategy forum organized by Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services to commemorate the 2017 World FM Day – a day earmarked internationally by Global FM, a worldwide alliance of member-centered Facility Management organisations, providing leadership in the advancement of the FM profession through FM institutions such as the BIFM, IFMA International and many others around the globe.