Concerned by the persistent deterioration, value erosion and low Return on Investment (RoI) recorded on most Real Estate assets, built environment professionals have outlined effective strategies that can aid Real Estate developers and investors sustain the value of their assets.
The professionals unanimously affirmed that if these strategies are effectively implemented across all class of Real Estate assets, they could be the game-changers in some projects currently struggling to deliver the expected value to their owners and users.
To Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, these strategies will not only deliver the desired results across all segments of the property market, they will also position the Real Estate assets as superior investment instruments; when compared with stocks, bonds mutual funds etc.
Engr. Akintunde who delivered a technical paper on ‘Achieving & sustaining high value real estate/housing development projects in Nigeria’ at the just-concluded 11th Abuja Housing Show, explained that the first major step Real Estate asset owners’ keen on preserving the value of their asset need to take is by engaging a competent Facility Manager (FM) with the requisite skill to manage their project – right from the design stage.
“Whether you prefer to outsource your FM role or manage it in-house, there is a cogent need to engage an FM professional who has the capacity and technical prowess to efficiently manage the Real Estate asset; such that the facility returns the desired value to its owner and users simultaneously,’’ Engr. Akintunde said.
He further argued that beyond ensuring a convenient environment where organisations and asset owners can seamlessly deliver their core business objectives and retain the value of their assets respectively, experience has shown that the FM service delivered on a project has a direct correlation to the costs efficiency, lifecycle and viability of such asset.
According to him, a critical factor in sustaining the value of Real Estate assets is by minimizing breakdown of facilities and critical equipment such as; lift, water supply, power generating sets etc. Coincidentally, these fall under the purview of the FM and can be prevented through an effective Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) Programme which encapsulates; regular monitoring of the facility condition, prompt attendance to required maintenance work based on well-defined systems, standards and procedures.
“FMs also have the duty to developing strategic asset master plan, budget control and advice, global benchmarking, professional advice on all property issues, space management and service cost management and control,’’ Engr. Akintunde said; adding that all these are critical to the value retention of assets.
Other strategies highlighted by the Engr. Akintunde includes; the use of defined processes, systems and standards in operations and maintenance activities which are essential in helping to maximizing the value of Real Estate assets; use of benchmarking data to compare industry best processes and practice against FMs service delivery output.
In addition to these, he emphasized the need for FMs to leverage on Information Technology Solution to execute important key FM activities such as service requests, managing property portfolios, creating the FM strategic plan, searching for information and verifying data in an accessible format
“Never in the history of the built environment has IT become more relevant and prominent in managing Real Estate assets than now,” Engr. Femi enthused; noting that the simplification of these processes with IT would also boost the efficiency of FMs in time management of information, performance measurement etc.