For almost all buildings, there are spaces and offices that can be rented out, the responsibility of which falls under the building management. In specific, the building manager.
Without a building manager, it is difficult to ensure smooth daily operations of several commercial properties such as office buildings, hotels and resorts, warehouses, shopping malls, restaurants, and healthcare facilities.
The presence of a skilled building manager helps retain the property value of these buildings on the market, boost reputation and customer trust, increase building lifespan and create safe spaces for the public. It’s no easy task and comprises of careful planning of budgets, regularly managing maintenance and repair activities, monitoring safety and emergency plans, working with vendors for effective safety, cleaning and security of the property as well as ensuring the property follows all the applicable regulations.
In certain cases the building managers may share duties with property managers. However, property managers only deal with the business aspects but not the physical maintenance of the building.
The 5 Key Responsibilities of a Building Manager:
(1) Safety Procedures & Emergency Plans
Emergency situations always happen unannounced and can range from natural disasters to flooding, fire, security intrusions and critical system failures. These situations could endanger the public, the tenants and the workers in a building. Thus the building managers have a huge role to play here by making sure that building inspections are done frequently and proper lighting, signage, disability access is in place together with fire prevention systems and overseeing security processes.
It is not enough to only have safe building properties. Building managers also have to draft and update emergency plans and evacuation procedures. Educating the employees about safety and security is also needed so that they could help in assisting with emergency response and evacuations to prevent the situation from growing out of control.
(2) Manage building maintenance and repair activities
Managing building maintenance and repair activities can be broken down into three processes; planning, procurement and inspection. Planning is done to identify problems that may happen in the future and what could be done to prevent them. This would also involve creating strategies like preventive and predictive maintenance.
Procurement is the process of finding suppliers for materials, equipment, labour and other resources needed for maintenance and repair such as monitoring HVAC repairs, landscaping, cleaning of windows & doors, painting and pool management etc. The building manager has to verify that suppliers have the necessary licences or certificates as stipulated by the laws or regulations that apply to their industry (e.g., construction contractors).
The last process is inspection, routine checks are run on the building to make sure the space is secure before people or other elements of the built environment occupy them (e.g., trees).
All three of these processes fall under the hat of a building manager, alongside their duty of monitoring building maintenance budgets and making arrangements on building improvements. With an efficient strategy for each of these processes the likelihood of unplanned downtime or any of the equipment going offline is drastically reduced leading to an increase in output and productivity of the whole space.
(3) Manage and directing ground staff activities
Building managers much like most managers, don’t work alone. They have a team that helps run the space and monitor the building’s overall condition. Building Managers supervise ground staff, maintain payroll records, evaluate employee performance and provide direction, correction, or additional training to establish proper maintenance of the building. One of the best ways to make sure the maintenance staff are doing their jobs is by establishing a clear line of communication. Having regular updates and a platform to cross-check work progress helps to avoid any form of discrepancy and miscommunication while having the whole team on the same page, understanding exactly what needs to be done and what their set KPIs would be.
(4) Resolve tenants or occupants issue
Being a building manager can be quite a challenge at certain times. A lot of different kinds of situations or problems may occur such as leaky pipes in the occupants’ space, electrical surges or other maintenance related issues, physical intrusions and so on. When dealing with tenants and occupant related problems especially, building managers must have a list of records and history of the tenants (e.g rent payments), previously resolved complaints, highlighted problems, and requests. This guarantees that all issues that may arise are dealt with professionalism, resolved quickly and increase customer satisfaction as well as trust in the building itself.
(5) Manage insurance claims
When there are incidents such as natural disasters, fire accidents, water damage, failure of machines, injuries or any emergencies, the occupants are directly affected and would suffer from losses. The first thing that needs to be done is capturing a photo of the incident as evidence to help document the damages for the filing of an insurance claim with an insurer. Building managers must handle all the insurance coverage and compensation claims. Other claims such as health insurance or auto insurance claims also need to be handled, depending on what type of building it is. The building manager works with the insurance company to check that all relevant parties are notified when a claim is filed.
Looking at all the major roles that building managers play, it’s safe to say that their job is no walk in the park and is a huge responsibility that directly affects the safety and security of many. That being said, here’s a list of top 7 skills required to be a good building manager.
- Excellent organizational skills
- Project management skills
- Problem Solving
- Detail Orientation
- Customer Service Experience
- Strong Leadership Skills
- Maintenance Experience
If a building manager neglects their role or in cases where a building is not regularly maintained and cared for, several incidents could happen. Neglecting routine maintenance, for example could lead to the building becoming run down and eventually losing customer reliability, running out of business.
Lack of routine maintenance also affects security and safety. The tenants of the structure could be in danger if it is not maintained strictly. Additionally, it might be expensive to offer tenants compensation claims, bill for repairs, and replace damaged or malfunctioning equipment if several instances take place.
A great building manager will plan and strategize all processes efficiently, whether it’s maintenance planning, workforce management, operational tasks or resolving occupant issues. However, it might be overwhelming to manage all of the tasks single-handedly and manually within an allocated time. Among the greatest hurdles is getting everything sorted such as the paperwork, the records, the budgeting and then reporting to the upper management. This is why majority of building managers opt for systems or software to help them achieve KPIs by reducing the time taken for the processes and the cost incurred while increasing productivity.
The HAUZ solution helps building managers to do just that through features that allow real-time monitoring of the building, incident reporting, tracking of routine maintenance, asset management, workforce analytics, vendor management, effective financial planning and much more on a single platform. The most beneficial of all would be the ability to access various kinds of reports and generate them instantly. Having all this would reduce valuable time and unplanned costs, ultimately producing a well-maintained, innovated space for the public.