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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » May 27, 2011
The Real Estate Voice
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Facility Management Services Expand
May 27, 2011   
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A growing number of Polish businesses are catching on to the benefits inherent in professional commercial real estate management, triggering a rise in the demand for modern property and facility management.

Until recently, real estate management in Poland usually meant basic administration. Traditional responsibilities mainly included technical maintenance, cleaning, mandatory payments and collecting rent from tenants. However, the increasingly competitive Polish market and the advent of new buildings fitted with new and complex technology made that approach obsolete. Traditional administration lacked planning, failed to raise the market price of property and remained passive with regards to tenants, prompting a demand for professional property management services.

Under a definition that is commonly used in Poland, commercial real estate management comprises services aimed at maximizing revenues from leased space so that a property can be at top market value when it is sold to a new owner. Apart from administration, property managers are in charge of space lease planning, which means they should keep track of market trends and anticipate the needs of potential tenants. They are also responsible for the marketing of space for lease, outlining the lease strategy and arranging the right tenant mix. Property managers also advise owners about how to use investment, financial restructuring and new marketing and sales strategies to maximize the value of property.

Property vs. facility

While these services define property management, there are also companies that provide what is known as facility management. Instead of focusing only on cost efficiency, facility management services are aimed at bettering the entire range of business processes at enterprises. Facility managers produce and sell facilitations, or improvements in the ability of businesses to exchange products and services. Facility management services provided to users of real estate are designed to support the users’ main business activity and, as regards commercial real estate, the services have to match the requirements of the given business. Indirectly, they should help increase tangible profits and build customers’ sense of business satisfaction.

According to property management experts, varied facilitations and innovative ways to produce and adapt them to real estate users’ needs are reason enough to analyze those needs in order to develop attractive services to support the users’ businesses. Facility management is thus clearly a strongly customer-oriented field. Facility managers provide comprehensive services to customers that use modern planning methods in dealing with space arrangement and the distribution of workstations, buildings and devices.

Facility management and property management differ in the range of services they offer and their overall approach to business. Commercial property management clearly focuses on maximizing the value of a building or buildings. Facility management seeks a working environment that is optimal for a given type of business. Facility management extends beyond office buildings to encompass shopping malls, store chains and financial institutions with multiple branches.

A booming market

The market for property and facility market has been growing rapidly in the past several years, but the growth is mainly a result of the booming market for commercial real estate. Modern management methods have been used to a lesser extent in run-down buildings that usually need modernization. Much of the real estate in Poland fails to meet modern technical and service standards and a lot of buildings are neglected, if not derelict. Such buildings are, paradoxically, the last stand of traditional property management, because there is no incentive for skilled facility managers to take care of them. traditional repairs, maintenance, administration and questions of occupational safety and health can be still handled by the former administrators.

Poland presents vast potential for facility management, despite the global financial crisis. During an economic slowdown, property management outsourcing can be an excellent tool when, for example, energy efficiency becomes crucial. Facility management companies are beginning to offer customers new technology to ensure optimal use of energy sources. Renewable energy and lower levels of pollution play a major role in the process.

The vast potential of Poland has attracted subsidiaries of international corporations that control the market for property management. The largest providers of property and facility management services in Poland are Sodexo, Dalkia Energy and Technical Services, Knight Frank, Hochtief Facility Management, Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers International, DTZ, Strabag Property and Facility Services, King Sturge and Jones Lang LaSalle. International companies have major advantages over local businesses, starting with their years of experience on foreign markets. Secondly, property owners and tenants who buy services from large companies are aided by the companies’ property management departments along with investment, logistics, market consulting and research experts and retail, office and warehouse space departments. Major property management companies have access to the best specialists and global know-how on all market sectors.

Case studies
The rapid development of the Polish market for facility management is best exemplified by Hochtief Facility Management Poland, a company that has operated in Poland since 1998. At first it managed a single building in Warsaw, but 10 years later it held facility management contracts for nearly 100 sites across Poland. Hochtief Facility Management Poland is now a leader on this sector of the market.

Sodexo On-site Service Solutions, a subsidiary of the international Sodexo Group, manages the largest number of buildings in Poland; 400 buildings with a total area of 7 million square meters. The company designs, manages and delivers comprehensive outsourcing services for real estate. The company handles property management, technical maintenance, cleaning, security coordination, reception desks and mail, administration support, subcontractor management, cafeterias and canteens, banquets, picnics, vending machines and catering for students and hospital patients.

Comprehensive facility management services are also available in Poland from Dalkia Energy and Technical Services. Regarded as a leader on the Polish market, Dalkia manages production facilities, shopping malls and office and institutional buildings.

One more example of successful property management in Poland is DTZ, a company which for several years in a row has been named the best provider of property management services by an international panel of judges that includes real estate market professionals. The success is well deserved; during the past several months, DTZ has assumed management of 10 shopping malls, including one of the most prestigious locations, the Z³ote Tarasy mall in the very center of Warsaw. DTZ manages a total of 41 shopping centers, office buildings and warehouses in Poland with a total area of around 2 million sq m.
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