The Importance of Energy and Carbon in Facility Management

As global awareness of the consequences of climate concerns increases and these concerns are translated into regulatory initiatives, it is slowly becoming imperative for stakeholders in property and facility management to undertake steps to position themselves in front of these concerns. By doing so, not only do future regulatory initiatives have less of an impact on daily operations but implementation of energy and carbon management policies and plans concerning such,  have the potential for the generation of significant cost effectiveness and efficiency savings over the life cycle of any project. Thus property stakeholders who recognize the importance of energy and carbon management in facility management benefit directly in terms of efficiency, cost savings and an increasingly positive public perception.

Facility Management: Energy

For property stakeholders, in the United Arab Emirates, to fully understand the enormity of the importance of energy and carbon management, a necessary review of the numbers concerning energy consumption and generation is required. The United Arab Emirates is subdivided into seven Emirates, with Dubai being the largest with over thirty five percent of the population. Therefore the numbers are focused on Dubai, but are representative of the UAE as a whole.

According to DEWA, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the annual energy production in installed capacity is 9,646 megawatts with a peak demand of 6,637 megawatts in 2012. The latest numbers for 2013 show in increase in peak demand of 220 megawatts for a total of 6,857 megawatts, a 3.3 percent increase over 2012. Considering that the 2012 numbers represent 13,281 kilowatt hours per person in terms of per capita consumption, the increase in 2013 numbers will represent a corresponding increase in the per capita numbers as well. Thus illustrating an overall increase in costs associated with energy production and consumption in Dubai and possibly the UAE as a whole. This, despite implementation of energy initiatives by DEWA to reduce consumption by 2030. The ramification for property stakeholders is clear, as consumption increases and costs associated with increase production and consumption increase, these cost increases will be passed on to the consumer, reducing the overall bottom line of the property stakeholder and only by implementing plans and policies that reduce consumption and the overall facility energy footprint can these increases be mitigated.

Facility Management: Carbon

Unless otherwise stated, the carbon numbers are harder to quantify due to the nature and variety of carbon sources. For the UAE, and Dubai in specific, the numbers are correlated with the numbers for that of energy production and consumption. As a net exporter of fossil fuels, there is a tendency to count exports as inclusive of the overall carbon foot print of the UAE, as this has little to no impact on property stakeholders, this has been left out.

The United Nations has listed the UAE as having one of the largest carbon foot prints in the world with over 236.2 million metric tons produced in 2012 alone. These same numbers represent 10.6 gha or global hectares per person, as noted by the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency.  Of these numbers, over fifty seven percent is from household consumption of energy, according to the UAE Ecological Footprint Initiative. While a reduction in carbon emissions were noted for 2013, this reduction came mainly from industrial sources and not the primary motivator of the UAE carbon production, households. Given the direct correlation with energy consumption, property stakeholders benefit by the introduction of policies that address both energy consumption and carbon production. What this means in direct terms, is policies and energy management plans that specifically target energy consumption and subsequently carbon production, cost savings can be realized and potential cost increases can be avoided.

Both the carbon numbers and the energy numbers clearly illustrate why proper facility management must make energy and carbon management a priority. What the numbers do not show is the esoteric advantages inherent with the importance of energy and carbon management. Property stakeholders, who are buying or selling, can gain by demonstrating their commitment to the importance of carbon and energy management through an increasingly positive perception of their commitment to the principles enshrined in properly prepared and implemented carbon and energy controls. In order for this to occur it is imperative that during any process of purchasing or selling of the stakes in property, that companion companies who are experienced in taking advantage of this public perception as well as understanding the importance of managing the property in terms of carbon and energy management be utilized.  Only by engaging the properly experienced and knowledgeable companies, that are experts in energy and carbon management, can the benefits previously mentioned be realized.

10 Signs of Poor Property Management

Poor property management costs you more than you think.

There is more to good property management (read our 10 signs of good property management post) than a roof that doesn’t leak. Most property managers tend to think that business is good as long as there’s a roof over the property and the tenants are still put. They don’t consider that it might only be a matter of time before the roof starts caving and the tenants start vacating. These are poor mangers and you should avoid working with them at all costs.

Below are the red flags to look out for in property management companies:

  1. Lack of Support

You should be cautious of property managers that are not supported by other management professionals. Because it means that when the manager is away no one is left looking after the property.

  1. Lack of Repair to Property

This is quite obvious. If a managed property is not in good condition then someone is sleeping on the job. Ensuring a well-maintained property is the work of the property manager. It follows that a delay in repair means there is some negligence on the part of the management.

  1. Constant Disputes May Get Ugly

Building a good relationship with different parties is the first step to the success of the property management company. Constant disputes with the landlord, tenants or vendors and any other parties could mean that the company is not doing its job correctly. A property manager should act as a mediator in disputes, rather than being the cause of the dispute.

  1. Unrealistic Expectations

What about expectations? What do they expect from you? Can you provide it? If the answer is “no” then it’s time to explore other options. The company should meet your expectations as you meet theirs. If one side is heavier and there is no sign of a common ground then the relationship won’t work.

  1. Too Much Control

What is the first impression when you meet the manager? Do they give you a chance to talk or do they exercise total control over you? If they are too much in control then you might need to reconsider a working relationship with them. The property owner should have a say in the way his property is managed.

  1. Unchanging Rents

Stagnant rent prices are a bad sign. Rents should be rising in times of economic rises and even dropping it times of economic downfall, to ensure maximum occupancy at all times.

  1. Complaining Tenants

As obvious as it may be, it’s important to note that tenants do not typically complain for no reason. If there are consistent, recurring complaints that are not addressed by your property manager, your tenants will likely lose patience and leave.

  1. High Repair Bills

A good property manager will have quality relationships with trades people and maintenance professionals and therefore, are able to get you the best deal to minimize costs. Maintenance costs are expensive and can cut deep into some property owners’ profits. Property managers who do not consider costs to the owner are a poor choice.

  1. Lack of Property Investor Qualities

The property manager should possess some skills that would qualify them as property investors. In this way they understand you best and are able to know what you want without having you explain it too much.

  1. Legal Issues

Has the company been sued on grounds of negligence? It is important to mind companies that have been sued before. This could help you avoid being their next victim. Again, you should conduct your own research to know why they were sued and whether it is an issue that could affect your relationship.

Not all property managers are created equal. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the owner to select the property manager that they think they can work well with. To ensure a long and mutually beneficial relationship, whilst ensuring consistent and long-term tenant occupancy, take care when selecting a good property manager.

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10 Signs of Good Property Management


Good property management can keep you making money.

Profitability is usually a factor to look at when it comes to gauging the success of any business. However, when it comes to property management, there are certain signs – some of which may not be very tangible – that greatly show the success of good property management. How many of these does your firm possess?

  1. Low Vacancy Rates

If your property manager in Dubai has managed a low vacancy rate for a long time then you know the property manager has taken the steps to ensure your property remains profitable. This could mean:

  • That the property manager is actively involved in the marketing of the property to new and potential tenants.
  • That your units are generally being sought after.
  • That the management is navigating market rents to maintain current tenants.
  1. Tenants Staying Put

There’s one major reason why tenants would not leave or be showing signs of leaving: they like it there, obviously. A working management makes tenants want to stay in the property because the comfort is what they look for. It’s not because there are no issues but mostly because the issues are actively addressed. If you want to know how well the management is then you need to start from the tenant before you can look at the office.

  1. An Online Marketing Strategy

The digital face of your property, with the help of some marketing, can take your assets to the next level. Therefore, a company that has an active Facebook page or Twitter following, for instance, is most likely working to learn the intricacies of his market. It also shows that the company is reachable due to the multiple digital platforms available for conversation.

  1. Consistent Potential Tenant Inquiries

Even when the property isn’t advertised. We see this as a result of great management. Tenants can be your best promoters if their property is managed with them in mind. That means if you are looking for a great property management company you’ll probably have heard of it long before you consider other factors.

  1. Referals

Ask around. If a property management company gets referrals from other owners, they’re most likely doing something right. Try to find out how long the owner has been using the same property manger.

  1. Certifications

Certifications – whether relevant to your needs or not, show that the property manager is actively pursuing education. Staying active and ahead of the competition is a good sign that your property manger is going to be actively involved in the success of your property.

  1. Being Contacted by Other managers for Advice

It is a good sign if another manager can seek the advice of the manager you are evaluating. It shows that the latter has a considerable level of authority in that field. Therefore, as intangible as the factor may be, it may be a good distinguishing factor if you are trying to decide which of two or more management companies is best for you.

  1. Being Invited to Speak at Events by Associations

Associations and other organizations qualify invitees before they ask them to speak. If a property manager is invited in one of these events, then it is most probably because he/she is an expert in the field. This is to mean that attending such events is a good habit to start and maintain especially if you are actively looking for a good property manager.

  1. Being Approached by Rental Agents

Property managers sometimes in certain areas require the services of agents not only to purchase a home but also to rent one. These agents are paid to know all the properties regarding rent and therefore they have the best overview of everything happening in the market. Therefore, if they approach a property manager it means that his/her property sticks up against competitors.

  1. Enjoying the Work

Enjoying the work is another less tangible factor but it’s important to consider. Property managers deal with a lot of people – from property owners, to the vendors and the tenants. Loving what they do means they have maintained good relationships all around. They work with a mutually beneficial state of mind.

There are many property management companies in Dubai. Some are genuinely good and successful at what they do, but some are plainly dormant. When choosing a company, it’s your responsibility to look at the success indicators. A good property manager is capable, not only of increasing the value of your property but, more importantly, giving you peace-of-mind.

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