What are the Trends in Water and Energy Management in FM in the UAE? Video

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The UAE has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of water in the world and relies on energy intensive, desalination processes to obtain fresh water. Energy and water management are, therefore, highly debated and important topics, which have significant implications for Facilities Management (FM).

In a recent interview with the Grid Initiative, KAIZEN’s Donna Meyrick discussed the latest trends in water and energy management in FM. These aspects of asset management have, over the past couple of years, become increasingly significant as they can potentially reduce overall returns to landlords.

There is a recognized need in the UAE to rationalize water and electricity consumption in order to reduce carbon-intensive activities. This has increased the region’s environmental awareness and increased the momentum for improved water and energy management. An increased understanding of carbon credit trading has further added to people’s awareness and concern about these issues.

In response to these financial and environmental areas of concern, KAIZEN recommends that appropriate water management to be implemented across all property portfolios.

Using automated irrigation systems to optimize water distribution in landscaped and foliage areas may reduce water consumption in a project. In new developments, gardens can be stocked with more regionally appropriate plants and trees, which have lower water requirements.

The implementation of a number of other methods is a great way of getting people involved and interactive in addressing this environmental concern. Such methods include the installation of double flush systems and waterless urinals and aerators for WCs. Other initiatives may include waterless car cleaning.

KAIZEN highlights the management of chillers and chilled water as one of the most effective energy savings that can be made.

A recent cost benefit analysis for a commercial property (Loft Offices in Media City) has been undertaken by KAIZEN. The results of this analysis indicated that actually replacing five of the chillers was more effective in reducing the landlord’s operational expenses than maintaining this asset until its manufactured expected expiry.

KAIZEN therefore tries to ensure that all projects use a Building Management System (BMS) for chilled water systems. This ensures effective use of energy by optimizing the difference between the temperatures of supply and returned chilled water (delta T). Through implementation of such measures, KAIZEN is enhancing the financial and environmental sustainability of property in the UAE.

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Hiring a Property Management Company? Read The Checklist!

If you own multiple properties, hiring a property management company will save you a lot of time and money. Property Managers look after your properties and protect you from issues that can impact your revenues and decrease the value of the property. However, finding the right property manager to look after your property is a challenging task.

Many companies, investors and individual owners need property managers to look after their properties for a variety of reasons. You might be living in a different country, but your valuable investment is in Dubai. You may simply be too busy or lack the knowledge and experience to handle this alone. A good property manager can ensure monthly cash flow, increase your revenues and perhaps (most importantly) provide you with peace of mind.

Follow these steps to screen between the good property managers.

Checking the Portfolio

The first thing is to check the number and value of the properties managed. Do they manage units or projects that are similar to yours? If so, how many? In some cases, you may wish to visit some of the projects they manage in order to get a first-hand idea of the management quality. Careful examination of their portfolio will help you select the best property manager and allow you to judge their suitability to manage your building, villas, apartments or commercial properties.

Number of Staff

When you receive proposals for managing the property, consider how many employees are engaged to look after your property. A good property manager can manage the whole building with the support of two executives and an accountant. Avoid companies who do not provide complete information about number of employees that are going to manage your property. Consider whether the property manager will have an onsite office in the building or whether management will be from a remote site. In general, the better property management companies prefer to have onsite offices from which to manage their property portfolio.

Customer Orientation

Customer orientation is one of the most important points on which to focus. Good property managers are customer oriented and listen to your requirements. A good property manager will always try to resolve issues and avoid them reoccurring. Customer orientation is important for both the owner and the tenants of the building. Property managers ensure that owner’s cash flow increases while maintaining a good tenant profile for the buildings they manage. They develop positive relationships with both the owner and the tenant ensuring that their company wins repeat business.

Understanding the Goals

It is very important that the property manager understands the goals and how they will achieve them? It is a good idea to get a plan of action for the manner in which your property will be managed and cash flow increased. A good property manager provides guidance and explains how they can achieve the goals that will maximize cash flow. Dubai real estate market is volatile; a good property management company creates short-term and long term-goals to counter this. Good understanding of the real estate market will help in forecasting and creating realistic and achievable goals.

Understanding of the Local Market

Dubai real estate market is different from other international property markets. A local company has easy access to relevant resources and information compared to international companies. It is also crucial for property managers to have good relationships with the suppliers and the service providers which are more readily achieved through personal contact. A local company will understand the local laws relating to managing their properties. Understanding and complying with Dubai Lands Department and RERA rules and regulation is important so that you can avoid issues arising due to different matters. You can always ask for any registration documents or certifications to understand their affiliation with local authorities and a local company will be in a better position to expedite this.

Use of Technology

Implementation of online systems is very important because less paperwork means less hassle to look after the properties that you own. A good property manager implements online systems to manage your property and conduct day-to-day tasks including preparation of tenancies, renewals, payments and reporting. You can always ask enquire which software systems or CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) they use to manage the properties. How frequently they send reports of all the managed properties from their system. You may also request sample reports of previously managed properties which will provide a useful insight into the property management company.

Maintenance of the Property

The property manager is not only responsible for leasing the property, but also taking care of the whole building. A good property manager listens to complaints from the tenants and the owner and resolves them in a timely manner. A good property management company will keep track of all the maintenance reports in their CRM. You can ask questions about how they handle maintenance requests; A good company may provide you with a maintenance register or reports of previously managed properties.

Budget & Operations

A good property management company always operates within the assigned budget and does not send you bills for extra services. Ask questions to determine the services covered and, just as importantly, those which are excluded from the contract. It makes the selection process a lot easier because a good company will provide you transparent information about their fee structure.

“What should a company look for in selecting an Asset Manager?”

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