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What is Space Governance in the Workplace?

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Room 202 will be a conference space. It’s closed for cleaning from noon to 1 p.m., then open as a quiet workspace until 5 p.m., with space for three employees with Level II access or above. On paper, this might look like a schedule of workspace availability. In the broader sense, it’s a great illustration of space governance.

Space governance is the act of identifying and managing distinct areas within the workplace to ensure they meet the needs of employees. Most facilities managers engage in this practice regularly, but being cognizant of what you’re doing can inform you on how to do it better. That means creating purposeful spaces and managing them accordingly.

Define and understand your spaces

It’s important to look at your workplace on a scale. You can look at a stack plan and see how many total seats you have across the building, floor, or department; or, you can look at the specific location and dimensions of a space to determine the best uses for it. This gives every identified space full context within facilities and paves the way for space management.

What is space management? Different from space governance, space management involves overseeing the activities that happen within that space. Is it a conference room? Quiet workplace? Hoteling station? Space management dictates the space’s purpose; space governance dictates how it’s used. For example:

  • Space management is what determines Room 202 is a conference room
  • Space governance is the act of restricting access to Room 202 to Level III employees

This distinction becomes more and more important as workplaces become more dynamic. Like in the example above, when a space serves many purposes, the need for more robust space governance becomes essential. Good governance depends on asking a few important questions.

Who needs space and what do they need it for?

Space management and space governance start with identifying need. It’s impossible to find utility in a space without knowing who will use it and what they’ll use it for. Understanding need is the first part of strategic workspace planning. There are several ways to gauge this need.

From a quantifiable standpoint, facilities managers can look at workplace data to determine which types of workspaces see the most use, by whom, when, and for how long. This provides irrefutable evidence into specific types of workspace demand. The other (less scientific) way of realizing demand for space is to poll employees to learn what their preferences are for certain workspaces.

Imbue the space with purpose and utility

With demand at the forefront of decision-making, companies can engage is space management activities to better-define the purpose of areas in the workplace. This means specifically designating certain spaces for certain activities, with mind for where they’re located and who will use them. This is also where space management and space governance need to intersect.

Look at the total potential for a space. Recognize the many different opportunities the space offers; then, use space governance to dictate how to make the most of its potential. How often will the application of that space change? Who has access? How will you govern it to ensure maximum utilization? The strategy for space governance needs to align with the strategy for space management. Execution needs to match purpose.

Rely on software to actively govern spaces

The secret to effective space governance in today’s agile workplaces is software infrastructure for managing it. Space planning software offers options for both management and governance—for example, the ability to designate a hotel desk, then manage bookings for it. Without a software system that’s as agile as the workplace itself, it becomes difficult to govern spaces in a capacity that makes them accessible.

  • Designate hotel desks and manage hotel bookings
  • Govern the changeover from one space type to another
  • Restrict access to certain spaces through access control
  • Link wayfinding software to space governance controls
  • Create automations that facilitate seamless space utilization

Software offers so many points of support for agile space governance—from support ticketing to keep spaces viable, to on/off availability for space reservations.

Remember that spaces are dynamic

Space governance used to be about simpler concepts. Now, it’s about managing multiple variables that are always in flux, to provide a space that employees need, when they need it. A workspace might go through multiple transitions in a day, and change its identity with each interaction. It’s up to facility managers to marry traditional space management concepts with new-age space governance techniques, to facilitate a workplace that’s as dynamic as employees need it to be.

Keep reading: Space Planning Software Buyers and Info Guide

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Real Estate Asset Management Certification

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Professionals handling corporate real estate need proof of concept—something that shows they understand the nuances of managing property at the enterprise level. Alongside experience and formal education, real estate asset management certification is a major indicator of competency and capability when it comes to overseeing real property.

No matter the path they take to get there, certification is an important indicator in the abilities of a real estate asset manager. It’s also a sound investment for companies, with the expectation that certified real estate asset managers will affect change that improves the ROI of property.

What is real estate asset management?

Real estate asset management involves treating corporate real estate as an asset—something that adds value to the balance sheet or benefit’s the company’s operations. Instead of looking at the needs of facilities, it looks at how facilities contribute to the success of the company through a fiscal lens. In many ways, real estate asset management bisects property management and financial focuses, which makes it important to staff a professional who can liaise between these core focuses.

Looking at real estate as an asset means managing it like an asset. To do this, a real estate asset manager needs to focus on three key areas of asset optimization:

  • Revenue generation.
  • Risk mitigation
  • Cost or loss savings

Within these three areas of focus is a world of opportunities and possibilities. Real estate asset management certification courses are where professionals learn to identify and capitalize on them. They learn the skills to approach real estate asset management from both property and finance standpoints, to make decisions that benefit both.

Real estate asset management courses

While some universities and higher learning institutions offer classes devoted to real estate asset management, they’re often lacking. They often provide great fundamentals for finance and real estate as an asset, but they gloss over the nuances of what a career in real estate asset management actually entails. The rare real estate asset management course may cover these duties in depth, but a class is far short of a curriculum.

Certificate programs exist to provide that missing curriculum. These programs drill down into specifics and cover not just fundamentals, but current standards, practices, trends, and philosophies. And, because they’re consolidated into several weeks or months, they’re an agile learning opportunity for a niche role in real estate management.

Where to get certified

Certification is best-earned from industry organizations or reputable secondary education institutions. There are several organizations devoted to real estate asset management and peripheral areas of focus, and each offers some form of certification consistent with industry best practices:

Professionals with one or more of these certifications are ready to step into an asset management role and govern facilities from a cost-benefit and revenue-generation standpoint. Best of all, certification programs like these frequently add extensions, modules, and refreshers to keep industry best practices current.

Real estate asset management online training

The beauty of most real estate asset management certification programs is that they’re completed online, at the pace of the person taking them. This makes certification a great opportunity for business professionals near to real estate asset management, or those who want to pursue it. In many cases, these courses are a good ongoing education investment for companies to make in their employees, and may manifest in direct ROI from well-managed real estate assets.

The benefits of certification are clear

Certification doesn’t just show core competency on the part of a real estate asset manager—it also helps them do their job better. Specialized programs and training courses devoted to asset management give property professionals unique insights not learned on any traditional career track. It goes beyond understanding real estate as an asset; it’s about understanding real estate as an asset to the business and its mission. Certification connects the dots in a way that manifests in a stronger, more cohesive real estate management strategy.

Keep reading: Ins and Outs of Facility Management Certification

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Six Reasons to Use Real Estate Asset Management Software

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

The question on every corporate executive’s mind is whether to downsize, scale back, or consolidate the company’s real estate portfolio. This is especially important in a post-coronavirus world as the workplace undergoes yet another change. As real estate managers forecast the future, they need quantifiable data about facilities. Real estate asset management software can provide this data and the insights that contextualize it.

Here’s a look at six of the most important reasons real estate managers need asset management software and the benefits it provides.

1. 1,000-foot view of properties

Asset managers need to understand each property from a cost-benefit standpoint. That means looking from the top down, to see the factors that make up both sides of this equation. It’s easy to look at fixed costs on a balance sheet—asset management software provides additional insights that contextualize those larger figures.

A broad view of facility costs and revenue becomes particularly handy for higher-level decision-making about property-specific changes. What’s the current cost per square foot vs. occupancy vs. revenue? How do maintenance costs factor into total cost of ownership? The answers to these questions and dozens of others provide broad context for facilities, which lends credence to them as assets.

2. Quantifiable financial metrics

In the scope of portfolio decision-making, what does a real estate asset manager do? In simplest terms, they provide quantifiable insights for executives and other stakeholders. That means delivering real estate data and information in the form of key company success metrics. These insights aren’t always easy to come by, which is what makes real estate asset management software so vital.

With the proper infrastructure, asset management reporting software will deliver core company metrics available at a glance. This can include the cost of the lease and annual maintenance, month-over-month spend on facilities, revenue performance by location, and much more. These are the figures decision-makers want to see as they contemplate the future of facilities.

3. Asset-based insights

It’s easy to delineate the many functions of a property. A real estate asset manager faces the task of quantifying these functions and understanding them in the context of an asset. Asset-based insights are what C-suite executives and portfolio managers want as they make decisions about the direction of a company. Asset-based insights and their contribution to financial metrics are what aid in that decision-making.

Each asset-based insight creates an opportunity for asset optimization. Can you cut costs here? Realize new revenue opportunities there? Defining the various monetary contributors to real property’s place on the balance sheet unlocks the potential to modify them.

4. Forecasting, simplified

Real estate asset management software might tell you that a facility is operating far above capacity and generating less profit than a comparable property. Or, it might show that the maintenance costs of an old building make it a drag on the balance sheet. In these situations, available data promotes better forecasting. It’s about using the data you have now to make ROI-driven decisions about real estate for the future.

Forecasting using real estate asset management software can aid in everything from budgeting to asset planning. If companies can see the role of their facilities far into the future, they’re more equipped to make confident decisions about them in the present.

5. Contextualize workforce distribution

Asset management isn’t only about managing the asset itself—it also involves who (or what) interacts with it. In the case of corporate real estate as an asset, that means looking at workforce distribution. Real estate software readily provides this data, including data for capacity, occupation, cost per head, and other workforce-specific costs and figures.

As companies manage assets, they need to do so with the workforce in mind. After all, the core purpose of facilities is to support the people working within them. Treating real estate like an asset means considering ROI from a workforce standpoint, which means contextualizing the workforce across real estate holdings.

6. Generate reports, shareable insights

What is real estate asset management without contextual reports? Just like a securities manager might look at a candlestick chart before acting on a position, asset managers need to compile, organize, and contextualize data. This is a herculean effort without real estate asset management software. Thanks to machine learning and automation, most modern software is smart enough to aggregate and deliver the insights most important to managers—including cross-examining cost data with non-financial metrics.

Rely on the convenience of software insights

These benefits all add up to something invaluable: asset-based insights about real estate. Looking at real estate through an asset evaluation lens can provide crucial insight for portfolio managers, executives, and other stakeholders as they determine the right path forward for their real estate holdings and facilities. The simplest way to get these insights? Real estate asset management software.

Keep reading: How Agile is Your Real Estate?

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Workplace Data Management Best Practices

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

The age of smart buildings is creating a data boom for facilities managers. Now, there’s more data available than many companies know what to do with, and the single biggest hurdle in understanding that data is getting a handle on it. Workplace data management is quickly becoming paramount, and it presents a new challenge for companies. How, exactly, do they coordinate and manage data at-scale?

Identify and define data sources

The first and most essential step in managing data is identifying it. This means looking at all the IoT devices active within the workplace, as well as other smart building components that generate data. Next comes employee input data—things like support tickets, room reservations, and log data. Don’t forget about integrated software, either. This task in and of itself can be cumbersome, but it’s necessary to identify data before you can use it.

Consider tracing vital business operations backward. Where do you get the data to do X, Y, and Z? Identify the primary sources responsible for creating data and define their purpose. This will make the next step in data management simpler.

De-silo and aggregate data

Organizational data is, by definition, siloed. But it shouldn’t be. To make data shareable across the organization and promote better utilization of it, companies need to adopt data lakes and warehouses.

A data lake is a simple repository where unsorted, raw data is collected. Warehouses are where it goes to be sorted and stored, until it’s accessed by applications and people who need it. These systems are part of the broader business cloud—cloud connectivity is key in allowing data to flow freely from its input sources, no matter where they are in the organization.

Clean, organize and store data

Data without context is useless. What is a workplace data management strategy without markers and identifiers that validate the data? From warehousing, data needs to be cleaned, organized, and accessible:

  • Cleaning data means turning it into a source of truth: removing duplicate or antiquated entries, formatting it uniformly, bringing together like-kind data, etc.
  • Organizing data involves giving it labels, qualifiers, quantifiers, and structure that’s consistent with how people and systems will access it.
  • Making data accessible means putting it into a warehouse repository that’s accessible and stable, with automations and integrations built-in to keep data fresh.

This stage requires the most technical expertise—data experts who understand Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) data operations or who can configure software like an iPaaS to improve data fluidity.

Develop architecture and deploy data

By this stage of a digital data management process, the architecture largely exists. Each stage of the process has started to take shape based on the infrastructure needed to handle data:

  • Raw data feeds into data lakes
  • Data is cleaned and sorted into data warehouses
  • iPaaS and integrations make warehoused data widely available

For larger companies with more robust data resources or applications, there are other parts and pieces of infrastructure that may or may not become necessary:

  • Data catalogs that pre-format data for quick accessibility
  • Data automations that handle data without human intervention
  • Machine learning that orchestrates and reports insights

The result in most cases is a strong infrastructure that brings data to the forefront of different applications used for decision-making—Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), and Integrated Facilities Management Systems (IWMS). Most people won’t see the hamster spinning on the wheel to bring them data—they’ll just get the insights they need.

Protect and secure data

No conversation about digital data management would be complete without heavy emphasis on cybersecurity. The more transactions data has between collection and application, the more opportunities there are for malicious action. Companies need to protect their data from all angles:

  • At the point of collection (ex. IoT cybersecurity)
  • At the point of transmission (ex. SSL connections)
  • At the point of storage (ex. Network security)
  • At the point of access (ex. Employee credentials)
  • In the peripheral (ex. Integrations and connections)

Cybersecurity starts with cognitive efforts to protect data. Use software that defends against cyberattacks. Educate employees about cybersecurity best practices. Create auditing processes for your data management system. Good habits and mindfulness, coupled with some common sense, ensure data remains secure.

Every company is a data company

Every company generates data. As they learn more about how to use workplace data effectively, they also need to recognize the importance of data management. That means building out a strong data management infrastructure and protecting it from all angles. The easier and safer it is for data to travel across your organization, from one important touchpoint to the next, the more valuable that data becomes in decision-making at every level.

Keep reading: The Top Challenges for Creating Smart Buildings

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Job Profile: Facilities Maintenance Manager

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

The landscape for facilities after COVID-19 is going to be much different from what many businesses are used to. It’s the next step in the evolution of the workplace, and it’s important to keep pace with the demands and expectations that accompany it. This includes from a facilities maintenance standpoint. Now, as companies seek to staff their facilities with the best team to optimize and maintain them, it’s worth looking at the roles of these individuals, starting with the facilities maintenance manager.

What does a facilities maintenance manager do?

The easiest way to understand the important role of a facilities maintenance manager is to look at this position from a responsibility standpoint. It’s as easy as breaking down the job title itself.

Facilities maintenance managers actually fall under the IFMA-recognized umbrella of “facility managers,” which covers six defined areas of focus: Technology, Health & Safety, Recruitment & Training, Environment, Social Housing & Support, and Maintenance. As the name implies, a facilities maintenance manager oversees the execution of core facilities maintenance and upkeep tasks. This generally includes:

  • Creates the strategy and systems for broad facility maintenance
  • Ensures that the building meets health and safety standards and regulations
  • Installs a preventive maintenance system to keep facilities running
  • Manages maintenance team, including craftspeople and tradespeople
  • Coordinates with external vendors for all out-of-house services

In the same way the marketing manager oversees marketing operations or the finance manager keeps the accounting department running, a facilities maintenance manager focuses on the building’s needs and the means to meet them.

How to become a facility maintenance manager

There are a few ways to become a facility maintenance manager, and each track has its own pros and cons.

  • Institutional education. This path involves formal education for something in the realm of facility maintenance or upkeep. From there, it’s important to pursue facility management certification, such as an FMP, SFP, or CFM.
  • On-the-job experience. A professional might take on facility-related job duties over time until they’re inadvertently saddled with the role at a growing company. Eventually, they grow into the position and become the departmental authority in time.
  • Lateral movement. An employee may develop an inclination for facility maintenance while in another role or at another company, then leverage tenure or experience into a facility management career track, eventually climbing to the management level.

While each of these options represents a viable path to a facilities maintenance management position, they’re entirely circumstantial. Larger companies with more robust maintenance needs will likely prefer someone with formal training or long-term experience. Smaller companies offer more opportunities to “fall into the role” and learn on-the-go.

How much do facilities maintenance managers make?

While it depends on the size and organizational structure of the company, most facilities maintenance managers fall in the realm of upper (or senior) management. As such, the role tends to come with generous compensation.

According to data from PayScale, the average salary for a facility maintenance manager in the United States is $74,409, skewing as high as $82,000 for experienced professionals. For those hired directly into a facilities maintenance manager position, expect the salary to start lower, at between $46,000 and $54,000. These figures also represent a growth in income over other job titles on the road to becoming a facilities maintenance manager. For example, the average salary of a maintenance supervisor is around $43,000.

It’s also important to consider future salary growth at this position, both in terms of demand and career track. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the outlook for administrative service management professionals is growing faster than average, at 6% annually. Typically, in-demand fields drive competitive wages, which could mean better salaries in the near-term. There’s also upward mobility for facilities maintenance managers. The next step up? Some variation of director of facilities, which could net a salary of as high as $123,000.

A good facilities maintenance manager is vital

As the world adapts to life after the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are reassessing the role of facilities in their operational plan. It’s becoming critical to not only utilize facilities the right way, but to treat them like the asset they are. That means proactive and attentive maintenance.

Facilities maintenance managers have the arduous task of observing and addressing the full range of complex systems that keep a building operational. The good news is that they’re in a position to oversee a team of in-house or contracted technicians to help them. It’s a career that’s demanding and complex, but rewarding and fulfilling. And, it’s one companies big and small are beginning to appreciate more as demands and expectations for the workplace change.

Keep reading: What is a Facility Maintenance Manager’s Scope of Work?

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Five Reasons to Use an Employee and Space Locator

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

The workplace isn’t a static environment—at least, it shouldn’t be in this age of dynamic work. With the agility we see in workplaces today, the need for an employee and space locator quickly becomes evident. Workplace managers need to know where their people are, employees need the ability to locate desks, and facility managers need the data that comes with these interactions.

For small and growing companies, the need for an employee and space locator can seem trivial. That is, until they realize this system is the backbone for everything from wayfinding to hotel desk management. It’s a platform that allows you to be as agile as your employees need you to be. The benefits touch every aspect of business, no matter how big or small the company.

Here’s a look at five reasons to take a second look at investing in an employee and space locator.

1. Saved time for employees

Employee and space locator software offers the best of two important tools: wayfinding and employee directory. More important, it brings them together in a broader context that creates exemplary time savings for employees.

Bailey needs to chat with Mara and Thom. Through the office’s employee and space locator app, Bailey can quickly see where the other two are and choose a nearby conference room that’s the right size and available at a time that works for all three of them. The entire process takes a few minutes, instead of countless minutes spent searching.

This concept of saved time becomes even more important in flex work environments. Maybe Thom changes seats frequently? What if the nearest conference room isn’t available? Alternative options become instant possibilities.

2. Better space management

On the facility management side, employee and space locators generate constant data bout worker and workplace habits. Information expounds from these platforms, and managers can channel it into better decision making when it comes to space management and governance.

If the third-floor conference room goes unused 73% of the time each month, it’s a good bet that space is better off repurposed. Likewise, employee location data might tell you that your employees prefer a hoteling arrangement, promoting an office-wide shift to this philosophy.

3. Govern facilities better

An employee locator unlocks broader governance capabilities for managers. It can help take facilities to a new level of usefulness and accessibility by creating new opportunities for space utilization. Someone who might’ve never used a hot desk can use one with ease—and coworkers can still find them with ease. Meanwhile, spaces without an identity can be governed as-needed by those who lack space.

There’s also a level of access control and management. Employee locators can track the access habits of employees to show where controls might be useful in dictating the workplace. If executives are all on the fifth floor, it becomes easy to restrict access credentials to that area, to add security without disrupting workflows. It amounts to better space governance.

4. Institute seamless hoteling

As evidenced by the other benefits on this list, employee and space location software is the lynchpin for instituting an effective hoteling strategy in any office. With employees always on the move and workspaces constantly changing hands, there needs to be a system for identifying open/reserved spaces and finding employees wherever they may be.

Hoteling is all about pairing open space with employee demand. To gauge both takes software that can process these demands. Employees interact with location software to find a space and, through the act of reserving it, alert the system to their location at a given time. The result is more than a free-flowing, unencumbered workplace—it’s the constant generation of data about workplace utilization.

5. Health and safety considerations

In a post-coronavirus world, health and safety are top-of-mind in any workplace. Wayfinding software and space reservations systems are on the front lines of sophisticated track and trace systems. With a full record of space occupation and employees’ proximity to one another, contact tracing becomes much easier—and more effective.

There are also opportunities to execute better space sanitization and sterilization. Employee and space location data is the basis for cleaning schedules, sanitization buffers, maintenance windows, and more. For many companies, health and wellness compliance hinges on knowing where employees are (and have been), and which spaces they’ve interacted with.

Connect employees with the spaces they need

Every person within a workplace has a relationship to the different spaces it offers. An employee and space locator ties them together in meaningful ways. Employees can find the spaces best-suited to them. Facility managers can capture trends and make workplace adjustments. Management can tend their flock of productive personnel.

There’s value in connecting people and spaces, from top to bottom. The simplest way to do it is through a robust wayfinding system with integrated employee and space locators.

Keep reading: The Five Major Pillars of a Wayfinding Program

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Real Estate Planning and Execution: Answering Questions About the Future

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

COVID-19 has left businesses with new questions, new challenges, and a new way forward—especially when it comes to their workplaces. Many companies dabbled in remote work and plan to stay that way; others are already back at work in person; still more will explore a flex work strategy. These considerations and more form the foundation for a new era of real estate planning and execution.

What role does real estate play in operations now?

Not many years ago, a change to the tax code put corporate leases on the balance sheet. FASB Lease Accounting Standard (ASU 2016-02) forced companies to change the way they account for the physical workspace. It was a painful adjustment for many. Now, after COVID-19, many companies carry the cost of their workplace on the balance sheet, but aren’t utilizing facilities in the same way. It calls for a new corporate real estate strategy.

On the surface, the simple solution is to cut costs by cutting facilities. But the simplest solution isn’t always the best one. Instead, companies need to ask themselves a series of questions designed to contextualize real estate within the broader company plan.

Consolidate or optimize current facilities?

For companies with sprawling facilities, the first question in real estate planning is consolidation vs. optimization. It’s important to look at how the space was used before the pandemic and what the prospects are after the pandemic.

For example, facilities with a capacity of 500 before the pandemic may only have space for 300 with new distancing guidelines. If your workforce of 400 is largely staying remote, consolidation might be the best answer. If you’re transitioning to flex work, optimization to accommodate these 400 employees and their unpredictable shifts becomes necessary.

This, of course, comes against the backdrop of cost. Consolidating facilities may save you money outright, but put you at an occupancy disadvantage. Optimizing may not result in immediate cost savings, but could equate to long-term value and cost efficiency.

Centralized or decentralized workspaces?

For companies with a broad real estate portfolio, there are macro questions to answer. If you have three offices in the Houston Metro area, do you still need all three? If your Seattle employees are all remote, do you still need a satellite office there? It’s vital to look at where your workforce and facilities are, and the new relationship they have with each other. It’s likely there are opportunities for change.

In some cases, it may mean consolidating offices within the same city or region. In others, it might mean splitting one corporate office into several satellites. In situations where the whole workforce is remote, it might mean major downsizing to the office or location. Real estate managers need to look at it through the lens of workforce and decide on a decentralized or centralized strategy.

Own, lease or divest?

The final question real estate managers need to ask is what their relationship with facilities needs to be. To answer it, it’s best to rely on insights from real estate forecasting software, such as predictions for workforce growth, cost burdens, and operational figures. Ultimately, the question comes down to ownership vs. leasing.

Most businesses, even large businesses, lease their space. This lease obligation appears on the wrong side of the balance sheet and can heavily affect the financials of the company. For those businesses that do own, there’s the benefit of an asset on the balance sheet—and the tax depreciation that comes with it. Should your business continue to lease? Is this the year that you build or buy? Or, if you’re leaning toward remote work, is it time to divest?

This is perhaps the biggest decision real estate managers need to make. Any long-term decisions they’ll make about facilities are rooted in whether the business owns or leases the place employees call home. This relationship is an important one to distinguish not only now, but for long-term planning and budgeting.

Reassess and strategize for the future

Despite the changes to when, how, and where we work, corporate real estate is still an asset. Leveraged accordingly in this new post-pandemic world, companies can put the real estate on their balance sheet to work in newer, better ways, to justify the cost and maximize the potential.

In some cases, downsizing and divesting will make sense. In other situations, central workplaces will becomemore important for decentralized workers. These realizations need to be the governing factors in company real estate planning for the future. Start by asking the above questions.

Keep reading: 3 Corporate Real Estate Trends To Focus On

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What is Facility Management Professional (FMP) Certification?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Demand for facility management professionals is on the rise, including those with advanced certifications and accreditations. Among the most sought-after are candidates with Facility Management Professional (FMP) certification. Like any facility management certification, FMPs exhibit advanced knowledge of how to operate and orchestrate facilities. However, facility management professional certification sets these individuals apart in other ways.

For businesses looking for a leader to help shape and mold their facilities, FMP certification is an attribute worth paying attention to. It not only demonstrates a person’s understanding of critical facility management competencies, it’s also a sign of their ongoing commitment to the profession.

What is FMP certification?

For facility professionals in pursuit of formal education, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) offer several certification programs. Among them, is FMP certification.

Like a Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) or Certified Facility Manager (CFM), a Facility Management Professional (FMP) must undertake a training and examination course designed to teach them and test their knowledge before they can receive certification. An FMP certificate is the starting point for futurefacility management professional certification and it provides the broadest overview of facility concepts.

How do I get certified?

FMP certification starts by enrolling in the certification course offered by IFMA. It’s a program designed to provide individuals with interactive study tools, quizzes and case studies, assignments, and an assortment of other learning resources—all geared at core facility management concepts. According to IFMA, the FMP course is made up of four foundational modules:

  • Finance and business (12 hours)
  • Operations and maintenance (10-12 hours)
  • Leadership and strategy (10-12 hours)
  • Project management (10-12 hours)

These core areas of focus teach professionals the importance of facilities within the context of each modality. For example, FMP candidates learn “how to assess and inspect facility needs” as part of the operations and maintenance module, while also learning how to “integrate people, place and process” with facilities as part of the leadership and strategy module.

An exam caps off each module, so trainees can prove their understanding of core concepts and demonstrate their ability to deploy these concepts. In completing the module, trainees also earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). CEUs signify not only their progress toward FMP certification, but their continued strive to maintain accreditation in the future.

Why pursue FMP certification?

From an employment standpoint, there are many reasons to pursue FMP certification—whether you’re just starting out in the field or are keeping up with the industry as it evolves. Some of the top reasons to consider FMP certification include:

  • Better fundamental understanding of core facility concepts
  • Professionals gain more confidence in their job performance
  • Continuing education demands keep FMPs attuned to industry best practices
  • FMP certification (and other accreditations) stands out on résumés
  • FMPs can command a higher salary due to their formalized education
  • Certification opens the door to upward mobility, including higher accreditations

FMP certification, at its core, is a form of professional development, which means career advancement in every conceivable way. Whether it’s unlocking upward mobility and higher pay or bringing a new level of success to their current position, FMPs represent an upper echelon of facility professionals.

Companies are looking for FMPs

There’s another reason to consider FMP certification: because companies are looking for it. In an era when the workplace is transitioning into something new and the way employees interact with it is more dynamic than ever, companies need leaders. They’re looking for professionals who have a deep, fundamental understanding of how facilities connect to every other aspect of operations. They’re finding that expertise in FMP candidates.

The skills imbued in a certification course and the emphasis on ongoing education that comes with accreditation put FMPs on the front lines of reshaping the workplace of the future. From flex work accommodations to agile work environments, FMPs are helping companies connect the dots. It goes back to the four modules of FMP certification:

  • How do the cost of facilities impact business operations?
  • What is the maintenance demands of facilities?
  • What workplace strategiesbest support employees?
  • How can the company improve facilities?

These questions aren’t just important right now—they’re ongoing questions every company needs to ask. Having an FMP on staff means getting answers. In this way, companies see FMP as a valuable path to improvement, which means high demand for professionals who possess this certification.

FMP is worth the certification

While it takes several months and dozens of committed studyhours, FMP certification is well worth the investment for professionals serious about success in the field of facilities management. It’s an investment in professional development that will pay dividends quickly and far into the future—especially as the role of FMPs becomes more important in a workplace in transition.

Keep reading: Ins and Outs of Facility Management Certification

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What is a Certified Facility Manager?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

The word “certified” in front of anything is enough to raise an eyebrow in interest. It’s even more intriguing in places you might not expect to see it, as in the prefix to a job title. What makes a certified facility manager special, as opposed to a regular facility manager?

As it turns out, there’s an important distinction that comes with being a certified facility manager. As is the case with most things that are certifiable, it’s a mark of vetted excellence and quality, and it’s important to explore if you’re in the market to hire a professional to oversee and optimize your facilities.

What is a facility manager? 

To understand what makes a certified facility manager special, it’s worth looking at the baseline expectations for this position. What does a facility manager do? Recognizing the duties and responsibilities of a facility manager (FM) will shed light on why pursuing a certified facility manager is such a smart move for growing companies. According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA):

FMs contribute to the organization’s bottom line through their responsibility for maintaining what are often an organization’s largest and most valuable assets, such as property, buildings, equipment and other environments that house personnel, productivity, inventory and other elements of operation.

While there are six core focuses of facilities management, a facility manager tends to be more of a generalist, tasked with overseeing broad workplace objectives. Depending on the company, this can mean anything from building maintenance, to IoT systems, to employee safety, and beyond. The scope of a facility manager’s job duties depends on the many ways facilities factor into operations.

What distinguishes a certified facility manager? 

While it’s clear that the “certified” part of a facility manager’s job title is a distinguishing feature, what, exactly, does it mean? Used correctly, it’s meant to signify a professional who has earned a certificate relevant to facility management. Some of the most common certificates include:

Any of these certifications showcase a facility professional as someone with formal training and education in the field. They’ve taken courses, passed exams, and met the standards of organizations like IFMA and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM). More important, certified professionals maintain membership to these organizations, which puts them on the leading edge of new insights, technologies, and practices.

In a nutshell, a certified facility manager has gone above and beyond to pursue formal accreditation of their skills and knowledge, and continues to advance these traits throughout their tenure in a position. Certified professionals have committed themselves to the discipline of facilities management.

How to get certified as a facility manager 

As mentioned, the path to certification goes through industry associations like IFMA and IWFM. These organizations are the gatekeepers of everything from resources to educational materials, and they’re responsible for upholding the standards companies come to expect when they hire a certified facility manager.

Eager professionals first need to obtain a membership to these organizations—IFMA for North Americans; IWFM for those in the United Kingdom. There are other global organizations, like the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), but these are the two represent the primary educators and certification bodies for facility management professionals.

After becoming a member, professionals can opt to enroll in the organization’s professional development programs. Depending on the certification you’re pursuing, the program may include different time commitments and cover different materials. For example, IFMA offers three primary certifications: FMP, SFP, and CFM, with the first two serving as precursors to the third.

After enrolling in a certificate course, professionals will educate themselves on industry standards and materials, complete modules, and pass exams to prove their knowledge. Most certificate programs end with a final exam as proof of competency. After passing it, a facility manager officially makes the leap to “certified facility manager.” But it doesn’t end there.

Certified facility managers need to maintain their accreditation by completing ongoing educational modules and continuing education credit (CEU) hours each year. This keeps them up-to-date on new developments in their field and ensures their certification is still relevant in an ever-evolving industry.

Certification benefits companies and employees alike 

The “certified” in front of a facility manager’s job title isn’t just for show. It’s proof of their commitment to their career and showcases an understanding that’s likely above and beyond what uncertified professionals can offer. As is the case with most certifiable things of quality, it may cost a company more to hire on a certified facility manager, but in the end, it’s an expenditure that pays for itself.

Keep reading: What Is A Facilities Manager?

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How to Write the Perfect Facilities Maintenance Technician Job Description

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

As more businesses realize their need for facility professionals, more job postings will start to emphasize FM skills. Not every company needs the same level of expertise or a particular skillset, which makes it important to write a purposeful job description when it comes time to fill a facility position at your company. This is especially true for a facilities maintenance technician job description, which requires more nuance and specific language to attract candidates with the desired skillset.

Here’s how to write the perfect facilities maintenance technician job description and the reason behind using certain terms and keywords when advertising this position.

Understand the duties of a facility maintenance technician 

It’s impossible to craft a well-written, informative job description without first understanding what your company is hiring for. Ask yourself the following:

  • What need do you have for a facilities maintenance technician?
  • What tasks or roles are unfilled on your maintenance team currently?
  • In what ways are your facilities suffering from a lack of maintenance capability?
  • What job duties and expectations do you have for an incoming facilities technician?

When you have a thorough understanding of what you’re hiring for, it becomes easier to write a descriptive job post that details the nuances of the job. This in and of itself will serve to attract better candidates, as opposed to a general, vague, or accidentally misleading job description.

With the specifics in mind, choose your words with purpose. Use keywords in the post that will intrigue qualified candidates and dissuade others not suited for the job. For example, if you’re in the market for a skilled electrician, you might use words like “journeyperson” or pepper in specific facets of the job like “access control.” Any good job description is going to contain subtext based on word choice. Use your thorough understanding of the position you’re hiring for to create subtext that’s informative and clarifying for qualified candidates.

Market for skills and experience first 

What is facility maintenance all about? It depends on who you’re asking. Someone with a background in IT will look at facilities through the lens of their data and telecom systems. A mechanical engineer might think about HVAC and electrical first. The fact is, facility maintenance reaches these major systems and many others, which makes finding a generalist important—or at least someone who can see each aspect of facilities as its own important pillar.

If you’re hiring a general craftsperson, make it clear which types of skills and experience you value most. Plumbing? Mechanical? Electrical? Carpentry? There’s a long list of niches out there; include the ones that factor into your reason for hiring a maintenance technician. The added benefit to attracting professionals with diverse skills is getting more than you bargained for. Maybe the carpenter and electrician you’re looking for also has experience with telecom infrastructure?

The exception to this idea is hiring for a specific aspect of facility maintenance. If you exclusively need an HVAC professional or lack electrical maintenance capabilities, by all means, gear your job post toward these skills and experience.

Use specific qualifiers to filter applicants 

It’s rare that you’ll find someone pursuing a facility maintenance technician career. More often, your applicants will be tradespeople, craftspeople, and individuals who’ve worked in similar roles at other companies. Use this to your advantage by listing specific qualifiers and keywords in your job description that will attract the skills you need.

For example, terms like “building IoT” and “facilities automation” are more likely to garner qualified applicants than asking for experience in “smart building infrastructure.” Be specific in listing needs and expectations, and root out candidates that don’t meet the public standards you’ve advertised.

This approach also works for certifications and accreditations. If you’re hiring a maintenance tech with an HVAC background, you might specify “EPA 608 Certification” to ensure you only get candidates familiar with refrigerant handling. Again, this ensures the specific needs of your facilities are met by professionals with the scope of understanding to service them accordingly.

Hire with mind for the needs of your facilities 

Ultimately, the facility maintenance technician you hire needs to meet the needs of your facilities. Finding that person starts by writing an effective job description that clearly outlines needs, expectations, and skills.

Get to know the needs of your facilities. Identify desirable skills and experience. Outline specific parameters required for the job. Then, bring it all together in a job description that’s clear, easy to understand, and enticing to qualified candidates. While writing the job description is merely the first step in a long hiring process, it’s also the most important step in making sure you attract the best person for the job.

Keep reading: Facilities Management Job Description – What’s Required?