What Is a Facilities Manager
The building in which a business operates must ensure that a company has access to the services it requires. Heat, water, access to Wi-Fi and clean environments are just some of the things that companies need. A facilities manager oversees the operations of a building to make sure that it meets the needs of any tenants and their customers.
Why Do Companies Require A FM Manager?
As the tenant of a property, you want to be able to operate your business without handling the concerns of things like new carpets, security and access issues. Such tasks can become time-consuming and detract from the day job. It is a facilities manager’s responsibility to ensure that the property meets all the standards required in the upkeep of a clean and safe working environment. Tenants in smaller buildings may not necessarily have access to a facilities manager, the landlord themselves may undertake this role. However, in large multi-occupancy office blocks or facilities such as a council building the property may have a designated facilities manager. In some instances, a facilities manager may oversee several smaller units.
What Is The Working Environment Like for an FM Manager?
The work environment of a facilities manager can vary depending on the nature of the buildings overseen. On a large estate such as a university campus, for example, the facilities manager may be working on multiple projects at any time while continuing to manage any day to day issues which may arise. In multiple-occupancy office blocks, the role may be much slower paced, ensuring that buildings are opened on time in the morning, secured in the evening and patrolled during the day, managing maintenance issues as they arise.
Is There A Growth In The Demand For Facilities Managers?
There is significant growth expected in the facilities management market as more and more companies look to outsource these services. The overall market in the UK is predicted to rise to £117bn by 2017 from £106bn in 2012 according to the Facilities Management Journal. According to research by the recruitment company Michael Page, 51% of facilities management staff expect an increase in the numbers of permanent staff through 2015.
What Are a Facilities Manager’s Work Activities?
A typical day in the life of a facilities manager may start off by opening up the building and ensuring that no-one has been in the property while it has been closed overnight. Once the building has been readied for staff that day the facilities manager may have any number of tasks to get on with including:
- Responding to any queries regarding building maintenance and sourcing local contractors to fix issues
- Ensuring that buildings meet all legislation regarding health and safety
- Undertake risk assessments
- Undertaking any necessary general maintenance works and managing upkeep such as emptying bins
- Negotiating with local suppliers to get the best deals for maintenance
- Managing rent payments from tenants, ensuring relevant tenancy agreements are in place and adhered to
- Showing potential new tenants around the facility
- Identifying opportunities to make energy savings
- Primary management of office systems, IT and Wi-Fi
- General daily administration such as answering calls and responding to emails
What Challenges Might A FM Manager Face In Their Job?
The key challenges for a facilities manager revolve around how they act under pressure, how they manage customer relationships and their ability to think logically to find a solution to problems. Many of the challenges a facilities manager faces require a quick solution.
Other key challenges include keeping up to date with an ever-changing marketplace. Changes in technology mean that services such as security and energy supplies are ever improving, so it is up to the facilities manager to be aware of these.
How Do FM Managers Resolve Problems On The Job?
Excellent customer service skills are a fundamental aspect of being a facilities manager. The ability to be able to manage expectations of the client is key to this. If there is an issue with plumbing, internet connectivity or access, for example, it is important that the facilities manager can quickly identify the problem and find the right person to fix it, this means having a thorough understanding of the different types of maintenance requirement and local contractors who can respond quickly.
At the same time as managing any issue, the facilities manager will need to keep the customer tenant informed of any developments. Should the problem prevent, a particular premise being used the facilities manager may also need to find suitable alternative accommodation in the short term, so business continues as usual.
What Are The Key Skills And Experiences Needed For A Facilities Management Job?
To excel in the role of a facilities manager you will need:
- Excellent customer service skills
- Experience of sourcing and negotiating with local contractors
- Ability to respond quickly in case of emergencies
- Capable of working well under pressure
- A thorough understanding of the different types of maintenance issue which can arise
- The ability to control budgets
- Administrative skills for record keeping and daily communications
- Financial awareness and the ability to track payments
- Basic maintenance skills
- An Understanding of Health and Safety and Building Maintenance Legislation
Facilities Manager Salary
As a rough guide a facilities manager can expect to earn in the region of £25k per annum and More Senior Roles, Overseeing Multiple Buildings And Staff, May Command A Salary Upwards Of £40k.
What Types Of Courses Can A Facilities Manager Consider To Further Progress Their Experience?
Whether you are working as an in-house facilities manager for a large estate or as part of an outsourced contracting agreement, there are multiple opportunities to further your career through training.
The British Institute of Facilities Management offers a range of courses designed to help professionals within the industry. Furthermore, the Building Futures Group, the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Chartered Management Institute all offer courses for tomorrow's leaders.