The FM Professional

SYWBAFM Part 5: Project Pros and Real Estate Sharks

David Spence
September 15th, 2015

7. Project Management

Three words: Must love this. If you want to be a Facilities Manager, you need to be a pro at planning and executing complicated projects with lots of branches.

For a very obvious example, consider coordinating a move from one building to another, or even just one floor to another. When you have hundreds ­ or maybe even thousands ­of workers, and exponentially more equipment, furnishings, etc that needs to travel to another building, possibly in another city or even another state/province…well, you’d better know what you’re doing.

Unlike some of the other competencies we’ve discussed so far that are good to know ‘in general’, planning moves, reconfigurations or even just ‘minor shuffles’ is all you. If you relish the logistics and the details of complex projects like this, you’re heading into the right line of work.

8. Real Estate Savvy

Facility Managers sometimes have a very hands­-on role in the evaluation/acquisition of real estate. And even if they aren’t involved in selecting a site, they’ll of course be responsible for working out the logistics of the move and figuring out how to fit everybody and everything into the space.

As such, understanding real estate markets and being able to easily interpret building plans, evaluate architectural elements for usability and analyze lease details is part of the job. Another scenario that frequently comes up is downsizing.

In today’s high-­rent markets, many companies are looking for ways to cut down on lease costs; fitting more people into less space is the obvious Plan A.

As a Facility Manager, you’d be at the table during these discussions and would typically be responsible for presenting various options for how to meet the new demands.

So, we’ve established that you’re an expert project manager with your finger on the pulse of corporate real estate trends; well done. In our next post, we’ll wrap our series with the final two competencies that are essential to your success as a Facilities Manager: Environmental Awareness and Emergency Preparedness.

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