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Your Burning Real Estate Questions Answered: Real Estate Asset Management
By Stephen Bruce
Changes in communal spaces, managing a building's safe environment and future-proofing your property - we are here to help with your burning real estate questions.
This is part four of a special series that answers the top recurring real estate questions from our clients across sectors, to help navigate these uncertain times and uncover opportunities that may arise.
How can we manage safe environments in a multiple tenanted building?
In short, policies and procedures are where the key factors of control lie. Having proper check-in and check-out services enables us to look at how we can track and trace possible instances of positive results.
Regularity and consistency in cleaning are going to be key steps in ensuring our working environments are both safe and sanitary. While the regularity of cleaning can be improved quickly and simply, the use of technology – such as automated cleaning robots – can ensure consistency. A robot works to a set pattern that does not deviate – this important factor in floor and carpet cleaning can not only relieve staff of specific duties, but also allows the property manager to redeploy those skills to other tasks, such as cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Implementing safe-entry measures in buildings: Having proper check-in and check-out services for track and trace purposes
By communicating these changes and ensuring that all parties (tenants, owners, and visitors) understand the process, the safe return to work can be made much easier. Finally, early communication is core to ensuring it is done safely.
Given the rise of remote working, what would the future look like for communal spaces at work and at home?
The working environment has changed significantly over the last nine months. This has probably been the fastest shift in working practices ever witnessed in living memory. However, the death-knell of the office space has not been tolled.
Office space will always be required – but how we use the space might have changed. The new requirements for social distancing could well mean that the net use of space remains the same, but the number of people using the space at any given time is reduced.
Building landlords and owners will need to rethink how to activate common areas, such as office lobbies, to continue engaging with tenants
We will see the return of meetings in a face-to-face capacity, but it will likely be skewed towards smaller gatherings and lesser frequency. Larger server space and technology requirements will continue the drive and demand for logistics, warehousing, and data centre requirements of the future.
"The new requirements for social distancing could well mean that the net use of space remains the same, but the number of people using the space at any given time is reduced."
Office lobbies might be much quieter than before and may not require as much ‘communal space’ – landlords and owners will need to rethink how to engage with tenants on how to ensure those common spaces are activated. Some considerations could be integrating coffee shops, break-out zones or small social hubs, green planter areas, etc.
From a home perspective, the environment of common areas will have also changed. In residential complexes or condominiums, adjustments and/or installation for more semi-private and ‘multi-private’ spaces will likely be required, such as relocating BBQ pits to accommodate for larger groups – keeping in mind that there is still reasonable space for social distancing.
Changing and showering facilities at swimming pools and sports complexes will also need more robust cleaning processes. Having enclosed facilities for the disposal of rubbish as well as better managing pest control services are also key considerations in maintaining the hygiene levels of shared complexes.
Requirements for larger green spaces are likely to rise as more people spending time working from home will need areas to ‘break out areas’ for personal space. Enhancements to the residential building's infrastructure such as better-equipped gyms or outdoor exercise spaces, as well as fibre optic connection will become a standard.
Demand for softer services such as printing, scanning and/or conference facilities will fall under simple concierge services.
Larger green spaces may rise in demand as more people working from home will need ‘break out areas’ for personal space
How do we future-proof our property and real estate assets?
A good property or asset manager will always be looking at ways to improve a building, such as its safety, social well-being, environmental and economical factors.
Technology will have fundamental consequences to building operations in the future.
Embracing a flexible approach to technology and balancing that with real-life implications will be key. Enhancements such as UV sanitising systems across heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) networks, blue-light cleaning on door handles, chemical sprays to prevent microbe growth and touchless entry points will all have their place within a building.
Enhancements such as touchless entry features in a building will likely be a required part of building operations in future
The installation and management of these systems will be a huge task to ensure smooth operations can continue. Smart buildings of the future will have these systems in-built, whilst ensuring continued efficiency remains crucial.
As Head of REMS Singapore my role is to develop and drive the REMS business and team for wider success. My passion in real estate started young with a focus on asset management and later into consultancy. I have over 17 years of experience working for an on behalf of landlords throughout the Asia region. I have worked closely across portfolio landlords and single-strata landlords alike. A core focus has been how to improve the productivity, efficiency and service delivery for assets to ensure we can acheive the best possible outcome.
I have worked across several disciplines across real estate - a focus has been on asset management and property management for and behalf of Landlords. A great passion is how we can alter the industry towards adoption of ESG policies, methods and deliverables in tandem with management operations. With new technology now a major focus in real estate, the industry has become more exciting than ever before.”
I am a passionate believer of real collaboration and encourage cross department learning as much as possible. A win for one team should always create a strong and positive opportunity for another.
As a father of 2 young girls I am constantly on the look-out for new and exciting adventures to expose them to. A keen tennis and hockey player, I can often be found hitting a ball somewhere.