Debates about how and where we work are ongoing, but no matter what industry you’re in or your opinion on remote versus hybrid versus on-site, work must happen somewhere. That means offices, shops, factories, warehouses, campuses, and sites all have to be managed, maintained, and paid for.

For property managers, real estate managers, or asset managers, debates over the future of work, while important, are just one of several challenges they face. And these are all obstacles that need to be overcome if workforces are to enjoy productive, safe, and supportive working environments.



Challenges Faced By Property or Real Estate Management Professionals 

While every real estate asset is unique, there are several common themes that all property managers will face, whether they are responsible for a single office block or multiple sites.

  1. Managing cost: From negotiating leases and volatile utility prices to appointing reliable contractors and dealing with supply chain issues, controlling costs is a major issue. One study of property managers found that 45% said reducing operating costs was significantly challenging.
  2. Maintaining assets: Maintenance is a fact of property management life, but the last couple of years have seen large-scale disruption to building material supply chains. Finding experienced sub-contractors compounds the squeeze, driving up the price for keeping buildings in an acceptable state of repair.
  3. Sustainability:The constructed environment is responsible for roughly an estimated 40% of global carbon emissions. As populations rise, the world's built floor area is set to increase, precisely when efforts are centered on decarbonizing the economy. Real estate management professionals face pressure to illustrate how their assets help meet sustainability goals. The World Green Building Council states that "sustainable built environments [are] a critical solution to climate change."
  4. Maintaining compliance: Regardless of a building's purpose or its occupancy, an array of rules and regulations must be adhered to. Whether it's safety laws, energy efficiency standards, or leasing guidelines, ensuring that buildings and their services comply with the relevant regulations is a complex task. This job becomes even more challenging when managers have to oversee multiple sites within a portfolio.
  5. Security: Ensuring the safety of buildings, occupants, and contents has always been a priority for real estate and facilities managers. However, the growing digitization of physical properties and the move towards irregular and temporary work schedules add to the challenge. Tenants expect swift access to their workplaces. Any security system must protect them without obstructing their daily tasks, and it should be simple for contractors, freelancers, and other non-permanent workers to gain access. The interconnected nature of many security devices potentially speeds up access to information but also heightens the risk of cyber-attacks if digital defenses are not adequately addressed.
  6. Digitalization and smart buildings: The integration of digitalization and the rising demand for smart buildings presents more than just security challenges. Occupants increasingly expect top-tier commercial spaces to be fully digital, with all aspects controllable via apps that offer the same user experience they encounter in other areas of their lives. As a result, real estate managers must be as proficient in technology and digital tools as they are in the more traditional aspects of their roles.
  7. Enhanced health and safety: Even though the World Health Organization has announced the end of the COVID-19 global health emergency, the repercussions of the pandemic are still very much present. An increasing number of tenants now expect heightened levels of health and safety to attract more health-conscious employees back into the workplace, and it's up to property managers to make this happen.
  8. Portfolio complexity: Even when every location within a portfolio follows the same model – for instance, a retail unit in a shopping center in a medium-sized city or large town – the variety of landlords, suppliers, utility providers, and contractors makes managing such a property complex. Whether it involves refurbishing, ongoing maintenance, or launching a new location, managing a portfolio that includes diverse sites inherently brings about complexity.
  9. Profitability: We've already discussed the challenge of managing costs across a real estate portfolio. However, managers who aim to add value know that their focus must extend beyond just reducing expenses; they also need to seek ways to boost profitability. Finding a balance between capital expenditure to develop properties that tenants want to occupy and keeping costs in check is challenging enough with one site; when it involves an entire portfolio, the hurdles multiply.

How Accruent Can Help

To address these challenges, real estate managers need to first ensure they have full visibility of their portfolio. Whether it's for effective lease management, compliance assurance across multiple sites, streamlined maintenance, and project management, or getting sites operational, mastering the complete real estate lifecycle is the first step towards resolving the issues of keeping facilities managers awake at night.

This is where Accruent Lucernex steps in. From site identification and overseeing construction and improvements to managing complex leases and other transactions, Lucernex is designed to give real estate managers full control over their market planning, site selection, project management, lease accounting, and facilities management strategies.

Companies like footwear retail leader Genesco are already reaping the benefits of using Lucernex. In Genesco's case, the solution's lease auditing capability has helped the company generate significant rent savings.

Want to learn more? Reach out to see how Lucernex and Accruent could help tackle some of your challenges.