Managing Buildings and Building Relationships
When a commercial building is empty, it still needs to be thoughtfully managed and monitored. In recent weeks, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many buildings that housed “non-essential” businesses have been temporarily vacated. It’s important to realize that an empty building is simply idle, not abandoned. During times like this, Ciminelli’s Facilities Management professionals carefully manage and maintain affected buildings to ensure a prompt and seamless reopening when the time comes. This attention to detail provides the best possible result for the owner, tenants and all building stakeholders. The basics of our service delivery philosophy serve us well, while an increased focus on key areas of our work moves us all forward.
Adjusting Priorities – Daily
During the early weeks of the pandemic, it became evident that the priorities of our customers and stakeholders were going to shift, and would do so based on rapidly changing guidelines from elected officials and the federal government. In critical situations such as this, working to identify baseline outcomes and strategies to support our clients is key to successfully managing real estate. In some instances, cost-cutting measures are critical, while in other situations cleaning and readiness for an eventual return to a now-vacant space becomes a priority. Other areas of focus might be tenant storage and warehousing of product—and even employee access—all of which require unique sets of strategies. Each property needs an individualized approach, as the needs of tenants and stakeholders are so varied. Clear communication of changes in priorities, as well as focused, outcome-based planning, have been two of our most important tools.
More Talk, And More Action
In uncertain times, more communication has proven to be better than less, and establishing those strong lines of contact between property stakeholders and our Facilities Management team has proven to be invaluable. A brief review of the fundamentals of good communication reveals a few ideas that we should all incorporate into our business communications. At the top of our list? Always identify direct contacts or decision makers; align those contacts with established members of our team who can make quick decisions; schedule the communication and make it regular; and reinforce all exchanges with email to solidify the actions discussed. This very fluid situation reinforces why excellent communication is one of the cornerstones of great service. We are committed to working with each of our clients to develop a customized plan to meet any owner and/or tenant need.
We’ll Be Back
Soon, the time will come when guidelines will ease, and we will return to a new normal. Office buildings will repopulate with employees and retailers will again greet customers. During that time, we will begin a collective assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the steps needed to bring our economy back online. It’s likely there will be new and different standards relative to business operations, social distancing and how we all go about our day-to-day professional lives. Creating transition plans for our building users and stakeholders is an important step in complying with the evolution of the work environment. This may mean something as basic as an enhanced cleaning regimen or something more complex, like completing an inventory of tenant and common area spaces to identify any physical changes that may be needed to adhere to new guidelines. The reality is that things will likely be different in the world of commercial real estate management, and planning and flexibility will be of key importance.
Ciminelli’s commitment to our tenants and stakeholders has not changed. Though faced with challenges over the last several weeks, we are encouraged by the opportunities they presented to strengthen client relationships and build our network of dedicated professionals.