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Looking To Reduce Property Running Costs? A Guide For Facilities Managers

Property Running Costs
Property Running Costs

It feels like the cost of everything has risen over recent years, probably because it pretty much has. The rapidly rising inflation rate means that the price of fuel, wages and raw materials have gone up for suppliers at the bottom of the manufacturing process.

That means that prices have also increased throughout every stage until they reach the consumer. Therefore, almost all service providers, business leaders and consumers are feeling the pinch in one way or another.

Within the facilities management space, costs are expected to rise by 5.7% this year alone, with regular increases predicted for the next few years. As such, facilities managers need to be aware of these rising costs and seek ways to cut back on spending without reducing the level of service they provide to property owners and users.

That might sound like a tall order, but there is some hope. We’ve listed some techniques that could help you to monitor and manage the cost of managing a property, whether it’s commercial, such as an office block or factory space, or residential, like social housing or a care home. Whatever facilities you manage, we can help you find ways to cut back on costs while still providing the support and services that everyone expects from you.

Get Quotes On The Average Price Of Essentials

Some costs for managing a property are not optional, such as paying for relevant safety checks like an electrical safety certificate, which needs to be refreshed every 5 years. If yours is due, and you’re wondering, ‘How much does an EICR cost?’, then you should research the average electrical safety certificate cost. You’ll then be able to slot this into your budget and know what you can expect to pay when you search for quotes. Knowing a rough average cost means you can negotiate with potential suppliers and make sure that you’re not paying more than you should be.

Choose Energy Efficient Lighting Solutions

The lighting throughout your building will be one of the most significant energy costs you have to pay, especially for communal areas where lights are left on for most of the time, such as staircases and corridors. Upgrading your current lighting systems to energy-efficient LED bulbs can save money in the long run. That’s because LEDs consume significantly less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Also, to cut down on how long the lights are on throughout your property, you could implement occupancy sensors and timers to ensure lights are only on when needed. This approach is particularly effective in areas with intermittent use, like conference rooms, restrooms, and corridors.

Replace Older Equipment

It’s not just your lighting that can be replaced when it becomes outdated; you can also change out older, inefficient equipment with energy-efficient alternatives. This includes HVAC units, water heaters, and kitchen appliances. Not only will newer appliances be more energy efficient, but they could also add value to your property and show potential new service users that your building is fully modernised. If you use newer equipment, it will also be easier for you to use data analytics tools to monitor energy consumption patterns and identify anomalies or areas of improvement. You can then set energy benchmarks and goals to track progress over time and make data-driven decisions on energy efficiency investments.

Insulate The Property Against Draughts

Just like in any home, commercial properties can be prone to draughts or escaping heat, which can cause you to waste money warming the outside of your building, rather than the inside where your paying service users are. To avoid this issue and reduce the energy your building wastes, make sure you insulate walls, ceilings, and floors to minimise heat transfer. This approach can help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduce heating and cooling costs, so it benefits everyone. As well as insulating the building, you also need to seal gaps and cracks in the building’s structure to prevent drafts and energy loss. Common areas to check include windows, doors, and ductwork, as these can easily leak heat.

Create A Schedule For Maintenance Tasks

With a large property to manage and lots to deal with, it can be easy to forget about basic maintenance tasks, such as changing filters in air conditioning units or inspecting vital equipment. However, these important tasks can make a difference to the overall lifespan of the systems operating in your property. As such, an effective maintenance plan has many benefits. It can prevent costly breakdowns, extend the life of equipment and systems, and optimise resource utilisation. Therefore, it’s important that you create a comprehensive inventory of all equipment and systems in your facility, then develop a maintenance strategy that outlines the types of maintenance you’ll perform. This can include:

  • Preventive maintenance: Schedule regular, planned maintenance activities for critical equipment. This list can include tasks like cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting components to prevent wear and tear.
  •  Predictive maintenance: Implement predictive maintenance techniques to anticipate equipment failures. This approach involves using sensors and data analysis to monitor the condition of assets in real time.
  • Corrective maintenance: Develop a protocol for handling unexpected breakdowns and emergencies. Ensure that staff knows how to report and respond to these incidents promptly.
  • Contract maintenance: For specialised equipment or systems, consider outsourcing maintenance to qualified service providers. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of contract maintenance versus in-house maintenance for each asset, and then set a reminder to book each maintenance session once you’ve found the right provider at the best possible cost.

When making your maintenance strategy, you need to prioritise it based on how important each asset is to your operations and how regularly it is used. Then, you can assign appropriate maintenance strategies to each and set out a rough schedule so that you never forget when a new task is due.

Consider Negotiating Prices For Major Services

Haggling on price might seem sordid and cheap, but it can be an effective approach for facilities managers who need to cut down on costs without cutting back on what they get from suppliers. In some cases, you might be able to make a deal with your supplier, especially if you’re a long-term customer. When you’re trying to negotiate a better supplier price, you should always come prepared and offer them insight into why you believe you’re worth providing with a preferential rate. Explain how much you currently spend and any projected future growth, so they can see the benefits of having you as a customer. Then, you can see if you can get them to give you a preferential deal. Whether it’s vital utilities or services, you might be able to get a better deal than you have already and save some money with the providers you use the most.

Keep Exploring New Options

Reducing property running costs requires a multifaceted approach and a commitment to ongoing improvement. The improvements won’t be instant, but by implementing these strategies and staying proactive, you can make a significant impact on operational efficiency and cost reduction over time. To keep the momentum going, try to foster a culture of continuous improvement within your team. As part of this approach, you should encourage feedback and suggestions from building occupants and staff. Also, stay updated on industry best practices and emerging technologies. You’ll then be able to adapt as you go along and keep reducing costs in the properties you manage.

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