Engaging the facilities management team at the early stages of projects construction has multiple benefits to all the stakeholders:
1) Developers get to know the right operation strategy for their project post the handover, hence, adequate precautions are put in place to phase the taking over of a project and establishing the commissioning teams to align with the O&Ms instructions but also to have the scope of works and related SLAs and KPIs adapted as necessary based on the project
2) Informing the consultants and project teams in advance of the necessary check list of certificates and approvals required by the Facilities Management team such as: The Civil Defense Approvals, Municipality approvals , Single line diagrams, Final Approved drawings
3) Review the proposed shop drawings from operation point of view and provide the access points for critical systems to replace faulty devices or repair as applicable.
4) Optimizing systems and installations required for a project to avoid retrofitting post-handover and to ensure maintainability of the installed equipment
5) Provide expert advice on certain equipment such as the requirement of BTU meters to help in reducing service charges by billing the owners and/or residents through their real consumption and optimize the cooling charges.
6) Provide a brief on “the lessons learned” from previous experiences to avoid the same mistakes from being repeated in every new project
On the other hand, Community Management's early involvement in reading the the draft sales and purchase agreements, community rules, disclosure statements and the common area features provides a clearer picture on the service charges model and the future required mapping with Mollak system in Dubai or other systems as applicable in other emirates or other countries which in turn provides additional advantage to reach zones of potential agreements between the developers and the unit owners about the rights and obligation of each party preventing the disputed points from becoming bigger “
Also, reading the project specifics in addition to the prevailing rules and regulations will help community management professionals to acquire the required background to properly prepare the necessary procedures, policies and systems to monitor in the most convincing way:
1) The move in and move out to the Jointly Owned Property (JOP)
2) The access and enjoyment of the amenities in JOP
3) Establishing the committees in the respective JOP
4) Properly explaining and convincing owners and investors on the requirement but also the benefits of service charge payment
5) The importance of observing the community rules and preserving the common and private assets in the JOP
6) Encourage the sense of harmony and living together in a JOP
The author, Said ElHaouasli, is the General Manager of LOAMS.