Making decisions about the future based on a sound knowledge of your real estate assets
Many of our public clients (municipalities, public social welfare centres, property management agencies, etc.) have sizeable assets (more than ten buildings). But not all of them have the technical capacity or the skills to optimise their use, which is understandable! The primary mission of a public player is to respond to the demands of its constituents, not to manage buildings. The real estate function, essentially, is a support function, enabling it to fulfil its public mission.
If this real estate function does not have adequate resources at its disposal, however, the buildings, or rather how they are used, may soon become an issue. Examples include over- or under-occupancy of the premises, a lack of maintenance that leads to the premature deterioration of the buildings, retaining useless premises in one’s real estate portfolio, an incorrect assessment of the total cost due to insufficient knowledge of the underlying expenses, etc.
Some public authorities now rely on external contractors to better optimise their assets to avoid these pitfalls, without penalising their internal teams. These external contractors map the status of their real estate assets (surface areas, utilisation rate, costs, energy performance, acoustics, etc.). This diagnosis can be adjusted depending on the indicators that the customer considers relevant and according to the data available from the outset. This type of survey can also be done without having any knowledge of one’s real estate assets. The aim is to develop a strategy for the future, based on these basic data, by providing for the use of spaces, transfer operations for the teams, the disposal of certain buildings, and the increase in real estate revenue to generate more operational leeway.
All these actions, which may seem difficult to carry out for stakeholders whose core business is not real estate, can be easily managed thanks to a robust and consolidated methodology. It was developed based on the many previous missions that we have already carried out for other clients (universities, child-care centres, municipalities, etc.).
The municipality of Brussels, for example, is currently working on a property inventory of its child-care centres to classify them according to their real estate performance (use of the premises), their energy performance, and their acoustic and luminous comfort. This mapping will give rise to the development of a standard for future child-care centres. Decisions about the openings of new centres must also factor in the private offer to improve the availability of child-care throughout Brussels.