With each new year comes new obstacles for commercial real estate (CRE) properties and their teams. Most notably, for commercial building engineers. CRE engineers are tasked with maintaining the functionality of a building. And between the evolving industry and new proptech capabilities, engineers constantly need to adapt to change.
In the recent report, “Property management trends & technologies for 2023,” property managers shared their top five priorities for equipping commercial building engineers.
According to CRE property managers, these are the top five priorities for equipping commercial building engineers, ranked in order of importance:
- Prioritizing and managing work
- Mobile/app technology adoption
- Reducing safety hazards
- Bridging the generational technology gap
- Lessening administrative time
Read on for more information about each priority and discover key resources to help you.
1. Prioritizing and managing work
Prioritizing and managing work can be complicated and time consuming. And as the CRE industry faces a growing talent shortage for commercial building engineers, work order management has become more difficult. Response time to tenant requests increases if work order management is chaotic. Tenant satisfaction suffers – something that can’t happen, especially as CRE owners struggle to regain occupancy lost over recent years.
In fact, 40% of property managers said that prioritizing and managing work has become the top priority for equipping engineers this year. The key for property managers is to find a solution that will streamline processes and achieve operational excellence. Property teams will need to effectively manage work and complete tenant requests in a timely manner if they want to stay ahead of the competition this year.
2. Adopting mobile/app technology
Mobile and app technology can help commercial property teams save time and streamline processes, which is essential when working with fewer resources. It’s why mobile/app technology came in as the No. 2 priority for equipping commercial building engineers this year, according to the survey.
With the right mobile app, you can add data, capture all billable revenue from services, log time and materials, and open new work orders – even in locations without connectivity (basements, rooftops, etc.). A mobile app also lets your teams easily communicate directly with the relevant engineer, property manager, and tenant from several preferred channels: text message, email, Slack, and more.
3. Reducing safety hazards
Property managers surveyed for this report said reducing safety hazards is their No. 3 priority for equipping their engineers. There are many moving factors to reducing safety hazards in buildings. And the majority of the time it falls on the engineer’s shoulders to maintain buildings properly and efficiently so that these hazards do not come to fruition. However, incidents will happen.
When things go wrong, property teams need to respond quickly. Property managers will need to communicate with engineers in a streamlined way. When incidents happen, there’s no time to waste playing phone tag or waiting for an email response. It’s also important for property teams to have a system of record of any incidents in order to mitigate risk related to insurance claims and potential lawsuits.
4. Bridging the generational technology gap
97% of CRE professionals say they plan to stay the course or increase their investment in commercial property software this year, according to the report. However, property managers need to carefully consider the generational technology gap that might be present within their teams. First, ask whether the technology you’re looking to implement is intuitive. A complicated interface, for instance, could make engineering teams jobs all the more difficult.
Intuitive and easy-to-use technology can help bridge the generational tech gap by enabling older workers to learn and use new software more quickly with less training. Look for technology that has a user-friendly interface. The design should be clear and not require a lot of steps or technical know-how to operate. That can help cut down on training, which is key when teams are working with fewer resources.
5. Lessening administrative time
A large part of an engineer’s responsibilities includes administrative work. And unfortunately, it can be very time-consuming. In fact, the report found that reducing administrative time for engineers is a top priority this year.
Engineers can reduce their time spent on administrative work by using a software solution built specifically for building operations. Engineers can get real-time task updates and instantly send questions to teammates or tenants from the field. Teams won’t have to waste time going back and forth to their offices to input handwritten data or find out about a new task. Instead, engineers can focus on their tasks at hand and work on the go.
Supporting commercial building engineers
It’s clear commercial building engineers face some new challenges as the industry continues to evolve. As property teams continue to grapple with strain from labor shortage issues, work order management, or even technology gaps, engineers need more support from property managers. Property managers will need to prioritize their engineers by equipping them with the resources they need to succeed. Without commercial building engineers, CRE buildings would not function.
For more information on how to equip your engineers and for more insights and trends on the current state of the CRE industry, read the free report “Property management trends & technologies for 2023.”