Appreciating the Role of Service Providers

Office Market

The office market in Budapest has gone through several generations of real estate development; office quality has been improving and meets tenant expectations better. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that real estate here is built to a world class level.

Katalin Honi, MRICS, Director of Asset and Property Management, STRABAG Property and Facility Services Zrt.

Though in previous years operationality was not a key aspect from a facility management perspective, today it is essential to consider this from the very planning phase. One could say that operators are luckier with newly developed office buildings, because the industry has grown up from its teething troubles 20 years ago. However, I think developers and architects still under evaluate the role of future operation, and operational experts are not
involved in the process early enough. Of course, there are counter examples too, which eventually become success stories.While an office building can cause much trouble for its users, the tenants, and can become functionless without a good operator, a good property manager can make strategically important contacts between tenants and landlords from the background.

The property manager knows the tenants’ demands and expectations in connection with the office building and the lease contract, and thus creates the opportunity for a long-term cooperation. Landlords have realized that a strategic partnership must be established with property managers, because that is the way to create value effectively, which is the primary goal of a real estate investor who owns a r eal estate. We, at Strabag Property and  Facility Services, do our best every  time to put the landlords’ goals into practice as much as we can, no matter if it is a new development or a historical real estate. It is the relationship based on trust that allows us to work on the strategy of the real estate in the long run, both financially and concerning the standards expected from the market.

Our eyes are open and we are not afraid of innovations, whether the refunctioning of the area or a more serious site redefinition with several players before contracts expire, with the consideration of tenants’ demands and also keeping the Landlord’s goal in mind.We must often understand that you need flexibility to meet expectations, but there is no unrestricted flexibility for all participants. At the same time, if a suitable alternative is offered and risks are minimized, a solution can often be found that will not only result in short-term satisfaction, but also in a long-term, well-functioning relationship for all partners. Trust and future cooperation are appreciated more, and it is the Landlords who have larger and mixed real estate portfolios (even outside Budapest) who will profit most from this.

The satisfied tenant is still the focus. Strabag PFS’s asset management team has achieved an occupancy rate of nearly 97% for its managed portfolio; the partners are well-known companies and the rental conditions are at market level.The next task will be the modernization of buildings and the positioning of buildings compared to competitors who may enter the market soon. I am sure it is not only the objective characters of the buildings, but also all the soft services offered that will present a competitive alternative for companies looking for an office space.Strabag PFS is committed to sustainability, therefore more and more buildings of the managed portfolio are acquiring one of the green certifications.

However, our work is carried out with due sustainability care, not only in the case of qualified buildings, but it is the company’s general view to protect the environment, save resources and reduce environmental burdens in every possible way. Beyond sustainability, well-being is also given a greater role when talking about property or asset management, because the satisfaction of employees who work in the office building is the most objective measurement to judge whether a project is successful in the long run. We realized a long time ago that the future is about employees whose demands must be met by employers, not only within the rented facilities of companies, but a complex service package must be offered to them, which includes the common spaces of office building and services in it or nearby.

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