László Vágó, CEO of NEO Property Services, talks to the Budapest Business Journal about his company’s change of name, its market leading position and market trends.
BBJ: Neo Property Services is a relatively new name, but it is not really a new company. Could you explain the background?
László Vágó: NEO Property Services Zrt. has been the leading Hungarian FM & PM company for several years and it has been present on the Hungarian real estate market for 20 years under various names: TCW Rt., Deutsche Telekom Immobilien Zrt., Strabag Property and Facility Services Zrt. The current name change was due to the ownership structure change. The company became 100% owned by Wing Zrt.
BBJ: Were there any particular challenges thrown up by the acquisition of Strabag Property and Facility Services Zrt. by Wing Zrt?
LV: Wing has been one of the owners of the company since its beginning, thus the ownership structure change did not turn NEO’s life upside down. Having the same management, company structure and staff, it is still out priority to serve our clients professionally, to win new commissions and to keep our position as market leader. It is a great advantage for NEO that it could forge closer ties with Wing, which has exceptional expertise on the Hungarian market. NEO can make its operation and work processes more effective with Wing and besides its operational services, it can focus more on construction and fit-out projects in the future.
BBJ: NEO’s main focus is technical operations, but the firm wishes to expand beyond that. Into which fields, and why?
LV: As mentioned above, besides operational services (technical and infrastructural facility management, energy audits, owner and tenant representation, letting, contract management, due diligence etc.), a higher priority will be given to construction and fit-out projects in the future, since market demand is constantly growing in that field.
BBJ: Are all your properties in Budapest, or do you have some in the countryside, too?
LV: Our managed portfolio consists of approximately 6,000 buildings, many of which are outside Budapest. The company’s 7/24 operation covers the whole area of Hungary.
BBJ: Could you give us some vital statistics? How many buildings do you manage, what is the total sqm, what is the mix between Class “A” buildings and others, how many people do you employ and what is your turnover?
LV: NEO Property Services manages the largest portfolio in Hungary, more than three million sqm of buildings and more than ten million sqm of external area, parks. Of that, three million sqm, there are approximately 1.5 million where the category “A” ranking is not relevant (production sites, factory buildings, warehouses, data parks, etc.). From the remaining 1.5 million, the proportion of category “A” buildings is 67%.
We have a staff of 650-700 people, and have an annual turnover of approximately HUF 20 billion.
BBJ: What flagship properties are you responsible for?
LV: Several “flagship” institutions of Hungary’s greatest companies are operated by us, such as the new Magyar Telekom HQ with state of the art office PropTech solutions, and the Ericsson HQ building, with a 1,000 sqm laboratory that serves the whole world. We also operate key real estates where permanent 24/365 operations are of national interest.
BBJ: What would you say sets your service apart?
LV: We offer full-scale integrated FM and PM services and know-how, with national coverage and a 24-hour help desk with state-of-the-art IT support. More than that, we can boast experienced company management and staff, excellent outsourcing experience with great references. We are a 100% transparent operation, with our own Ethical Code and ethical business performance; indeed, we demonstrate law-respecting behavior in all areas of operation.
BBJ: How important is the concept of sustainability in what you do? What examples of being environmentally conscious can you share?
LV: New environment protection goals are set each year. The ISO 14001 certificate was acquired in 2006 and has been maintained ever since. Energy rationalization programs are managed with our partners and special attention is paid to preventing waste creating, as well as the general reduction of waste. Our “Green Hints” booklet, which seeks to help environmentally-friendly operations with practical pieces of advice, was prepared for and presented to our partners. Our partners are also supported to acquire LEED or BREEAM qualifications.
BBJ: What are the upcoming trends demanded by clients?
LV: Demand for projects requiring engineering knowledge and expertise is constantly growing on the market, as is fit-out projects of rented buildings, PropTech solutions and professional staff trained to operate them are becoming more common, as are projects requiring unique or special engineering knowledge. NEO should fully utilize these trends. These challenges relate to the diversification and development of our existing customer service provision, our portfolio of services and our existing stable market position.