Graham + Sibbald were appointed to provide asset services for the HALO Enterprise + Innovation Centre. These services included establishing the service charge regime for the property, general property management, financial reporting (accounting, rent collection, service charge management and banking), tenant liaison, facilities management, inspections, insurance and utilities support.
If you are looking for a proactive asset team that will take care of the fundamentals, minimise your costs and boost your asset's value, we will deliver.
We manage a wide variety of commercial properties on behalf of our clients, including individual retail units, shopping centres, business parks, office blocks, industrial estates, and petrol stations. Our client base ranges from blue chip companies and public sector organisations to single property investors.
To ensure the team kept a close working relationship we arrange regular meetings and updates, which included:
- Monthly planned preventative maintenance meetings, held on site with the buildings mechanical electrical (M+E) contractor
- Regular financial reporting, undertaken by our dedicated Account Manager for the site
- Regular site visits and technical guidance from our inhouse Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager (HSEQ)
- Property monitoring services inclusive of regular inspections completed by our dedicated Property Manager liaising with the client and Building Manager who were based on site.
In addition to regular meetings the team ensured risk assessments were undertaken by an external consultancy firm who specialise in Health and Safety (H+S).
G+S are committed to the active management of risk and work with leading health, safety and environmental consultants to undertake all statutory assessments. We also appointed an external utility consultancy firm with extensive expertise in energy reduction, brokerage, metering and compliance to support and deliver utility tendering services, data validation, recharging and bespoke energy management services. G+S take a whole-life approach in developing, managing, and delivering long-term asset plans to maximise client's returns and minimise void periods, maintenance costs and other outgoings.
Some of the key services provided during this project were:
- Creating and operating the service charge budget and its allocation. This included initial year budget forecasting in a cost-effective manner whilst simultaneously ensuring an adequate budget provision in place against each service charge budget category
- Allocation of a dedicated Property Manager, based locally, and a centrally based Accounts Manager. Regular site visits and property inspections ensured the building was being well maintained. Consistent site inspections also ensure that contractor performance and tenants lease obligations were being adhered to and swiftly acted upon should any issues arise
- Implementation of our leading estate management software system to ensure the effective and accurate flow of financial information and reporting
- Rent collection and service charge recovery for the client along with a comprehensive debt management service. Our Credit Controller works alongside the Property Manager and Accounts Manager to ensure good tenant relationships are maintained and strengthened
- Ensuring the client's asset was fully compliant with all relevant H+S legislation and regulation. We actively monitored legislative changes and alerted our client to any changes which may affect them
- Working with a carefully selected group of contractors to ensure all work was completed effectively and to the highest of standards. All contractors were comprehensively vetted prior to being added to our approved contractor listing
Many challenges were faced when undertaking this project. One of these challenges was minimising the building costs whilst boosting the assets value. The team also tried to minimise running and maintenance costs as much as possible whilst mobilising, enhancing, and improving the services in place at the site. This includes management of utility expenditure in a highly volatile market.
Some additional challenges were ensuring that all M+E systems were properly maintained to industry standards, ensuring that all H+S legislations and assessment requirements were fully complied with. G+S had to ensure the defect liability periods were adhered to and identify areas which related to original build rather than ongoing maintenance. Working in partnership with the client and building manager ensured the quick rectification of defects. Finally, financial management services were required inclusive of debt management, cost controls and financial reporting to ensure that all rent collection and service charges were paid in a timely manner. Establishing the service charges and working with the tenants to provide a detailed explanation ensured payments being made in a timely manner. This was key to the smooth operation of the Enterprise + Innovation Centre.
Since our appointment a new tenant has taken occupation to one of the ground floor retail units. The new tenant has been welcomed by G+S, provided with relevant building information inclusive of fire evacuation procedures and introduced to the team.
Property expenditure is on budget and all contractors are performing well with no unresolved landlord/tenant issues.
Having a regular site presence ensures G+S work in constant partnership with both tenants and clients, enabling contractual issues to be well implemented and managed. Any issues or complaints that arise are dealt with swiftly, professionally and to the satisfaction of all parties.