Why Every Building Manager Must Master These Four Skills
The behind-the-scenes nature of a building manager may seem less than glamorous; however, they are ultimately responsible for keeping a building running. The true gift of a building manager is that they will work to get the expected value and performance out of a building, especially large commercial ones that have a mix of tenants.
Building Manager Responsibilities: Challenges of the Day-to-Day
There is a long list of duties for a building manager. They must face a range of responsibilities across a lot of different areas. Let’s dissect a few of these to understand a building manager’s day-to-day.
Maintenance for Grounds and the Building
When it comes to keeping up the grounds around a business, there can be lots of complications. For example, in New York City the smallest green space must be maintained based on strict guidelines. Not only are there regulations to be aware of, but the building manager is usually responsible for hiring a third-party landscaping firm and ensuring that they keep the grass mowed and plants in good shape.
In addition to the landscape, there are other building concerns like exterior fences, walls, entrances, and windows. All these things have to be in working order; otherwise, the building could be unusable, which means it would be losing money.
Regular maintenance of the other parts of the building is also on the list. With a commercial building, there are more regulations to consider. Elevators must be operating safely. Air and heat must be running properly. Fire codes have to be followed. Building managers also must find the root causes of building failures, so that a small leak does not turn into a mold catastrophe.
Health and Safety Measures
In addition to maintenance of the building and grounds and all the regulations, tenant health and safety are a huge part of a building manager’s role. There is indoor air quality, pollutant exposure, and removal of dangerous materials, such as medical waste. Emergencies regarding health and safety can occur at any time, so a building manager has to have a plan in place should things go awry.
One could call a building manager the “contract master,” as they have to manage those associated with everything from routine maintenance to repairs to renovations. Thus, they have to determine the needs of the building and its tenants. Then they have to review all the bids to decide which is the best value and meets both those needs and budget.
Building managers are also masters of space. They need to be able to see how spaces can fit the needs of those using the building and managing this aspect. Tenants themselves often do not know what what would be most efficient. A building’s space will evolve over time, and a building manager has to be able to reconfigure spaces depending on these changing needs.
Key Traits of a Building Manager
Those that have success as a building manager are, first and foremost, adaptable. He or she will have a range of skills and be an excellent problem solver because anything can happen from a water leak to a security emergency. A building manager has to be able to think quickly, communicate well with other stakeholders, and find solutions even in what may seem like impossible situations.
Negotiation skills will also come in handy when dealing with contracts. Building managers are expected to find the best fit that also stays on budget, which may require a lot of discussion.
A building manager really is a jack of all trades and still a master of many. He or she has one of the most important roles when it comes to fundamental operations of a building. A day in the life of building manager is certainly busy and never mundane.
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