Five minutes with ...
Head of property management, Landmark Properties
Tell me about your job?
I have been working in the field of project management, financial control and FM consultancy in various industries. This has mainly been for multinational companies such as Ericsson, Lufthansa, and Barclays Capital but I have also worked for local companies including Spectrum Real Estate Asset Management and ServeU.
Since February 2010, I have headed the property management department at Landmark Properties. I not only handle the FM and maintenance requirements of property owners but I spend a great deal of time managing the landlord/tenant liaison inlcuding handling the financials on behalf of the landlord; negotiating and collecting rents, managing move-in/outs, handling breach of contracts and penalties.
What kind of projects do you work on?
We mainly target B2C clients who own one or more properties who want to manage their properties in line with the law. We work with them to ensure their property is constantly rented to get a safe return on their investment and assist them in the professional upkeep of their building through annual maintenance contracts and helpdesk services.
Landmark targets mainly single owner properties. We take on full buildings and offer a one-stop-shop to manage the leasing, common areas and leased units. We outsource the maintenance/FM requirements based on a stringent service provider qualification process to ensure we deliver quality for an affordable price.
Do women get recognised enough in FM?
More work needs to be done to bring the perception of FM as a solely male dominated industry into a gender equal environment. However, there are limitations, especially in the technical fields which are by nature dominated by male technicians.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in FM?
Be open and never lose touch with operational staff on the ground as they will give you the unbiased feedback of clients and occupants. Networking is essential in this industry. Don’t be shy asking questions as we are still in an emerging market. More importantly, listen to your clients. Some know what they want and need and others require professional guidance by industry experts to make the right decisions.
How do you see the FM market changing?
The Dubai real estate market is slowly moving from an ‘open playground’ to a more mature market with a growing legal framework that supports transparency and standardised procedures.
It is a positive sign but, property owners in this part of the world still require a lot of education to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities. FM plays a crucial part here as services are now being regulated by the JOP Law when contracted by OA’s for freehold properties.
Developers are now realising OA’s will not turn into FM companies backed by developers or FM providers without a track record of accomplished projects. MEFMA will play a crucial role in setting standards for the industry by benchmarking services and giving advice.