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A Day in the Life of a Facility Manager

Jessica Freeman • 22/08/2022

Cushman & Wakefield's Integrated Facilities Management professionals strategically reduce operational costs and improve service consistency while ensuring compliance.


Our Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) end-to-end service offering enhances the workplace experience through an innovative delivery model that is fast, flexible and scalable.


Today, we hear from Peter Juchau, Account Director Suncorp about what it takes to be a Facility Manager (FM) and what a typical day looks like.


1. What’s the first and most important thing on a FM’s To Do list for the day?
Getting those all-important admin tasks completed before the day get busy!

No matter what role you have in the facilities industry, being organised and managing priorities is the key to being successful. Getting back to customers with updates, following up actions, holding contractor meetings, managing invoices, planning inspections, or prioritising your team’s activities all require effective management.

Having a regular check-in with your team is also a great way to work collaboratively.

2. What’s your favourite thing about your role?
In the world of facilities management, a lot of time is spent dealing with problems of all shapes and sizes. Finding solutions and quickly resolving them turns a poor experience into a great one.

I so enjoy hearing great feedback about the team in fixing a complex or critical issue, or in receiving recognition for getting a site back open quickly after a storm event.

3. What’s the most challenging part of your role?
Expecting the unexpected.  Ideally having your day entirely planned and ticking off every task would be great. With a large national portfolio, you will have to manage many unplanned issues, from service interruptions to plant and services failures, to the impacts of weather and human triggered events.

Be prepared that these don’t all occur during the normal working day and at times happen over a weekend. Have you got good processes in place, all your key contacts saved on your phone and a crisis communication plan?

4. What’s the best career advice you have ever received?
You don’t have to be an expert in everything to be a great facilities manager.  Gain knowledge and build relationships with experts across the many roles in corporate real estate such as leasing, project management, finance, sustainability, and workplace.  Facilities Managers have an important role to play in the end-to-end management of real estate and the more you understand each aspect of the industry, the more effectively you can manage your portfolio.

5. Sustainability is an important part of Cushman & Wakefield’s offering. How do we stand out from our competitors?
With the built environment contributing almost 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, climate change more consistently impacting physical assets and the escalating cost of energy, implementing a future focused sustainability strategy is integral to successfully managing a property portfolio.

Cushman & Wakefield’s expertise in analysing, developing, and delivering programs of work, places our clients at the forefront of sustainability by leveraging our global reach and experience.

With the focus now extending to Scope 3 emissions reporting, we are able to support our clients in capturing and interpreting data, establishing baselines, and creating effective and timely strategies.

6. How do you and your team address the ever-changing needs of occupants?
Managing an ever-evolving workplace became a facilities manager’s mantra during the COVID pandemic and continues into the hybrid workplace, which is being embedded into most organisations.

Being proactive, utilising data driven insights and seeking feedback has and continues to be the key to meeting our customer’s needs. For example, understanding that office occupation is heavily weighted to key days of the week allows better management of resources and services such as air conditioning, cleaning and the supply of milk. Walking floors and seeing firsthand what is/is not occurring continues to provide valuable references.

7. What building management tools and technology couldn’t you live without?
If you don’t have a team member based at every single site in your portfolio, having access to site information and photos is critical.  Knowing what the back-office area at the branch in Darwin looks like is mighty helpful and will save time and cost in having to urgently travel there!

At Cushman & Wakefield, we capture hundreds of points of data and images with our mobile field inspection tool.  For a facilities manager, simple and timely reference to information enables informed and timely decision making. This tool also captures asset data, allowing us to model and then forecast both operational and end of life capital budgets.

8. What’s the most asked question you get and how do you solve it?
When managing a tenant’s portfolio, clients are often unsure whether the obligation to repair is their responsibility or the property owner (landlord). Having a fundamental understanding of leases, tenant’s fit out, capital v’s operational responsibility and the specific lease clauses for the site are all considerations.  It is in the landlord’s interest to keep repairing an asset and passing on these costs, so using your data will allow you to negotiate the most effective outcome.  If an air conditioning system has been breaking down continually, having that data to support replacement will provide better longer-term outcomes for your client.

9. What advice would you give someone looking at a career in FM?
Facilities Managers are the backbone of the real estate team.  They are responsible for the safe and efficient management of offices, retail stores, industrial warehouses, schools, hospitals and much more. If you are well organised, enjoy being busy with lots of activities on the go and have a customer focused mindset, a career in facilities management is recommended.  

There are now many opportunities for formal qualifications to also consider.

10. If you could change or improve one thing in the world of FM, what would it be and why?
Facilities managers have great insights into operational design so I’d love to see more project teams engaging the facilities team during the design phase and through the construction period of a project.

I would also love to see the gender disparity in facilities management decrease as we work towards encouraging more females to work in this exciting sector.

How can we help?

Get in touch with one of our professionals.

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