Within real estate, investing and scenario planning are rarely simple tasks. Properties have many building components with separate needs and lifecycles. And that’s before you multiply the process across a regional or national portfolio. Each asset is a complex infrastructure within a larger one, and each of them needs to be maintained with its own unique considerations. Taking that into account, it’s clear that capital investment is no easy feat.
Maximizing a capital investment strategy therefore means using data and analytics to optimize spending. This applies to both the asset level and portfolio level. For real estate owners and managers, investing in facility management software with these capabilities is crucial. It is often the deciding factor between an asset’s profitability and its loss in revenue.
At 4tell™ Solutions, we’ve worked with many organizations to optimize their capital investment strategies through the use of facility management software. These are some of our tried and true techniques to consider when you’re developing your own asset or portfolio-level plans.
Use Benchmarks to Understand Your Component Lifecycles
Organizations often underestimate their capital spending requirements. Yet, they’re still surprised when building components need sudden maintenance and upgrades. They usually look to consultants and facility condition indexes to better plan for their long-term capital needs. But these are not the only options available to them. Industry or internal portfolio benchmarks offer clues on typical asset and component lifespans. This is particularly helpful for facilities getting more “wear and tear” than the industry standard, depending on the volume of use.
Historic benchmarking can help highlight asset needs and show the reasons for them. It allows groups to better customize capital plans considering specific contexts and conditions. For example, large multi-city government portfolios often have a multitude of factors to take into account. Occupant density or climate can affect component depreciation at varying rates. You need to pin down which are the biggest culprits and address them. The right facility management software can help you do so.
Move Away from General Assumptions and Focus on Real Data
The information behind your assets is the backbone for all forms of planning coming from your team. You need to treat it as such. Many organizations still rely on inefficient and obsolete methods to track the condition of their building components. They use static spreadsheets and paper reports to determine their strategy. This makes it difficult to predict proper capital investment scenarios and needs. Assumptions end up forming the basis of financial analysis efforts instead of data.
As we’ve talked about before, organizations need to digitize and centralize their facility and condition data. They also need to create a rigorous data organization policy, as well as a digital data repository. This allows them to take advantage of real-time, up-to-date information that’s accessible. In doing so, they will have the most accurate snapshot of their capital needs at various stages.
Invest in Facility Management Software with Robust Analytics
Facility condition data is often restricted in static formats. But without a thorough understanding of the true range of investment outcomes, organizations have a limited ability to forecast. This can result in sub-optimal scenario planning and mismanagement of precious resources.
This is why facility management software is essential. It allows you consolidate all of your data in one place, providing you with in-depth information in the quickest way possible. You can see what’s due to be replaced or renovated, and with a few clicks, also see the impacts on your portfolio if you allocate that capital accordingly. This makes it easier to identify outliers or errors that might result in improper spending.
With these guidelines, your planning processes will become more accurate and defensible to your stakeholders. More importantly, you’ll be able to establish a wider scope of insight that ensures a productive portfolio over time.
Start running more comprehensive scenarios using the 4tell™ Platform, which includes a Capital Investment Strategy tool and advanced analytics for forecasting and scenario planning. Request a demo here.
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