When LGIM Real Assets announced their new ‘Mercury’ operating model for the management of their portfolios, their intention was to further incorporate innovations and customer service into the heart of their offering to occupiers  (view more here).

By splitting the appointment of facilities and property management functions to two specialist providers, they sought to be more ‘agile, responsive, and build closer working relationships with their occupiers.’

More than six months on from being appointed to the LGIM Real Assets Managing Agent panel to manage the 5m+ sq.ft PAIF fund, now is a good time to reflect to what extent we’re achieving the original objectives and what have been the crucial factors in the model’s successful implementation.

Communication is key
For the model to be successful, the respective responsibilities of Workman as Property Managers and Bellrock, the appointed Facilities Management Integrator (FMI) needed to be made clear. Although LGIM Real Assets created a very detailed specification of services for both roles, close collaboration between ourselves, Bellrock and the asset management team from the outset has been key to making the model work.

Sticking to the original objective – to build closer relationships with our occupiers
All parties have been delighted with the positive feedback from occupiers on the quality of service provided. LGIM Real Assets proactively seek continuous feedback from the occupiers through direct contact with Asset Managers, supported by occupier surveys and on-site questionnaires via QR codes. All of the feedback is shared, and at Workman we have made every effort to address any issues raised to ensure that occupiers know that their feedback is valued and addressed.

Taking a balanced view of performance
LGIM Real Assets adopt a ‘Balanced Scorecard’ for monitoring the performance of their assets, linked to specific Asset Operating Plans developed collaboratively with the asset management teams. It identifies all areas of improvement needed for both property and facilities management and monitors progress against objectives. The balanced scorecard gives a one-page overview of an asset’s performance and is a broader measure of performance than purely traditional real estate metrics.

Build closer relationships with the supply chain
Our supply chain partners are crucial in delivering the quality of service required and the new operating model has facilitated a considerable improvement in working relationships with these suppliers. For example, the supplier payment process has improved and we are achieving payment of supplier invoices between 10-20 days of receipt. There are detailed workflows and approval processes that reflect the new operating model, improving efficiencies, while the FMI partner can focus on managing and improving the level of service delivery by all service partners.

Adopting a one-team approach
The new model has resulted in a great collaboration between Workman, Bellrock and the LGIM Asset Managers. The level of engagement between all parties in ensuring assets are working for the occupiers’ requirements is fantastic to see. The success of this model is based on the quality of the individual relationships between those parties.

While the principal of appointing specialist providers in the real estate industry is not revolutionary, the model developed by LGIM Real Assets, by splitting out facilities management from the property manager remit, is certainly a significant evolution of the traditional approach.

We may still be six months into its implementation, but with the continued level of collaboration and shared vision of customer service for our occupiers, I am confident it will continue to be a success.

by Richard Hart, Partner