Tricks Of The Trade: Facilities Vs. Real Estate

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the October 2009 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q What is the relationship between real estate and facility management (FM) functions?

Hassan Farah
Office Service Supervisor
Doha, Qatar

A I look at the relationship as such:

Real Estate: Responsible for the location of the site, whether building or leasing, and all steps necessary to acquire the site or lease. Real estate will also maintain all leases and manage them for renewals, extensions, etc.

Facility Management: Once the site has been acquired, facilities will work with consultants to design, furnish, and manage the space to allow the organization to perform its core business as efficiently as possible.

A pretty simple relationship, but it works. Smaller companies may not differentiate, due to size. Larger companies may break these responsibilities down into additional functions, due to the number of properties/leases required.

A full definition of FM comes from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA): “Facility Management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.


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