As I sat at home on a recent Saturday evening (an infrequent occurrence!), my mind wandered and I pondered the difference between a good property company and a world-class one. That difference, I concluded, can be distilled into a single word: integration.
Virtually any kind of business, even the online kind, cannot operate without premises: an office, warehouse or retail space, and frequently a combination of some or all three. Appropriate staff offices, storage and distribution infrastructure, and retail space are critical to their financial success.
But property can be a highly complex and expensive proposition for a business to manage, from finding the best possible space to fitting it out, and satisfying the company’s business objectives, brand identity and people needs (it’s important to remember the souls who will populate a company’s space – they drive turnover and profit, after all).
The gloomy current economic outlook, a phenomenon not restricted to South Africa, compels companies to box smart – or even smarter – when it comes to their capital expenditure, of which property is an important part. In our ever-tougher economic environment, they need to be smarter about how they acquire and utilise property in the best interests of their bottom line.
Company property managers have an unenviable task in this regard. They need to engage with a wide variety of property professionals in order to do their jobs:
- leasing and sales agents
- property advisers
- contractual experts
- interior designers
- construction project managers
There are many companies that offer these individual services, and no doubt a large proportion of them do a great job, but managing these moving parts in harmony can be a daunting prospect. Enter the integrated property advisory company, which offers the full range of services under a single banner, and integrates them in ways that best meet each client’s specific requirements. By streamlining the process, an integrated property advisory business offers a client:
- time savings
- significant cost savings
- and perhaps most importantly, much greater value than if they had sought out solutions to their individual property needs from different service providers.
There is no doubt that as companies expand within South Africa and into the rest of Africa – which remains a darling of foreign business investment, despite the global economic situation – they will require expert, integrated property services. Combine that with using a service provider with comprehensive on the ground market knowledge and a broad view of the varied requirements in different markets, and the client has a competitive edge already.