As the Managing Director of Point Facilities Solutions
The good, the bad and the dirty as a Facilities Manager.
There seems to be mixed opinions on what it is Facilities Managers do. Some Residents see them as the Caretaker of a Community, others deem them to be the Garbageman, you have those who think they look after all the machinery and equipment onsite, and then you come across people who believe they are the Maintenance Person. What we can tell you is that a Facilities Manager is actually all of those positions… and then some!
As the Managing Director of Point Facilities Solutions (PointFS), we asked Matt Benedetti what exactly it is he does in his job on a daily basis and this is what he shared.
“I spend my day doing exactly what all PointFS team members do. My position is no different to my team. We are a hands-on facilities management company and whilst I have the (perceived) big name job title, I don’t sit at a desk all day. I’m in the (proverbial) trenches with my team doing what we do best. Looking after our Clients strata facilities or working alongside specialised trades and overseeing building works. We are essentially the eyes and ears of the facilities Executive Committee and we are accountable to them.
Our days generally start really early because we will have duties that need to be undertaken when there is the least amount of resident movement or vehicle traffic. Our first priority on any shift, whether it be as a full-time position or part-time, if that’s what the facilities requires, is ‘whole of property’ walk around.”
For people in the know, this would make a lot of sense. But not really knowing exactly what that means, Matt went on to explain to me…
“Its not a complicated duty, but it’s certainly essential to ensure all needs are identified and rectified as soon as possible. If we didn’t do this daily (or when scheduled onsite), issues going undiscovered could certainly cause great frustration and even have safety implications in some circumstances.
“We literally walk around our sites checking that all fire doors and stairwells are clear of obstructions, that garage doors open and close, all lifts are working, that there aren’t any trip hazards in common areas, that external windows and doors have not been broken, that garbage is not strewn anywhere on common property, that BBQ, pool and Gym areas are safe for use, clean and tidy and that bin shoots are not blocked. There’s so much more to some sites, and these are just some of the basic things we look for that actually make for life as it should be for residents living in strata environments.”
Matt even went so far as to share some trashy stories with me. When I say trashy I’m actually referring to their diligence with garbage. Some sites use the residential red, yellow and green sulo bins, but many other facilities house large commercial waste bins. It’s the topic people would prefer not to discuss, but a subject that certainly makes a difference for proud residents in these communities in regard to hygiene and effective cost management.
The reality is, if the bins aren’t clean, it’s obvious right, it something that gets right up your nose. But more importantly, it’s the (potential) significant health risks associated with neglected garbage that falls on the responsibility of the nominated Executive Committee (EC). What often happens is, if the garbage is not placed into the correct bins, but instead dumped near or around bins or even worse, the wrong items go into the wrong bins, this can actually blow out waste management costs and cause a significant negative impact on well-prepared strata budgets… not to mention the potential of the full bins not being collected at all by the Waste Management Contractor.
So to ensure this doesn’t happen on PointFS’ watch, you’ll see the team all geared up in Personal Protective Equipment in the bin rooms cleaning up after others; washing out bins and rearranging them into their correct locations after they’ve been emptied to reduce the risk of frustration for residents.
When contracted by an EC, the PointFS nominated Facilities Manager along with Matt will walk the site and identify crucial needs of the facilities and common areas; regular must do’s as well as small projects and major works to ensure the Owners Corporation investment continues to appreciate rather than fall into a state of neglect or disrepair. They’ll then combine these with the tasks and/or duties that are given to them by the EC, and this combined formulates the job description for the Facilities Managers.
But whilst this all sounds like hard and real dirty work that most people would screw their noses up over, there’s certainly the other side to the job that ensures the team come to work with a smile and their “ready to get in there good and proper” attitude, and that’s helping many within the strata community with, at times, much needed support.
Whilst I was onsite at one of Canberra leading landmark developments with Matt, there was a fire system check underway. Matt received a call from an elderly resident who hadn’t yet caught up on the PointFS communications about the testing date and time, and she was concerned that she wasn’t able to exit swiftly as her portable oxygen bottle was being filled off-site. Matt was able to explain to her that it was the scheduled fire system testing (the first of the now monthly testing program), and also assured her that if at any time she found herself stuck in her apartment in a like manner, he would be the first at her door giving her that much needed hand she required. I heard the relief in her voice (over the phone), and that’s when I knew that what Matt and his team at PointFS provide as Facilities Managers is something pretty special…. and so much more than just the dirty work we think they do.
A great Facilities Manager ultimately cares for the strata community’s investment, general safety and well-being of residents on common property.
How important are they!
Author: Leisa Newman