Keep Calm & Contractor On
There is no question that commercial property ownership is considered a sound investment. Values increase over time, good returns are possible and rental yields can be lucrative. But what if something goes wrong with the building, are you in good shape?
Richard Hall is the facilities manager at Viranda and has more than 20 years’ experience. There is not a lot in the industry that surprises or unnerves him! We quizzed him on the importance of selecting the right contractors.
What are the qualities you look for when vetting potential contractors?
There are many factors I am scrutinizing. One of the biggest is compliance with regulations. Under The Health and Safety at Work Act, Viranda’s clients are responsible for the safety of any contractors undertaking work on their facilities. That’s not something to be casual about. I’ll be looking carefully at a contractor’s commitment to this entire area. Other things I pay close attention to are insurances – does the contractor have the right/enough/best cover for the scale required. Finally, on the side of regulations and safety, I look at licenses – does the natural gas supplier have the right practicing certification and is it up to date? How about the electrician? And so on.
Are there values, or ‘best practices’ you are looking for?
Certainly. A contractor needs to be the right fit for our client. There is no one-size-fits-all. Someone who might be right for a small scale job on a building could be grossly under par for another. Having that knowledge has come from years of experience and staying abreast of ‘who is who’ in the industry. For our clients I’m helping remove the risk, time, energy and cost of making a poor choice.
Any contractor we select must also share Viranda’s ‘people first’ values. That gives us confidence that quotes will be competitive and fit for purpose. It also means quality workmanship.
Can Viranda save money for a client in this area?
Yes, that’s another compelling reason. Keeping a full suite of contractors at our fingertips is an ongoing focus. Where there are gaps, we actively search and establish new relationships. Because of the volume of work going through our chosen contractors, it is usually reflected in lower costs and better lead times for clients – it’s the story of being a bigger fish in the pond.
Building asset wealth will always sit behind any work proposed.
Regulations are ever-changing. How do you manage this?
By staying on the front foot. A good example of this is the recent changes to the Asbestos Regulations. Well before they were introduced, we were engaging suitable suppliers and pre-empting future work on behalf of our clients. It’s all about forecasting rather than being reactive.