This, in turn, has given us real-time access to all the services offered to internal and external customers. We can understand the delays in work completion and issues faced by the employees in getting the job done, such as any unavailability of materials in facility storerooms. Furthermore, recurring issues reported by the tenants are addressed in a timely manner and communicated to the department heads for needed follow-up action.

The benefits of data are expansive. We’ve reduced paperwork, saved time, and gained the ability to address day-to-day challenges by comparing them with others within a given building, community, or master development.

Upcoming challenges

The property management industry in the UAE is on the right trajectory. However, challenges remain; globally, the industry is forecasted to grow around 8% year over year. With the positive trends in innovation and digital transformation, there is a need to address a few fundamental but pervasive problems of a skilled and qualified workforce.

During the pandemic, we unfortunately saw job losses on an incredibly large scale. Accordingly, there has been a significant shift within the labor force to switch career paths. Many have looked to real estate for a new direction, but there was very little available to guide these people in starting their careers in property management. The UAE needs someone to fill in this leadership vacuum in order to promote greater industry development and to increase interest in property management among the younger generations. Developing a diverse, inclusive, and value-creating industry requires continued proactive work to address the imbalance in workforce skills.

Lack of clarity surrounding job roles within real estate is another painful area that is negatively affecting this profession in the UAE. Currently, when a property manager is hired, it can be unclear if they are being hired as a facility manager, a community manager, a broker, or even a property inspector. This hurts the profession and trivializes the role of a property manager.

The property manager is a multitasker who oversees property maintenance operations, risk, marketing, leasing, budgeting, and reporting. It requires knowledge and competencies in both hard and soft skills to preserve a building’s physical and economic life. A property manager must be able to communicate with owners, tenants, residents, and investors. Sustainable property management requires a structured approach rather than random hires who are playing targeted roles.

The UAE real estate landscape is expanding and evolving all the time, and new types of buildings are always coming into the market. With this comes the challenge of retaining and training new workers for these buildings and providing the necessary education so that industry professionals and new aspirants can continue to develop their capabilities. It is our job to reduce the ambiguity of the role of a property manager and communicate to the market that, ultimately, it is the property manager who ensures upkeep for a property, increases the length of its usable life, and enhances its value.