Social real estate comprises a wide range of types of buildings with various uses and users. The common denominator is that it serves a social policy goal. It is therefore not about achieving financial returns with the real estate. Costs and benefits must of course be in balance, but the primary goal is to achieve social returns with this special property
Up-to-date and reliable data are essential building blocks for the development and underpinning of policy and strategy. We usually do not manage and decide on the basis of assumptions. While emotional matters clearly play a role, facts need to be a solid foundation. All the more so because social real estate is linked to by far most policy areas of a government or institution.
Start by explicitly naming strategic policy goals and communicating them clearly and SMARTI (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Relevant, Time-bound, Inspiring) to all stakeholders. Keeps a finger on the pulse by measuring the effectiveness, efficiency and progress with the strategically derived Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and thus monitoring the strategic policy objectives.
Translate policy goals into concrete action plans and steer accordingly. Real estate management is more than just technical and operational building management. According to the motto ‘measuring is knowing, because guessing is missing’. This makes strategic management of real estate possible.
Accommodation is not only a cost item but also contributes to the policy of the social organization / institution. To this end, it must be possible to control the property portfolio, occupancy rate and the associated financial resources. Some relevant questions are:
- How can the adopted policy be translated into relevant quality measurement criteria for social real estate, resulting in reliable (basic) management information?
- How can the strategic portfolio of social real estate be determined?
- How to change within the strategic portfolio?
- Is the technical, operational, legal and financial building management organized in such a way that it can be managed ‘evidence based’?
- How is occupant management and contact with the actual users of the property organized?
- Have processes and procedures been described and linked to the respective policy goals so that it is transparent what they should contribute to?
Regularly measuring the main learn/work environment performance helps to better coordinate the use of space with the actual space requirement. As a result of which cost savings become visible and overcomplete buildings can be disposed of. The properties eligible for disposal must then be disposed of against the medium to long-term accommodation policy in order to prevent the ‘crown jewels’ from being sold.
Make sure that the relevant control data remains up to date in a simple and cost-effective way. Real estate is not a goal but a means to facilitate socially desirable goals. This makes better decision-making possible and thus provides the right social return.