First Facility d.o.o. Beograd is a member of the international First Facility Group of companies, which is among the leading players in the area of facility management services in Central and Eastern Europe. The team from Serbia is the final decision-maker when it comes to resolutions that are important to the management of the entire group
Considering that we’ve set the standards and procedures in the area of facility management, we are expected to be the first to apply the new standards and policies being applied around the world, as stated in our slogan, ‘always first’ ~ note CorD Magazine’s cointerviewees.
First Facility d.o.o. Beograd is a member of the international First Facility Group. What is your core business?
Kurkanović: First Facility provides a range of services that relate primarily to Preventative Facility Maintenance. These services contain regular and on call maintenance of all common technical systems of a subject property, maintenance of hygiene and greenery, a winter service, security, reconstruction and adaptation of tenants’ units and consulting services in the field of property management. In addition to all of this, First Facility provides professional property management services on behalf of owners.
How important to your work is the team?
Palamarević: Our team comprises of professionals who are dedicated to their work and who contribute, with all of their individual qualities, to easing the achievement of all ambitious objectives. The broader management of the company consists of local directors from the countries where we operate, coordinated by the board of directors from Serbia, with the support of the owner. The members of our carefully selected team have proven themselves to be professionals in their work, capable of achieving excellent results. During 2020, at the height of the pandemic, we managed to opened First Facility Slovenia, satisfied the needs of our clients and ended the year with success. We believe that, with this team, we are able to achieve a lot on both the domestic and foreign markets.
Who are your clients?
Kurkanović: Our clients are large international real estate funds and companies that have entrusted the management and maintenance of their real estate properties to us. Our portfolio consists of Class A business properties, shopping centres, retail outlets, industrial facilities, logistics centres and residential complexes. The total surface area of all projects currently under our management and maintenance exceeds two million square-metres. More information about our references is available at www.firstfacility.net.
How does the First Facility Serbia team support mutual cooperation among the group’s other companies that operate in other countries?
Palamarević: Our Serbian team analyses and monitors all developments related to ongoing operations and new projects in other member countries. We are the final decision-maker when it comes to decisions that are important to the management of the entire group. Each of the companies manages local projects individually, building good cooperation with clients in the process, which serves as a recommendation for the further expansion of cooperation with parties linked of these clients in other countries. Over recent years, Serbia’s commercial real estate market has been in the focus of foreign funds, which we consider as an opportunity for the further development of our operations.
First Facility provides property maintenance services for Class A business properties, shopping centres, retail outlets, industrial facilities, logistics centres and residential complexes
Considering that you are managing the other companies of the group in the region from Serbia, could you compare the two markets and give the differences in client’s demands?
Kurkanović: First Facility operates on the EU market in six out of the eight countries where we’re present. The most important role is played by quality, without which would be impossible to build-up a brand and successful operations. It is indisputable that EU countries’ facility management services markets are far more developed than Serbia’s. Clients coming from the EU devote more attention to maintenance services and allocate more funds for those purposes than clients in Serbia. This is a reflection of their understanding for the critical importance of regular maintenance, which keeps the operating value of the property at the highest level, to the benefits of all users. Our clients, who have entrusted the maintenance of their properties to us, represent the main confirmation of the quality of the services provided by First Facility.
Does the fact that you share knowledge and experience within the scope of a group of companies result in a better performance and increased competitiveness on local markets?
Palamarević: It was in December 2019 First Facility unified all members of the group that now operate in eight countries, six of which are EU member states. The standards and regulations relevant in the area of property and facility management in the EU are applied to all of our business activities. Mutual communication between local managers, as well as the transfer of people and knowledge, contributes to the adopting of new ideas, which are certainly reflected in increased competitiveness.
Despite the pandemic that halted, hampered and changed the world, you established two new companies during 2020 and 2021: First Facility Slovenia and First Facility Czechia. Are you planning to expand the group further?
Kurkanović: Yes, we founded First Facility Slovenia at the height of the pandemic; on 1st of May 2020, we successfully took over technical maintenance and hygienic maintenance at five Qlandia shopping centres in Slovenia. Our team quickly established the maintenance of technical systems and conducted all enhanced hygiene maintenance procedures. We don’t hide the fact that there were difficult moments during the “lockdown” period, but we didn’t give up. The latest member of the group was founded in October 2021, in Prague: First Facility s.r.o., which is preparing – with a new team – to take over a technical maintenance service portfolio of six business properties covering a total surface area of approximately 100,000m2. This will be a significant milestone in the group’s development in Central Europe, as it will provide an excellent base for the further development of operations on the Czech market. For the upcoming 2022, we plan to open First Facility Croatia, which we have yet to discuss.
You are known for the continuous improving of your services in accordance with the growing needs of your clients, and for setting new standards. What do these new standards imply?
Palamarević: Improving services implies not only providing better quality in terms of response times, reporting and monitoring the implementation of work orders, but also in terms of the way services are provided. Quality is today partly measured in terms of the amount of CO2 emitted, the type of energy used in providing services, use of recycled materials and waste management. Environmental policy is one of the expected pillars of quality. First Facility sets European standards when it comes to the sustainability of operations and satisfies high standards in terms of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policies, which are increasingly in the focus of clients.