I arrived in Cambodia in October 2012 to work on the country's first Grade A, mixed-use commercial tower, considered five to 10 years ahead of its time in terms of design and services.
The FM market was still immature and there was very little appreciation for the industry. Traditionally landlord/occupiers took care of the FM themselves and outsourced services such as security, cleaning and maintenance in that order of priority and no TFM contracts.
As more international companies have entered Cambodia the appreciation and understanding for outsourcing has grown and as such a small number of international service providers are succeeding. However, in most cases the projects are cost driven and, unfortunately, it is the staff that suffer as the salaries and benefits are often low in comparison to other countries.
The stock of international quality real estate in Cambodia across the whole sector – from residential to commercial – is growing dramatically with much bigger projects and heightened demand for FM services. This has seen lots of attention from Taiwan and Chinese vendors to serve a strong Chinese developer market.
Additionally local sectors such as retail, F&B and banking are expanding their portfolios and now wishing to outsource non-core activities so this presents good opportunities for well-managed FM services where transparency and higher levels of service now expected.
At present, there is no official body, organisation or education route supporting the FM market. However, this is becoming more attractive to Cambodians as a good solid career path.
The new buildings coming on line need to be maintained, cleaned and secured so I am often asked to provide advice, support, training and coaching to a small number of professionals wishing to grow their skills. The future is bright here in Cambodia for the FM market. It is very challenging but we are succeeding through example.
Dan Davies is executive director at Cambodian property management firm DA&G