Utility management in business parks doesn’t have to be complicated, admin intensive and frustrating
Managing a business park can be a lot like learning how to juggle, there are so many different balls in the air. You have to ensure that your tenants are happy and that your suite of services are on a par with the rest of the market. Tenancy has become an increasingly competitive game and many business parks are looking for fresh and innovative ways of capturing customer attention. From security to admin to services and utilities, there are so many different balls that you have to keep finely balanced to ensure that your business park remains at the top of its game.
One of the most effective ways to distinguish your business park from competitors and to ensure that your tenants remain happy is to invest into efficient utility management. This may not sound as exciting as a rooftop garden or indoor collaborative workspace, but utilities are the reason why the garden is watered and the workspace hums with activity. Utilities are the oil that lubricates the business machine, ensuring that electricity and water are always on and always available for tenants.
Utilities are also challenging. For most business parks, managing utilities is a lengthy and complex process that involves legwork, admin, and bill collection. This is further complicated by the fact that municipality bills are often based on estimates rather than on accurate readings and that manual kw/h meter readings are not aligned with billing cycles. The result is that bill accuracy is affected by factors outside of the park’s control and that tenants are often left with inaccurate, late and unexpected bills.
“The variable billing cycles and monthly amounts make it difficult for tenants as well,” says Michael Franze, Managing Director, Citiq Prepaid. “Budgeting is hard, if not impossible, when amounts are constantly changing, and it can affect their ability to pay or to stay on top of their bills. Of course, if these aren’t paid, then services can be withheld by the municipal service provider or by the business park itself. What makes this even more challenging is that this does affect the relationship between office park administration and tenants.”
The reality is that the business park-tenant relationship can’t afford to become fractured and unpleasant. Disputes over billing amounts and payment dates are costly and time consuming, and the damage done to the relationship almost impossible to rebuild. Business parks need a reliable platform that helps them to manage their utilities seamlessly. They need a solution that allows for accurate billing, regular billing cycles, easier payment management, and improved utility usage control.
“The business park has to pay the monthly bills to ensure that all tenants have ongoing services, they can’t afford to juggle one paying tenant versus two non-paying tenants,” adds Franze. “When you’re dealing with hundreds of tenants across multiple sites, this level of granular management becomes close to impossible and can affect the business bottom line.”
To address these issues and finally pull all the balls out of the air, Citiq Prepaid has developed a reliable and accessible prepaid sub-metering solution that ensures that the lights and water are always on. The company works with agents, managers and owners to recover prepaid funds and to ensure that tenants are always billed the right amount on time.
“Our prepaid meter solutions track per unit purchase patterns and alert the relevant people if any issues arise during the billing cycle,” says Franze. “There are no unexpected invoices or nasty surprises at the end of the month, instead, we provide a transparent system that builds trust between the business park and its tenants.”
Citiq Prepaid has developed an online portal that offers tenants and business park management access to insights, purchase amounts, usage and costs. It allows for tighter budgeting, improved utility management and better control over costs. Citiq Prepaid has worked with numerous business parks to provide them with prepaid meters, services, support and transparent processes that allow them to build solid relationships with tenants and redefine utility management across the board.