FM leaders can learn from Trump's election victory
Do not underestimate the promise of change
The world has greatly changed since the publication of this magazine last month, owing largely to the election of Donald Trump to the office of US President. His landmark – and unexpected – win over veteran politician Hillary Clinton is yet to have an impact on the Middle East’s construction and real estate markets, according to experts at Cluttons and DLA Piper. In fact, as the former’s head of research – Faisal Durrani – remarked, the Trump victory may boost the GCC’s property markets.
“[Trump’s win] may well strengthen the appeal of regional investment, helping markets such as Dubai and more secondary locations like Doha, perhaps, benefit from any temporary recoiling in global property investment appetite,” Durrani told Construction Week on 9 November.
Similar opinions were expressed following a referendum that saw a majority vote for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. This September, FM expert Alan Milin, following the Brexit vote, asked whether regional service providers companies have learnt the lessons that Brexit has to offer. In a comment piece for fmME, Milin added: “When FM companies lose client focus, it is often service levels that suffer. It is understandable, then, that clients become agitated and frustrated and – like the UK public – vote for change.”
In that context, it is less surprising that Trump’s presidential campaign – built on the promise of a socio-economic change in the US – emerged victorious last month. For the Middle East’s FM companies, the Brexit campaign and Trump’s presidential bid hold key lessons about client management.
The last 12 months have witnessed increased competition within the GCC’s FM industry, especially as bid prices are reduced to win more work and technology emerges as a service differentiator. FM companies cannot afford to be complacent in their response to these market trends because – as the US Presidential and Brexit elections have proven – retaining your audience now requires more than tried-and-tested formulae.
It is altogether likely that these victories will spur global corporations to promise – and even deliver – more ‘change’ in 2017, now that a widespread preference for fresh and new ideas has been established. In that vein, I hope 2017 will see service providers rethink and orient their strategies to meet the rising demand for long-term, tech-savvy, and cost-efficient FM in the Middle East.
Consistent innovation and brand evolution could be at the crux of business longevity next year– are FM leaders paying heed?