Whether in residential or commercial properties, conflict happens. It is an inevitable fact of life.

This is more the case where you have a mix of people from diverse cultures, languages and with different expectations.

Realizing that the parties involved may not have intentionally set out to have  a confrontation would help you as a Facility Manager have a more balanced and un-biased way of diffusing the tension. Here are a few tips that can help you quickly intervene and resolve issues before they get “out of hand”:

  1. Stay Calm.

This has got be the number 1 most important key when dealing with angry parties. Do not let their anger rub-off on you or allow yourself be drawn into the exchange of words.

Stop and think before speaking.

  1. Listen objectively to both sides.

Listen to all parties concerned. Do not listen with the aim of trading blames or preparing a quick argument in retaliation. Listen with the aim of understanding everyone’s point of view. Note that most people use anger as a cover up for some form of hurt or fear. They may actually be angry at something else.

Allow them to speak, eventually the anger will be spent and they will calm down and be open to listen to reason.

  1. Empathize

Let each party know you understand how they feel.

Use Active Listening skills like nodding and saying “yes, I know” at intervals to let them know they have your full attention. This technique calms people down quickly because it gives them the impression their reaction is not “abnormal”.

  1. Pick your response carefully.

This is particularly important when dealing with angry customers. As a Facility Manager, you are an ambassador to the company that employs you. In most cases, the residents and clients relate with you more frequently than your Managing Director, for example. You are effectively the “Face” of the company.

Pick your response carefully so as not to make them defensive. Apologize first, explain later. Especially if a member of your team has offended the client. If you do not have all the facts right to resolve the problem immediately, politely let them know. DO NOT make the mistake of promising solutions you cannot deliver or do not have the authority to deliver. And whatever, you do, do not make the client look like they are lying.


  1. Attack the Problem, Not the Person.

Avoid trading blames except you are assigning the blame to yourself.

Do not use words like “you always”, “you never”, “you again?” and so on. Any comments you make at this point should not be personalized. When resolving issues between a client and member of staff for example it is wise to avoid using sharp reprimands on the staff. This can be done later in private especially when you have investigated and proven that the staff did not handle the situation properly. An added advantage of this approach is that the staff would have had time to calm down and would be more open to accepting whatever corrective measures you have in mind.

There are so many other skills you can apply in conflict resolution but using these five should equip you with the “emergency” ability to quickly calm frayed nerves.




Spending your hard earned money to rent an apartment is a decision that should be taken after careful considerations and inspections. Don’t be moved by beautiful finishing and décor. Taking the time to make a few maintenance checks can make the difference between enjoying your stay in that particular Facility or counting the days eagerly till your tenancy expires!

Here are 5 major signs to look out for during a property inspection.

  1. Faulty Wiring

Look out for wiring connections that look like they were quickly added or look like they do not flow with the general décor of the rest of the building. There could be an underlying electrical fault the owner is trying to cover up. This is most common in older building.

  1. Sagging Roofs and Ceilings

It may sound strange or out of place, but insist you want to see the roof area. Usually you may need to enter a confined space or climb stairs or ladders to get access to the roof. If you are unable to do this yourself, get someone you trust to accompany you and inspect it. Missing or torn patches of felting and missing flashings are a potential leakage problem. If not repaired, rainwater will seep through and wet the ceilings below and cause sagging. From the inside of the house, check for circular colored spots of water and rippled ceiling sheets. These are signs of roof leakage.

  1. Poor drainage

Poorly laid internal and external drainage can have you regretting you moved into a property in a matter of days!

Check that water drains away from the structure and its perimeter fence. A good rule of thumb in Nigeria is to always inspect properties for rent during the rainy season.

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  1. Plumbing Issues

The most common issues with plumbing includes leaks and outdated or poorly matched installations. A typical example is using PVC pipes to run hot water lines. Some minor plumbing issues can always be attended to but major ones will require total system replacement. Also check for water marks and stains, and corrosion marks around bath tubs and showers.

  1. Poorly Maintained Premises

Check the general state of maintenance of the premises. Many times the façade and common areas look good but you may find shocking signs of poor maintenance in hidden areas. Overflowing garbage, unkempt gardens and dirty light fittings are just a few pointers to a generally poor maintenance culture.

When it comes to renting, a little caution can save you a lot of headache and trouble.


When speaking, your comportment is as important as the words coming out of your mouth. It doesn’t matter how great your product or marketing skills, poor body language will lose you sales.

Fortunately, body language can be improved on. Below are a few ways you can instantly improve your body language and customer relationship:

  1. Nervous hands

Avoid balling your hands into fists as this will appear threatening to some people. Always keep your hands where the listener can see them preferably not in your pockets.

  1. Avoiding eye contact

Maintaining eye contact is a delicate balancing act. A person who can keep good eye contact will appear confident and interesting. Too much of it and you appear threatening, too little and you appear to be hiding something or uncomfortable.

  1. Bad posture

Wherever you are, posture matters. Endeavour to keep your back straight and your head up for an instant boost to your self-image. Hanging your head makes you look defeated so also slouching your shoulders. Clients are less likely to take you seriously when you carry yourself in a slouching manner.

  1. Invading personal space

When speaking with clients, aim to stand at a distance of between one to four feet of them. At that distance, you can hear them clearly and appear interested without coming too close to them.

This is more noticeable when speaking with clients of the opposite gender.

Standing closer than one foot are usually reserved for family and friends.

Most of all, remember to smile but keep your smile sincere.


Chemicals are a part of our daily lives but are laced with many hazards.

When used properly and in the way they were created for, most chemicals are safe and actually make life easier for us. Improper use leads to different degrees of injuries and loss.

Here’s how you can protect yourself and your team from the effects of wrongly using chemicals:

  1. All chemicals, without exception, should be labelled. Labelling should detail: name, strength, manufacturer’s name, emergency information and expiry date.
  2. Create a detailed register of all chemicals used in your organization by department. Note the quantity and location.
  3. Request Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from the chemicals supplier and keep a proper record of all the data sheets. Staff should be adequately trained on how to read and identify chemicals listed on the MSDS.
  4. Follow handling instructions to the letter.
  5. Use recommended PPE always.
  6. Do not keep food or drink close to chemicals.
  7. Keep Flammable chemicals away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
  8. Follow instructions for mixing carefully.
  9. Always clean up thoroughly and wash your hands after handling chemicals.


Max-Migold Limited is a Physical Facilities Advisory, Training, and Technology Solutions firm operating out of Nigeria, led by Paul O. Erubami FMP, SFP, CFM, CBIFM, who is one of the most credentialed FM professionals in Nigeria today. Max-Migold is a company that works with Nigerian and multinational companies, providing consulting services that will enable them to thrive along with the economy.  Their deep domain expertise and knowledge of the region makes them both a great partner company for multinational corporations, as well as, a good investment for those looking to break into this region. Max-Migold Ltd provides training and advisory services towards cost reduction, operations and maintenance, maintainability and sustainability, as well as, FM department organizational development and integrated facilities management outsourcing project management.

NEXT Facility Management Services, Inc. (NEXT FMS), based in Vancouver, Canada provides international FM consulting and training services and has R John Ringness SFP, MRICS, an international FM Consultant and Trainer as CEO.

Nigeria is an incredible region for multinational investment.  It has had a sustained rate of growth for over ten years and an annual (real) GDP increase of 5-7 % yearly (African Development Bank Group, 2015).  Even with a slow global economy and some regional issues in the north, Nigeria should finish with moderate growth in 2015 of 4% making it a safe, if not a good, region for investment especially in the burgeoning real estate sector. The plan by the government at the center to implement an expansionist budget with focus on large-scale public infrastructure is a further boost for this sector.

Facility Management (FM) is the effective and sustainable integration of people, property, and process, enabled by relevant technology within the built environment. Facility Managers are responsible for the operations and maintenance of all physical assets. It is a multidisciplinary profession encompassing everyone involved in design, development, property management, operations and maintenance of buildings and other physical infrastructure. It crosses all service industry sectors including residential, commercial (offices), education, healthcare, hospitality (hotels and restaurants), retail, manufacturing, townships, IT parks, data centers, airports/airlines, and even outer space.

Facility Management include services such as construction, information technology, maintenance, engineering, fire and life safety, utilities (electricity, gas), water supply & treatment, corporate real estate, space planning, project management as well as security, waste management, laundry & linen, pest control, grounds keeping, exterior window cleaning, custodial services (cleaning), building access control, mail room services, parking & site access control, sustainability, residence associations interfacing, food services, centralized help desk, sometimes referred to as concierge desk, among others.


Course Objectives/Benefits to Participant

Participants will:

  • Learn current best practices within facility management
  • Learn ways to operate more efficiently, effectively, and sustainably
  • Network with other regional FM Professionals in the area  
  • Learn tangible ways in which to promote the profile/image of facilities management within your Workplace
  • Participants will take home practical tools, and templates for implementing activities and improvement at their facilities
  • There will be a live project to implement some of the new skills acquired
  • Participants will receive a certification of completion


Who Should Attend

  • Facility or Property Managers
  • Corporate Real Estate Professionals
  • Architects and Designers
  • Facility Management Consultants, Advisors
  • Administration Managers
  • Estate Managers or Asset Managers
  • Operations Management Professionals
  • Procurement Professionals
  • Outsourcing Service Providers
  • Academic Institutions Students, and Faculty
  • Developers and Owners
  • Senior Regional and Global Facility and Property Management Professionals
  • Directors, Managers and others who require an understanding of facilities and their management
  • Any Facility, Property or Real Estate Professional who want to develop their strategic FM capabilities 


What are the key questions currently asked in the industry?

  • What are FM metrics and how can I utilize them to establish benchmarks and access more funding?
  • How do I do more with fewer resources?
  • With technology evolving so quickly, where should I start?
  • How do I align my strategic business objectives with FM deliverables? On the other hand, where does FM ‘fit’ within an organization’s business strategies or objectives? 
  • What type of maintenance strategy should I implement?




Mr. R. John Ringness, SFP, MRICS.

John Ringness is the President and CEO of NEXT Facility Management Services, Inc. (NEXT FMS), based in Vancouver, Canada providing international FM consulting and training services. His specialized business sectors include Integrated Townships, Corporate Offices, Academic Facilities, Healthcare Facilities, Retirement Facilities, and Non-Profit organizations.





Paul O. Erubami MSc, SFP, FMP, CFM, CBIFM

CEO of Max-Migold Ltd, a physical facilities advisory and training firm. Paul is an industrial and business process engineer, real estates and property manager with over 15 years experience working in strategy implementation, operations systems and processes deployment and change management for oil and gas, telecoms and corporate real estates sectors.

For more information, call 08186455541; visit the websites at and