Translating your property maintenance business into government business
by BillGormley, Former Guest Blogger
- Created: September 28, 2010, 6:48 am
Real estate and property maintenance is big business in government.
According to government market intelligence firm FedSources, in Government Fiscal Year (GFY) 2011 the federal government plans to spend about $33 billion on;real property and improvement-. Tha-s more than the government plans to spend on medical services or telecommunications.
How do you, as a real estate or property maintenance professional, break in? What areas of real property are most likely to garner the most government business?
Your first step toward securing government business of any sort is to get your company a GSA Schedule Contract. This is a type of pre-authorized contract that you, the supplier, get in order for the government to buy services and products from you. It serves as a set of approved pricing, terms, and conditions so all parties know what to expect.
The General Services Administratio's GSA Schedules Program is the broadest contract vehicle, allowing access to the broadest range of government business. Any agency can use the GSA Schedules Program to buy commercially available services and products.
The GSA Schedules Program is also by far the lowest cost of entry into the government for a commercial supplier, regardless of size.
Knowing What to Sell
Once yo've gotten the governmen's OK to start selling, i's important to know what type of real estate services the government buys and what it does not.
FedSources defines'real property and improvement' as:
The purchase or substantial improvements (additions, alterations, and modifications) of land and structure. This includes land and interest in lands; buildings and other structures; principal payments under lease-purchase contracts for construction of buildings; nonstructural improvement of land, such as landscaping, fences, sewers, wells, and reservoirs; fixed fixtures and equipment that become permanently attached to or a part of buildings or structures, such as elevators, plumbing, power-plant boilers, fire-alarm systems, lighting or heating systems, and air-conditioning or refrigeration systems. It also includes initial installation costs when performed under contract.
In other words, you would not build more buildings for the government; instead, you would maintain' in nearly any capacity' the buildings the government already has. The government is looking for companies to provide building and facilities management and maintenance, pest control, elevator operations, fire alarm and sprinkler systems, energy services and management, and much more.
Knowing Where to Look
Within that projected $33 billion GFY11 budget, some agencies are prepared to spend a lot more on real property in 2011 than others.
The Department of the Army has budgeted $6.3 billion in 2011 to spend on contractors in the area of real property. Other agencies with high-dollar real property spending plans include:
- Department of the Navy at $3.62 billion
- Department of Energy at $3.06 billion
- GSA at $2.35 billion
- Department of the Interior at $1.14 billion
Some agencies are spending more than last year, some are spending less. The GSA spent about $350 million on Public Buildings Services alone in GFY2010. That's one agency's spending in one area of real property. Real property is one of the government's primary areas of business.
A range of real property vendors are already working with the government, earning billions of dollars in government contracts each year.
It is important to note that the real property market is accessible to large and small vendors - and particularly accessible by small businesses and 8(a) companies. According to Washington Management Group, the top 10 small businesses in this area earn more than $26 billion in government contracts.
- The ABCs of Government Contracting: Understanding the Acronyms
- Finding Government Business: Once You've Done the Basics, Here's What's Next
- Uncovering the Government's Hidden Treasure
- Understanding the 2011 Federal Budget and what it means for small businesses
- Help for Small Businesses Looking for Government Contracts
- Government Contracting: Explaining the Process in 5 Steps
- Identifying and Capturing Government Year-end Dollars
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