Ultimate guide to facility management software for commercial real estate

June 5, 2024

Managing modern commercial buildings has become increasingly complex, with various systems and operations needing to be streamlined for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Facility management software (FMS) plays a crucial role in simplifying these tasks, enabling facilities managers and property owners to manage their buildings more effectively. This guide will cover what facility management software is, the different types available, including building analytics platforms, and how to choose the best software combination for different types of facilities.

What is facility management software?

Facility management software (FMS) is a digital tool designed to assist in the management and maintenance of buildings. Its primary objectives are to streamline operations, improve efficiency, and enhance property value by integrating various facility management functions into one cohesive system.

Core functions of facility management software

  1. Maintenance management: Both preventive and reactive maintenance tasks are managed through facility management software, ensuring equipment and systems are regularly serviced and promptly repaired.
  2. Asset management and tracking: facility management software allows for the efficient tracking and management of all assets, from HVAC systems to office equipment, ensuring optimal performance and lifespan.
  3. Space management: This feature helps manage and optimize the use of available space within the facility, including room bookings and space utilization analysis.
  4. Work order management: Streamline the creation, assignment, and tracking of work orders to ensure timely completion of maintenance and repair tasks.
  5. Energy management and sustainability features: Monitor and optimize energy consumption to reduce costs and improve sustainability efforts.
  6. Reporting and analytics: Generate detailed reports and analytics to gain insights into facility operations and make data-driven decisions.

Types of facility management software

Integrated workplace management systems (IWMS)

IWMS solutions are comprehensive platforms designed to manage all aspects of workplace and facility management. Their primary objective is to integrate various functions related to real estate, facilities, and workplace management into a single, cohesive system. These systems are ideal for large, complex facilities.


IBM TRIRIGA provides a suite of applications designed to enhance the operational, financial, and environmental performance of facilities. It offers modules for real estate management, capital projects, space management, and more.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS)

CMMS focuses on the maintenance management aspect of facilities, helping organizations manage maintenance activities, schedules, and records.

Example: Fiix CMMS offers a robust CMMS solution that simplifies maintenance management, allowing for easy work order creation, asset tracking, and preventive maintenance scheduling.

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM)

CAFM systems focus specifically on the operational and customer-facing aspects of facility management. Their primary objective is to enhance the efficiency of managing and maintaining physical spaces and assets.

Example: eMaint platform provides comprehensive features for maintenance management, asset tracking, and space optimization, helping organizations improve operational efficiency and reduce downtime.

Building management systems (BMS)

BMS are designed to monitor and control building systems such as HVAC, lighting, and security, ensuring optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Example: Honeywell's BMS solutions provide advanced monitoring and control capabilities for various building systems, enhancing energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Building analytics platforms

Building analytics platforms leverage data to provide insights into building operations, enabling predictive maintenance, utilities optimization, improved indoor environment and sustainability.

Example: CIM's PEAK Platform offers advanced real-time equipment monitoring, fault detection and diagnostics, utilities tracking, and indoor environment monitoring. These features help facilities managers make data-driven decisions to enhance building performance, sustainability and occupant experience. For more information, visit CIM's PEAK Platform overview.

Different software for managing different types of facilities

Commercial office buildings

Office buildings often require software that can handle high tenant turnover, space management, and routine maintenance. Key features to look for include lease management, space utilization analysis, tenant comfort and energy management.

Recommended software types:

  • IWMS (Integrated workplace management systems): For comprehensive management of office spaces and resources.
  • Building analytics platforms: For real-time monitoring and optimization of energy usage and indoor environment.

Retail spaces

Retail facilities need software that can manage high foot traffic, security, and maintenance of storefronts. Look for solutions that offer real-time monitoring, security system integration, and maintenance scheduling.

Recommended software types:

  • CAFM (Computer-aided facility management): For space management and asset tracking.
  • Building analytics platforms: For enhancing energy efficiency and optimizing maintenance.

Healthcare facilities

Healthcare buildings have unique requirements such as strict compliance with health regulations, advanced HVAC systems, and critical equipment maintenance. Software with compliance tracking, detailed asset management, and robust reporting capabilities is essential.

Recommended software types:

  • CMMS (Computerized maintenance management systems): For managing maintenance tasks and ensuring compliance.
  • Building analytics platforms: For maintaining optimal environmental conditions and ensuring equipment uptime.

Educational institutions

Schools and universities need to manage diverse spaces like classrooms, laboratories, and recreational areas. Facility management software for educational institutions should include features for space scheduling, maintenance management, and energy optimization.

Recommended software types:

  • IWMS (Integrated workplace management systems): For managing diverse spaces and resources.
  • Building analytics platforms: For optimizing energy use and improving maintenance planning.

Industrial and manufacturing plants

Industrial facilities face challenges like heavy equipment maintenance, safety compliance, and process optimization. Look for software that offers detailed maintenance tracking, safety compliance features, and integration with manufacturing systems.

Recommended software types:

  • CMMS (Computerized maintenance management systems): For tracking maintenance tasks and ensuring equipment reliability.
  • Building analytics platforms: For equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance.


Airports require software that can handle complex 24/7 operations, high passenger volumes, and stringent security measures. Key features to look for include asset management, real-time monitoring, and compliance tracking.

Recommended software types:

  • IWMS (Integrated workplace management systems): For managing extensive airport facilities and operations.
  • Building analytics platforms: For optimizing energy consumption and ensuring expedited maintenance.

Culture and entertainment facilities

Culture and entertainment facilities, such as museums, theaters, and sports arenas, need software to manage large crowds, maintain high-value assets, and ensure safety and comfort. Important features include visitor management, asset tracking, and environmental control.

Recommended software types:

  • CAFM (Computer-aided facility management): For managing spaces and assets in cultural and entertainment settings.
  • Building Analytics Platforms: For monitoring environmental conditions and optimizing energy use.

How to pick the best facility management software for your building

Assess your specific needs

Conduct a thorough needs assessment to identify the most critical features based on your facility type. Consider factors like the size of your facility, the complexity of your operations, and your specific challenges.

Evaluate software options

Research and compare different software solutions. Look for industry-specific features and scalability to ensure the software can grow with your needs.

Consider user experience and training

Choose software with a user-friendly interface and ensure that adequate training and customer support are available. This will help in the smooth adoption and effective use of the software.

Integration capabilities

Ensure the software is compatible with your existing systems (e.g., HVAC, security systems). Seamless integration can enhance overall efficiency and reduce operational silos.

Cost and ROI

Evaluate the total cost of ownership and compare upfront costs with long-term savings and ROI. Consider factors like licensing models, implementation costs, and ongoing maintenance fees.

Trial and feedback

Take advantage of demos and free trials to assess the software’s functionality. Gather feedback from users and stakeholders, and consider running a pilot program to test the software in real-world scenarios.


Facility management software is a powerful tool for enhancing the efficiency and value of commercial properties. By understanding the different types of software available and evaluating your specific needs, you can select the best solution for your building. Whether you manage an office building, retail space, healthcare facility, educational institution, or airport, there is a facility management software that can help streamline your operations and improve your bottom line.

Ready to enhance your facility management?

Discover the power of CIM's PEAK Platform! Watch our  quick demo to see how real-time monitoring, data-driven maintenance, and energy consumption tracking can revolutionize your building management. Enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Watch the PEAK Platform demo now

Scott Beauman
June 5, 2024