Career Insight – Property Manager

What Does A Property Manager Do

Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.

Property, real estate, and community association managers typically do the following:

  • Meet with prospective renters and show them properties
  • Discuss the lease and explain the terms of occupancy or ownership
  • Collect monthly fees from tenants or individual owners
  • Inspect all building facilities, including the grounds and equipment
  • Arrange for new equipment or repairs as needed
  • Pay bills or delegate bill payment for such expenditures as taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance
  • Contract for trash removal, maintenance, landscaping, security, and other services
  • Investigate and settle complaints, disturbances, and violations
  • Keep records of rental activity and owner requests
  • Prepare budgets and financial reports
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws when renting or advertising, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendment Act, and local fair housing laws

When owners of homes, apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate properties, they often hire a property or real estate manager or a community association manager. Managers are employed either directly by the owner or indirectly through a contract with a property management firm.

The following are examples of types of property, real estate, and community association managers:

Property and real estate managers oversee the operation of income-producing commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their expected revenues. They handle the financial operations of the property, making certain that rent is collected and that mortgages, taxes, insurance premiums, payroll, and maintenance bills are paid on time. They may oversee financial statements, and periodically report to the owners on the status of the property, occupancy rates, expiration dates of leases, and other matters. When vacancies occur, property managers may advertise the property or hire a leasing agent to find a tenant. They may also suggest to the owners what rent to charge.

Community association managers work on behalf of homeowner or community associations to manage the communal property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. Usually hired by a volunteer board of directors of the association, they manage the daily affairs and supervise the maintenance of property and facilities that the homeowners use jointly through the association. Like property managers, community association managers collect monthly fees, prepare financial statements and budgets, negotiate with contractors, and help to resolve complaints. Community association managers also help homeowners and non-owner residents comply with association rules and regulations.

Onsite property managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a single property, such as an apartment complex, an office building, or a shopping center. To ensure that the property is well maintained, onsite managers routinely inspect the grounds, facilities, and equipment to determine whether maintenance or repairs are needed. They meet with current tenants to handle requests for repairs or to resolve complaints. They also meet with prospective tenants to show vacant apartments or office space. In addition, onsite managers enforce the terms of rental or lease contracts along with an association’s governing rules. They make sure that tenants pay their rent on time, follow restrictions on parking or pets, and follow the correct procedures when the lease is up. Other important duties of onsite managers include keeping accurate, up-to-date records of income and expenditures from property operations and submitting regular expense reports to the senior-level property manager or the owner(s).

Real estate asset managers plan and direct the purchase, sale, and development of real estate properties on behalf of businesses and investors. They focus on long-term strategic financial planning, rather than on the day-to-day operations of the property. In deciding to acquire property, real estate asset managers consider several factors, such as property values, taxes, zoning, population growth, transportation, and traffic volume and patterns. Once a site is selected, they negotiate contracts to buy or lease the property on the most favorable terms. Real estate asset managers review their company’s real estate holdings periodically and identify properties that are no longer financially profitable. They then negotiate the sale of the properties or arrange for the end of leases.

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By Hayden Duplechain
Hayden Duplechain Career Development Specialist Hayden Duplechain