Property manager

Property manager

A property manager is a person or firm charged with operating a real estate property for a fee, when the owner is unable to personally attend to such details, or is not interested in doing so. Typical jobs include finding/evicting and generally dealing with tenants, home repair, home improvement, cleaning, garden maintenance, landscaping and snow removal, to be coordinated with the owner's wishes. Such arrangements may require the property manager to collect rents, and pay necessary expenses and taxes, making periodic reports to the owner, or the owner may simply delegate specific tasks and deal with others directly. A property manager may arrange for a wide variety of services, as may be requested by the owner of the property, for a fee. Where a dwelling (vacation home, second home) is only periodically occupied, the property manager might arrange for heightened security monitoring, house-sitting, storage and shipping of goods, and other local sub-contracting necessary to make the property comfortable when the owner is in residence (utilities, systems operating, supplies and staff on hand, etc). Property management can also include commercial properties where the property manager may operate the business, as well as managing the property. Some jurisdications may require a property manager to be licensed for the profession.

The property manager has a primary responsibility to the landlord and a secondary responsibility to the tenant. The relationship the property manager has with the landlord and with the tenant are crucial in forming the expectations of both parities to the lease since both parties will seek and expect certain rights and benefits out of it. Owner’s expectations from the Property Manager are to carry out the owner’s instructions, control costs and maximize revenue to maintain a stabilized cash flow as a return on capital invested (commonly referred to as the capitalization rate or the cap. rate), exercise control over the building to safeguard the capital invested, provide a duty of care through proper maintenance of the building, to be professional and well informed, enhance the value of the property by making improvements that will increase its market value, retain and enhance pride of ownership. The tenant’s expectations from Property Manager are the "Quiet enjoyment"—assurance of the use and enjoyment of the premises for the intended purposes without interference from the landlord (save for emergencies), comfort—a living environment properly heated, cooled and ventilated with as many amenities as possible compatible with the rental level, security and safety—to live or work in a building in which there are no inherent defects or conditions that might be hazardous to health or to property, status—accommodation and facilities that meet social-economic and cultural standards for the tenants and their guests.

Professional Designations

Building Owners & Managers Institute International (BOMI) offers industry-standard designations that certify the training to Property Managers:

  • the Real Property Administrator (RPA)
  • the Facilities Management Administrator (FMA)
  • the Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA)
  • the Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT)

The Institute of Property Management (IREM)

  • Certified Property Manager (CPM)
  • Accredited Management Organization (AMO)

National Apartment Association (NAA) has the following designations:

  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
  • Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS)

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) offers designations to certify ethical and professional standards of conduct for property managers:

  • Residential Management Professional (RMP®)
  • Master Property Manager (MPM®)
  • Certified Support Specialist (CSS®)
  • Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC®)

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