Property Manager vs. Facilities Manager - CXRE Commercial

Property Manager or Facilities Manager: Learn Which You Need

What’s the difference between a facilities manager and a property manager? Is one more useful than the other for your commercial assets? Which one do you need for your commercial property (or properties)?

The functions of both roles differ depending on the type of property and the facilities they oversee. In this article, we’ll highlight the roles of commercial office space facilities manager and property manager. And we’ll also outline the functions of each role to help you decide which one you need, or if you need both.

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The Function of Each Role

Before choosing a service for your building, you should first know what’s the function of a facilities manager and a property manager. Although each position is vital to the continued success of your commercial property, each also has a different focus.

Generally speaking, a property manager cares for the building. Consequently, they serve the building owner.

On the other hand, facility managers focus on the services required by the property’s tenants. Because of this, they serve the companies that occupy the spaces within a property.

Highlighting the Similarities

To effectively show the differences between property management and facilities management, it’s best to first highlight the similarities. Both of these roles help maintain commercial properties. And both provide asset management through the procurement of service professionals such as janitors and those who provide overall building and parking lot repair and maintenance.

However, the roles diverge at a point in the facilities manager and property manager job roles. Specifically, the main difference is who they serve.

Different Roles in Building Management and Commercial Property Management

In reviewing the similarities, a very simple difference between property and facilities management appears. The main difference is who directs each in their duties. 

As the chief operating officer at CXRE explains, “A property manager usually is assigned by an owner of a building that has multiple tenants and is generating revenue by leasing out sections of the building. A facilities manager typically works for a company that owns or leases multiple properties.”

Although the difference seems small, you should think about the focus and direction of a building owner versus a company owning and occupying the space. In this light, the roles can vary greatly depending upon the needs of the property’s occupants.

Commercial Property Manager Roles

Overall, property management includes services related to real estate and buildings. Typically, property managers answer to landlords or investors. As a result, they do things like collect rent and generate revenue for the owner. They also handle owner–tenant relationships.

In addition, a property manager is typically concerned with maintaining the property. Yet their priority is maintenance for the sake of the property’s value. Because of this, they take care of the building or property along with the related physical environments (grounds, roofs, lighting, etc.).

Hiring a Leasing Manager

However, before an owner or investor needs a property manager, they must fill the spaces in the property. The owner of a building with multiple tenants will hire a leasing manager. This person is first responsible for leasing commercial office space.

It may sound cut and dried, but there are many financial aspects to this responsibility, including marketing, tenant prospecting, rental rate analysis, lease negotiations, lease prep, overseeing leasehold improvements, space planning, and bidding. All of this must happen before a tenant is actively in the space.

Specific Duties of a Property Manager

After the leasing manager finds occupants for the office space, the building owner often chooses a property manager. Specifically, this individual’s role is maintaining the facilities. What’s more, this maintenance goes far being making sure repairs are made in a timely manner. The commercial property manager may be tasked with financial aspects like tenant rent collection and disbursement, budget projections, and even insurance settlements.

On top of all that, the owner may task the property manager with providing site inspections and evaluations. Furthermore, the owner may ask the property manager to handle renovations, oversee security, and manage around-the-clock emergencies. Because of this, the property manager is most commonly involved with the building’s daily maintenance and upkeep. Consequently, this could include jobs like finding and hiring the onsite staff for security, general maintenance, janitorial services, and landscaping.

Facilities Manager Roles

In contrast to property management, facilities management involves services related to both the property AND the tenants. Since a facilities manager focuses on the building’s users (tenants), this manager’s job is overseeing, optimizing, and maintaining day-to-day support services. They also make sure the property is safe and suitable for each tenant.

Usually, a company that owns and occupies one or several buildings hires a facilities manager. The facilities manager’s responsibility is the care, maintenance, and oversight of the company’s building. Along with that, the facilities manager has several other responsibilities directly related to a smooth-functioning office environment within the building.

Procurement for the company as a whole includes items such as printers, fax machines, phones, furniture, and other needs for keeping an office facility functioning. In addition, the facilities manager must contract services such as systems and assets repair, which would include the building and those systems within such as the HVAC, phones, and other equipment.

However, it’s not just about managing assets, space, and systems. Facilities managers must first learn their company’s core business strategies and then strive to increase profits by reducing facility costs, improving productivity, and bolstering the company’s image.

Specific Duties and responsibilities

Below is a list of a few other typical facilities manager’s duties:

  • Ensure the ongoing functionality of the building’s basic services such as water, electricity, hygiene, climate control, and others
  • Hire maintenance and janitorial staff for the property then assign duties and maintain schedules
  • Inspect all the property’s equipment to be sure everything remains in proper working order
  • Keep tenants informed and updated on the property’s safety and hygiene guidelines
  • Coordinate with each office’s representative to make sure each tenant receives proper, timely service from the maintenance and janitorial staff
  • Make sure that the property follows all building codes
  • Create any and all required reports for the property

A Brief Summary

To sum up, property managers take care of the property and work for the owners. Facilities managers take care of the people (specifically the services they require) who conduct business in the property.

Depending on the size of the commercial property, each role may have more or fewer responsibilities. In some cases, these roles might overlap. However, in general, the descriptions above are a good overview of each role’s functions.

Choose the Texas Commercial Property Management Experts

Commercial property management requires a special skill set, and CXRE has it. We handle properties of any size and almost any type. From commercial offices buildings to medical offices, our team can manage your property or portfolio and all related needs.

If you’re looking for experienced and competent property and facilities management in Texas, contact us today to learn more.

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