Property Manager vs. Facilities Manager - CXRE Commercial

Property Manager and Facilities Managers: Which Do You Need?

What’s the difference between a property manager and a facilities management team? Which do you need for your commercial property or properties? Most importantly, what makes a good property manager or facilities manager?

Here, we are focusing on property and facilities managers, how they’re similar and different, and how you can find the best managers for your commercial real estate assets.

What are Property and Facility Managers?

In order to choose the best services for your building, you need to understand the functions and responsibilities of both facilities managers and property managers. To understand these functions, we must first examine whom the manager serves.

Despite similar titles, Property Managers and Facility Managers actually have different roles and oversee different types of commercial real estate space. 

Property Managers

First and foremost, property managers work for the property owner or investors. While they are responsible for overseeing the safety and security of the building, their primary job is to maintain profitability for a property owner. Therefore, a property manager works to lease properties, market available property space, find reliable tenants, and act as a liaison between tenants and property owners.

In short, a property manager looks out for the interests of the investors and property owner.

Facility Management

In contrast, facility managers are responsible for tenant services such as maintenance and amenities, and primarily work with residents and business occupants. Their goal is to keep the tenants and their clients comfortable and secure. Their primary focus is the building itself: maintaining the vital systems within a commercial real estate property.

Each role is important to your commercial property’s ongoing success. In fact, without competent people in each of these positions, your property could end up declining and losing value over time.

How Are They Similar?

Facility managers and property managers do have things in common. By highlighting these similarities, we can help you understand how each position fills different needs.

First, both work to maintain commercial properties. A property manager will oversee a building’s infrastructure, utilities, and improvements. However, the motivation for a property manager is increasing the property’s value, decreasing occupancy, and keeping tenants in the property as long as possible. Facility managers, on the other hand, maintain commercial properties out of concern for the property itself and the tenants who live and work there. 

Second, both property managers and facility management professionals oversee CRE assets by procuring service professionals like janitors or maintenance personnel who provide building and parking lot repairs. However, a facility manager is generally more adept at fixing maintenance problems without calling in another professional. 

However, the roles of these commercial real estate professionals diverge quite a bit. Each serves different clients in different types of properties.

How Are Property and Facilities Managers Different?

Commercial real estate property management_two men image As  CXRE’s Asset Director Rick Walker 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 may seem small, there’s an easy test to distinguish between the two:

Is the manager’s focus and the direction of their job different than the focus or direction of the tenants?

For instance, a property manager’s focus and direction will be aimed at helping the property owner successfully lease the property. While a property manager will have plenty of interaction with tenants, the main focus is on the owner or investors. In contrast, a facilities manager focuses on the building itself and the tenants who work or live there, regardless of the owner. There will still be interaction with the owner, but the primary focus is the building itself rather than the owner’s profits.

Understanding these differences helps us see which roles we require based on the occupants’ needs.

Different Responsibilities of Facilities and Property Managers

Now that you know the different purposes of facilities and property managers and the clientele they serve, let’s explore how their jobs differ day-to-day.

Property Managers
  • Operate the building to profit the owner
  • Pay bills, utilities, and taxes 
  • Collect rent 
  • Develop budgets 
  • Coordinate repairs,
  • Maintain Grounds
  • Promote occupancy
Facilities Managers
  • Help create a productive work environment for tenants and their clients
  • Take care of office floor plans, meeting space, furniture and fixtures, filing, storage, temperature, lighting, etc.
  • Facilitate tenant services such as building amenities, maintenance, etc.
  • Hire janitorial and maintenance staff, and maintain cleaning schedules
  • Inform and update tenants on safety, security, and hygiene guidelines
  • Ensure the property adheres to all building codes
  • Create regular required reports

property and facilities management

Hiring a Leasing Manager

Before hiring individuals to manage properties and care for tenants, investors and building owners have one more role to fill: the leasing manager. Owners of buildings with multiple tenants hire leasing managers to find occupants and fill their commercial office spaces.

While it may sound simple, leasing managers have a variety of responsibilities including marketing, tenant prospecting, rental rate analysis, lease negotiations, lease prep, overseeing leasehold improvements, space planning, and bidding. All of this must happen before tenants can occupy the space.

Choosing a Property Manager

After the leasing manager finds occupants for the office space, building owners often select their property manager. As discussed, property managers work for building owners to maintain their properties. In addition to handling repairs and responding to issues in a timely manner, these individuals also need the skills and training for financial aspects like tenant rent collection and disbursement, budget projections, and even insurance settlements.

Some owners also task their property manager with providing site inspections and evaluations. Some owners also expect property management staff to oversee renovations.  Property managers also need experience managing others, such as general maintenance, janitorial services, and landscaping staff.

Finding Your Facilities Management Professional

Usually, building owners also hire facility managers to meet the tenants’ needs and provide day-to-day services. 

property and facilities managementThe facilities manager has several other responsibilities directly related to a smooth-functioning office environment within the building. These tasks might include procuring & maintaining printers, fax machines, phones, furniture, and other office necessities. 

In addition, the facilities manager must also contract services like systems and assets repair, including the building overall 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 so they can strive to increase profits by reducing facility costs, improving productivity, and bolstering the company’s image.

Property and facility management are two very different roles that require different skills and responsibilities. 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.

Focus on Investing, Not Managing

Most commercial real estate investors don’t have the time or desire to manage properties themselves. Property and facility managers ensure these investors don’t have to do the work themselves. Even though each manager plays a different role, both contribute to the overall quality and success of the commercial property. Contracting the right manager for makes a huge difference in how smoothly your property operates and how satisfied your tenants are.

In the end, finding experienced facility and property managers to handle your commercial portfolio allows you to rest easy, knowing that your assets are in good hands. That way, you can focus on investing in properties, not managing them.

Hiring the Right Property Management Team

The people you select to fill either of these roles need the right combination of skills and experience. These skills might include overseeing contractors & employees, handling finances, excellent time management., and staying on schedule. 

Property managers also need a particular eye for adding value and maintaining appearances. On the other hand, facilities managers also need strong service skills and a knack for keeping tenants happy. Depending on the size of the commercial property, these roles may overlap and have more or fewer responsibilities. 

While there are a variety of platforms available for hiring facility and property managers, there are also firms and agencies that specialize in providing all of these services. Hiring from one of these firms frees you from having to personally train or oversee the people in charge of your property.

Choose the Texas Commercial Property Management Experts

At CXRE, we offer expert commercial property management and facilities management services for assets in major Texas markets like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Our services include lease administration management, finances, facility operations, and more. No matter what kind of assets you own, our experienced commercial property management team is equipped to lease your commercial office building and manage your properties and facilities.

Since our team wants you to succeed, we’ve created tenant-centric services that reduce turnover. CXRE never uses cookie-cutter methods. Instead, we design big-picture, tailor-made solutions for your commercial real estate portfolio. When you work with us, you have some of the most talented people in the industry on your side.

Our Special Skillset

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

If you’re looking for experienced and competent property and facilities management in Texas, contact CXRE today.

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