explains Marc Fischer, BOMA
Fellow and principal of InspiRE
Commercial Real Estate Services.
“The property manager and
leasing team are boots on the
ground,” he says. “The asset
manager is a representative of
the owner of the real estate and
is responsible for the bigger picture. The asset manager thinks of
things like when to sell or hold the
building and how the income and
expenses for that building compare against all of the other build-
ings in the portfolio.”
Key Skills for Property and
Both require a person who can
roll with the punches and deal
with the lack of a typical schedule,
Fischer explains. “That has to be
ingrained in you because there are
no two days that are alike in com-
mercial real estate,” Fischer adds.
Whether you ultimately end up
in property management or facili-
ties management, there are a few
important qualities that will help
you find success in either field.
Fischer recommends a strong
focus on customer service and
communication skills. “It’s know-
ing what to say and when and how
to say it,” Fischer says. “Recognize
that you may be talking to the CEO
one minute and a contractor the
next, and after that it could be a ten-
ant who’s upset about something.”
Jake Gunnoe, director of the
Leadership Society of Arizona,
recommends embracing evolving
Property Managers vs. Facilities Managers
Tasks and responsibilities vary depending on building
and portfolio size, whether your employer occupies the
building or leases it out to tenants, and other factors.
The lines between property and facilities management
are blurred in many places, but these general rules of
thumb will help you explore which track you’d rather
n Responsible for whole-building tasks in a leased
building occupied by tenants.
n Manages leases and fulfills the building owner’s
responsibilities as spelled out in the lease.
n Acts as a liaison between the owner and tenants.
n Handles rent payments from tenants.
n Implements tenant retention and attraction strate-
n Helps the building owner achieve financial and asset
n Oversees owner-occupied buildings or spaces for
specific tenants in leased buildings.
n Maintains building systems.
n Coordinates space use and layout.
n Facilitates moves and reconfigurations.
n Manages a facilities staff and delegates work orders
n Makes sure the building and each space within sup-
port the owner’s mission by providing a safe, com-
fortable place to work.
n Keeps building equipment and infrastructure func-
tional and efficient.
n Conducts basic troubleshooting with equipment
problems to determine when an issue can be fixed by
the in-house facilities team vs. when it’s necessary to
bring in a specialist.
“A lot of times the real estate manager is the jack of
all trades,” says Marc Fischer, BOMA Fellow and principal of InspiRE Commercial Real Estate Services. “In
both cases, property managers and facilities managers
are expected to ‘do whatever it takes’ to keep things
running smoothly. In most cases, the last bullet point of
a real estate manager’s job description is ‘Anything and
everything else that comes up.’”