All in a Day's Work The Life of a Property Manager

Property management, in the broadest of terms, is defined as the operation, control and oversight of real estate. Most property managers would agree that definition is just a starting point.

There are many facets to the demanding profession of property management, including managing the accounts and finances of the real estate properties and participating in or initiating litigation with tenants, contractors and insurance agencies. Litigation may be considered a separate function, set aside for trained attorneys, but a property manager will need to be well informed and up to date on applicable municipal, county, state and federal Fair Housing laws and practices.

One major role of a property manager for condominium properties is that of liaison between the board of directors or board of managers, the property owners and residents and the personnel required to keep a property attractive, safe and functional. Good communication is a must for this “thinking-on-your-feet” position, which also requires understanding the processes and systems utilized to manage all aspects concerning property including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization and disposition.

In the Beginning

Property management as we know it today is a relatively new profession. As the feudal system of land ownership in Europe gave way to the industrial revolution, the beginnings of the real estate business we know today began to emerge. By the middle of the eighteenth century, land ownership in Europe and in England particularly, assumed a different significance. As cities grew, land and buildings became a favored means of investing, and it wasn’t long before America’s shores and emerging industrial cities encouraged investors to cross the Atlantic.

Initially buying, settling and reselling land masses in this country was stimulated by increased population and immigration along with the European market demands for more and newer products. As the industrial age spurred tremendous growth, America’s newly formed cities, stores, offices and rental properties increased to meet the needs of a thriving labor-driven economy. America was a goldmine for property investors, and the real estate industry we know today began to take shape. Property management was not far behind.

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