The Need For Both Asset And Property Managers

When owners of large portfolios of investment properties need to make strategic business decisions involving management of these properties, they will usually call on asset managers. Areas of concern are overall leasing strategy involving rental rates and tenant concessions, in addition to repositioning or redevelopment, tenant mix, managing bulk service contracts.
The Asset Manager
There will be owner oversight to the manager’s actions, but the asset manager usually controls such matters as contracts, leases, and capital improvements for portfolio properties and is directly involved in implementing strategies involving financing and tax or litigation-related issues. The asset manager will also be responsible for maintaining communication with lenders and equity partners with respect to financial reporting, debt negotiations, and significant operational issues.
The asset manager also can be expected to provide basic administrative services, including information systems support, in-house legal counsel, financial accounting, coordination of required appraisal, and preparation of annual operating budgets. The asset manager also may plan and coordinate exit strategies–sale and disposition of real estate. Finally, the asset manager will be responsible for overseeing property management personnel.
The Property Manager
Property management responsibilities differ from those of the asset manager. The property manager has a more tactical focus, dealing with the day-to-day operation of individual properties. These responsibilities include: overseeing repairs and maintenance, security, and cleaning operations.
Finance-related responsibilities of the property manager include tenant billings and collections at individual properties; lease negotiations; vendor contracts; cost control for property operations; and maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. They also handle tenant relations and deal with on-site issues such as space and leasing requirements. Finally, the property manager maintains accounting records and performs necessary inspections.
Property managers also may be called on to handle legal matters relating to building and tenant interests and to ensure compliance with local laws and ordinances. Finally, the property manager is the conduit by which information about each property and its operations passes to the asset manager.