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Career Story: Property Manager For A Large Commercial Real Estate Company

Property Manager For A Large Commercial Real Estate Company

Job Title: Asset Manager/Property Manager

Type of Company: My company buys, develops, manages and sells commercial real estate.

Education: BA, Business, Western New England College (Springfield, MA)

Previous Experience: I started as a property accountant, became an analyst for an asset management department and was promoted to asset manager.

Job Tasks: On the property management side, I am responsible for insuring our properties are well run. This includes maintaining the properties' curb appeal and insuring that everything works the way it should -- heat, A/C, doors, bathrooms, vending machines, parking lot lights; that trash collection, snow removal, janitorial service, window cleaning, landscaping and so on are being performed as they should be; and that the buildings are all fully leased. I'm responsible for hiring contractors and overseeing all work on the property; this goes for repairs, scheduled maintenance and capital improvements. In addition, I deal with any issues tenants may have or improvements they've asked to make to the spaces they rent. This could include wanting to build-out vacant space or lease vacant spaces. The job also entails creating a budget at the beginning of the year and a 5-year projection for capital improvements.

On the asset management side, I am responsible for the overall profitability of the real estate portfolio. This includes the acquisition, management and distribution of property. I deal with real estate brokers when I'm looking for properties to buy and take full responsibility for the financial and structural viability of the ones I recommend. This entails a lot of financial analysis, legal work and negotiations. Among the things I have to be careful to evaluate are the viability of tenants (tenant mix); what improvements will add value to the property and how to improve our return on investment. Selling a property can be just as much work as buying; finding a broker, pricing, offering package and negotiations are all important and time-consuming aspects of disposing of a property.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I'm not doing the same thing every day. I can be working in the office one day and out at the properties the next, meeting with tenants, contractors, brokers, sellers or buyers. You need a lot of common sense, good communication skills and general knowledge.

The worst part of the job is not meeting your rate of returns, things running over budget or dealing with a bad contractor.

Job Tips:
1. Having good people skills will benefit a person looking to get into this line of work.

2. Good math skills are also just as important in meeting goals and making good decisions along the way.

3. A general knowledge of real estate and commercial construction is also important in this line of work.

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