In the Commercial Real Estate industry, an Asset Manager is the equivalent of a CEO in other types of businesses. Asset Managers work on behalf of property owners to maximize the owner's return on investment. They monitor the financial performance of the property as an investment and make decisions that directly impact that performance in order to meet the owner's objectives.
In most cases, the Asset Manager is responsible for building the team around the investment with the primary member of that team being a third-party Property Management Company.
The Property Manager's role is to focus on the day-to-day operations of a property. Many investors make the mistake of expecting their Property Manager to fill the shoes of an Asset Manager. Some can but, most don't.
Property Managers will make sure that vacant units are filled, maintenance requests are fulfilled, rents are received, and expenses are paid. They'll also report income and expenses to owners on a monthly basis. They'll keep business going as usual but it's not their job to proactively look for ways to improve it.
An Asset Manager will take a higher level look at the operation of a property an ask the tough questions such as:
An Asset Manager's interests should be directly aligned with the owner's interests. No one cares more about a property than its owners so, the best way to make sure these interests are aligned is to have the Asset Manager invest along with owners. Also known as having "skin in the game".
The complex role of an Asset Manager spans the entire life-cycle of an investment from acquisition to disposition. This person must have the drive to think proactively, the education and experience to plan sound strategies, the financial acumen to understand and report performance in a concise manner, and most important of all, high integrity.
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