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'Property manager' encompasses many job titles

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Sometimes I wish I had a different job title. When someone outside of this business asks me what I do for a living, I silently cringe. Not many people understand what I do at work day in and day out. I wish I could say that I was a doctor, a lawyer or even an Indian chief, since it would be a lot easier than saying I am a property manager.

During any given day at work, I do many different tasks. What my job description entails could be classified under many different careers. Depending on the situation, I could have any of the following job titles:

1. Operations manager -- making sure that the property is well-run: the landscape is maintained, the trees are trimmed, the trash is picked up, the asphalt is sealed, the roof is repaired, the plumbing and electrical systems are in good operating condition, the outside lights come on at night and on time, the windows are washed, the office building is cleaned at night, the fire sprinkler system is maintained and inspected, the parking lot is swept, any graffiti is removed, the heating and air conditioning system is maintained, the backflow is tested, the carpet/tile/vinyl flooring is clean, the fire extinguishers are recharged, the building is secure at night, the security people are doing their jobs, etc.

2. Construction consultant -- working with contractors and tenants to build-out a tenant's space or do tenant improvements, reviewing construction blueprints and bids, coordinating capital improvements such as a new roof, new tile, new wall coverings, new paint, new carpet, new paving and new landscaping.

3. Legal assistant -- consulting with attorneys to negotiate lease language, to evict errant tenants, to enforce the terms and conditions of a lease and to settle disputes between landlords and tenants.

4. Tenant psychologist -- allowing tenants to vent about their problems with their employees, neighbors, corporate office and vendors, and listening to the ups and downs of their business and why they are late paying their rent.

5. Conflict manager -- resolving conflicts and disputes between tenants, between vendors and between owners of adjacent properties.

6. Accounting assistant -- preparing annual budgets, deciphering monthly financial statements for a property, auditing a tenant's account history, analyzing a new tenant's financial statement and credit history, preparing the annual reconciliation of operating expenses, billing monthly rent, calculating CPI increases, collecting rent and approving bills to be paid.

7. Space planner -- helping tenants to design or redesign their new or existing space, such as knocking out or adding walls, or finding room for an office, a kitchen, a bathroom or a workroom.

8. Interior designer -- working on refurbishing vacant suites; remodeling corridors, lobbies and restrooms by choosing new flooring, wall covering and paint colors; designing a new tenant signage program; choosing interior plants and pots; and purchasing pictures and furniture for common areas.

9. Party planner -- coordinating broker parties to market available space, planning tenant appreciation parties and holding grand openings for newly completed or newly remodeled properties.

10. Real estate salesperson -- negotiating the terms of new and renewal leases, acquiring information on competitive properties in the marketplace, working with other brokers and recommending and quoting rental rates.

Submitted by Nancy Eagle, CPM and 2005 IREM Chapter President

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