Many people assume that property managers and facility managers do the same job. It’s easy to see why. The job titles are similar, but these two roles are not indistinguishable — so what’s the difference between a facility manager and a property manager?

In fact, each role carries out an extensive remit, with many different duties that need to be fulfilled to provide a compliant, comfortable, and efficient workplace. Property managers are there to represent the interests of building owners and are required to uphold strict standards and regulations. Meanwhile, facility managers need to attend to a host of soft and hard FM services to ensure a streamlined operation.  

If you’re a business owner, you’ll almost certainly have encountered both roles, even if you’ve had trouble identifying what exactly each person does. While it’s true that there’s some overlap between the two positions, it’s crucial to understand the difference between these roles if you want to maintain a productive and efficient workplace. If you’re struggling to make sense of property management and facility management (FM), you’ve come to the right place. 

At Brosnan Property Solutions, we’ve been providing businesses with facility management services for more than 20 years. Read on to brush up on the differences between property management and facility management. In this guide, we’ve used a typical office space as an example.  

What Does a Facility Manager Do? 

Whereas property management focuses more on general upkeep and property maintenance, facility management focuses on the people and processes of the building itself. In the case of a business office space, a facility manager will ensure that the space is being used as effectively as possible. “Facility management services cater to the needs of the client, rather than property owners,” said Ray Brosnan, Managing Director of Brosnan Property Solutions. “Facility managers are also tasked with establishing processes to streamline day-to-day operations, ranging from maintenance and inspections to safety and security.”  
 
A facility manager might coordinate a move from one part of a building to another or ensure a visitor to your premises has somewhere to work. As well as providing a place to work, a facility manager might also be called on to provide spare equipment if it’s needed. Facility management best practices are also employed during the onboarding process. Before a new employee starts work, it’s up to facilities management to ensure additional supplies have been ordered to accommodate another person.  
 
Why is facility management so important to businesses? Without it, it’s almost impossible to maintain a well-organised and comfortable workplace. By optimising everyday processes, FM can dramatically increase productivity. What other tasks are part of FM? 

Controlling Costs 

One of the key duties of FM is to ensure a business isn’t spending any more money than it must. However, keeping operational costs low can’t be done at the expense of compromising a service-level agreement with clients. 

Thankfully, because the average FM remit is so broad, there are a lot of ways to mitigate unnecessary expenditure. Outsourcing facility management is one way of keeping overall costs down. Services like cleaning, security and catering can all be sourced from different vendors.  

Identify Potential Hazards 

As with property managers, facility managers need to be on the lookout for potential hazards that pose a risk to the health and well-being of employees and visitors. Depending on the particulars of a lease agreement, there may be some overlap of duties between facility managers and property managers here. 

However, FMs should at least be able to guarantee that the up-to-date safety standards are being upheld and perform regular risk assessments. As well as absolving a company of liability, preventing accidents in the workplace minimises staff absence and the associated costs involved.  

Increased Output 

According to a recent report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Irish employees are among some of the most productive on the planet. However, any good facilities manager will always be looking for ways to increase output and keep productivity levels high. 

At a bare minimum, FMs should look for ways to make a commercial space as comfortable as possible for employees, while also making a workplace as efficient as possible. Along with boosting staff morale, this is a simple way to significantly increase efficiency and productivity.  

What Does a Property Manager Do? 

Property managers have an entirely different remit. Rather than work for business tenants, they work directly for the owner of the property itself. A typical remit for a property manager might include securing new tenants and finalising leases. If any building repairs or renovations need to be carried out, a property manager will also be expected to oversee the work. 
 
Despite working for building owners, property managers are often expected to serve as mediators between owners and tenants. “In many instances, property managers will liaise with facilities managers to identify and respond to any issues that tenants might be having,” Ray Brosnan commented. The goal here is to nurture a positive relationship between tenants and owners.  

Finding Tenants and Managing Leases 

Owners of commercial buildings need to ensure their spaces are occupied if they want to make money. To ensure maximum occupancy and secure a steady revenue, it’s down to the property manager to find the right tenants. 

This process isn’t as simple as marketing a vacant commercial property. Prospective tenants need to be screened for suitability and should be able to pass strict affordability checks. Once the ideal tenant has been found, lease negotiations can get underway.  

Safety and Compliance 

According to a recent report by the SEAI Energy Modelling Group, there are approximately 109,000 commercial buildings in Ireland, with most of them being office or retail space. However, not all these buildings would pass health and safety regulations set out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). 

An experienced property manager ensures that building owners are always fully compliant with the latest health and safety standards and building regulations. This is particularly important for owners looking to safeguard themselves against legal action. While workplace fatalities are at their lowest number since the 1980s, non-fatal injury rates remain high according to a press release issued by the HSA.  

Maximising Revenues 

To protect the bottom line, a property manager can’t take their eyes off the financials. Alongside making sure that rental payments are made on time, a property manager needs to look at ways to curb unnecessary spending. This can be tricky, resulting in a balancing act between maximising the financial potential of a space, while keeping business tenants happy.  

Looking to Outsource Property Management and FM Services? 

If you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to facilities management, it’s time to start thinking about outsourcing FM instead. With an experienced facilities management partner in place, you can rest assured that all those operational processes are being managed effectively. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re using an experienced FM services provider for peace of mind.  
 
If you’re considering outsourcing FM services, Brosnan Property Solutions can help. Talk to us about your requirements or learn more about the FM services we can provide. Ready to talk in more detail? You can get in touch via the online contact form or speak to the team directly by calling 0818 333770

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