It is not news to any real estate professional – there is confusion about
the contemporary identity and functions of Facility Management (FM)
and Property Management (PM). In public discourse and in the daily
business interaction the differences and similarities among these
management professions are blurred and unclear. Consequently, it leads
to wrong end-user expectations or interpretations.
“What is the difference between Facility Manager and Property
Manager?” is a frequent, practical question or “Where is the borderline
between Property Management and Facility Management?”
So let us focus on a concise
Comparison between FM and PM. There
are at least six significant differentiators:
- For the Facility Manager, the building is a means to an end the end being the optimal work environment
- Facility Manager is a representative of the building User/Occupier
- Facility Manager's priority is to increase the User‘s primary business effectiveness and productivity
- Facility Manager acts on the principle: consideration of the whole lifecycle of an asset
- Facility Manager is focused on end-user and occupier workplace needs and demands
- Facility Managers control the expense side of the property/physical assets budget for their user/occupier client
- For the Property Manager, the building is an end in itself
- Property Manager is a representative of the building Investor/Owner
- Property Manager's priority is to increase the building‘s Net Operating Income and value
- Property Manager acts on the principle: consideration of the planned business cycle of an asset, which is the lease determined
- Property Manager is focused on Owner/Tenant relations management in order to achieve a balance of interests
- Property Managers control all property generated revenues and expenditures for their Investor/Owner clients.
The differences between FM and PM derive from the varying agendas of User/Occupier and Owner/Investor, respectively their priorities.
Investors prioritize their goals as follows (Jim Ricker):
1. Income – maximize Return on Investment
2. Value – increase the Yield, thus the value of the property
3. Customer relations – manage Owner/Tenant relations to achieve maximum occupancy, therefore max cash flow
4. Operations – efficiently maintain the property in order to achieve the first three goals
Users prioritize their goals in almost reverse order as compared to
1. Operations – maintain the property in support of the occupier’s core business activities and end users demand for the continuous, effective and efficient work environment
2. Customer and end-user relations – ensure that FM services are optimal cost/quality ratio and directed to supporting the high productivity of primary business processes and end users
3. Value – preserve and maintain the value of the property based on whole asset lifecycle consideration
4. Income (from property operation) – it is neither priority nor responsibility
There are more differences like the hierarchy of tasks; separation of primary and support business processes; approaches to end users, to clients and customers; a degree of application of FM and PM in private and public sectors.
The Common Ground Covey says:“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”.
In real estate, in particular, I would go a step further and say that We must value the differences, but also be aware of similarities and then learn from one another to excel.
The daily operations and responsibilities in FM and PM are overlapping to a very significant extent. The key competencies and skills of the Facility Manager and Property Manager, which are demanded by the clients (regardless of investors or occupants) are so similar, that job descriptions converge in 75% of their content.
On operational level FM and PM manage the ever-growing number of services in the areas of maintenance, hospitality, accommodation, safety and security, logistics, technical infrastructure, workplace, ICT, cleaning and waste management, open grounds, business services and many others.
Both Property and Facility Managers use alike management and analytical techniques; methods; procedures; IT solutions. They perform corresponding management functions as strategic planning, risk management, service management, financial planning, and control, performance management, quality management, people, and change management, energy management, outsourcing, benchmarking etc.
The picture of built environment management will not be completed without adding Asset Management to the comparison. That will be addressed in a forthcoming article. Since I promised to be concise, let’s
highlight that, Managers answer to what and How leaders theWhy.
In our case, I would say: contemporary Facility and Property Managers provide the answers to the plethora of questions What and How. When it is up to leadership, the perspective of Investors and Occupants drive the answers of Why.
More detailed analysis can be found in the full version article.
Deyan Kavrakov, FRICS is CEO at Mundus Services, with 20 years of experience in the field of assets, facility, and property management. He is Member of Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Facility Management AssociationandCertified Facility Management Trainer.
Deyan Kavrakov, FRICS
CEO at Mundus Services, Board Member at BGFMA