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Typical Employers

Real estate managers are employed by owners of real estate − either directly or through third-party management firms – and the manager’s job is affected by the type of employer.

Property Management Firms
These are companies that specialize in providing real estate management services to individual and institutional owners of real estate in exchange for a fee. For this reason, these managers often are referred to as “fee managers” or third-party managers.

Full-Service Real Estate Companies
These companies provide a full range of professional real estate services, with third-party real estate management being one of them. Their management departments function in the same way as property management firms.

Real Estate Development Companies
Real estate managers on staff at development companies are managing properties that are developed by the company and owned by the company. These managers may be involved in property development, including renovation and marketing properties to prospective investors, as well as the ongoing management once the property is completed.

Commercial Banks
Banks have moved beyond their traditional role of providing clients with a source of mortgage money for investment properties and may act as equity participants in properties. Property and asset managers are on staff to manage the banks’ portfolios of investment properties as well as properties held in trust by the bank. They also are on staff to take over management of properties that have been turned over to the banks as a result of foreclosures − sometimes known as REO (real estate owned) properties.

Real Estate Investment Trusts
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) represent a way of securitizing investment properties for groups of investors who pool their funds together to purchase a portfolio of properties. These REITs often employ property managers on their staffs to manage the individual properties and
also have real estate asset managers who are called upon to use their financial skills to assist owners in evaluating the profitability of the properties in the portfolio.

Corporations
Many large corporations have property and asset managers working in their in-house real estate divisions. They are responsible for managing the companies’ owned properties which are used for conducting their business. A corporate real estate manager will be involved in determining the best uses for corporate property and the terms for buying, selling, and leasing real estate occupied or owned by the corporation.

Government Agencies
Real estate managers are on staff managing government housing programs and development programs through municipal, state, and federal housing authorities and nonprofit sponsors. These agencies can include everything from the General Services Administration (GSA) that manages federally owned property to state housing and government real estate departments to local public housing and government agencies. Also included within this category are the military services, which provide housing and other facilities to those in the armed forces, either directly or through private-sector partners.

Insurance Companies
Property and asset managers get involved managing investment property owned directly by insurance companies or in portfolio management of investment properties for large institutional investors and pension funds.

Mortgage Brokerage Firms
Real estate management services are provided in connection with financial lenders as well as marketing properties to potential investors.

Religious and Charitable Organizations
Affordable, low-cost, and no-cost housing is often run by religious or other charitable organizations. Sometimes called supportive housing, this type of property may include a social service component to management – providing training, job-finding, mental health and other services on site to residents.