Property Management vs Project Management

4 Replies

Im a recent graduate trying to focus on my vision. I am a bit stuck between property management and project management.Im curious on how I can grow professionally and on how far I can go in that particular career say if I ever decide to break off and build a business of my own.Can someone explain the difference and similarity of both professions and what that path looks like on become a property/project professional. What can I built with the knowledge of these titles?

Thank you all in advance!

The two areas couldn't be more different.

I owned SFR's duplexes, and other small properties. When a vacancy comes up, I advertise the rental, interview tenants, credit check them, do all the paperwork to rent it out. I handle tenant complaints and hire people to do repair and maintenance. I do my own property management.

On the other hand, I can hire property managers to do it. In my state, NY state, you have to be a licensed broker to do it for others for compensation though you can do it for relatives for free. The key is you cannot collect rent for others for pay.

Project Management is a widely used generic term and is used all over in many different fields. Generally, when a project has to be done, someone has to come in, determine user needs, figure out what to do, what products or service you need to buy and how much and how long. I work as a "Project Manager" in the IT field for a few years. Having done that, the opinion is you need at least good knowledge of two or more fields to be successful. 

As an example, I was hired to be the project manager to handle computerized implementation of business units where their business model does not fit the normal. I have to interview people to figure out what the product and service is, and how to computerize it.  I figure out if there is software available to do the job, how much, if not, what programs to write in house to do it, what programmers we have to hire, what the program has to achieve, how long it will take and how much.

One such business unit I interviewed trade coffee futures, and I had no knowledge of futures when I started the project. We're computerizing our accounting systems and the coffee futures unit operate on it's own and do it's own bookkeeping in loose leaf notebooks. So I made the mistake of asking how their book their trades assuming it's in dollars or other currency. They look at each other and then explain to me that coffee futures are not done in currency. It's for coffee beans that hasn't been planted yet, so a currency value cannot even be assigned. 

The long and short of it, I know IT, programming, accounting, but the futures business I'm not an expert at.

Project Management in real estate can be just as broad. Someone can buy a large piece of land and build a housing development. What's the step by step issue you have to confront and solve. Local zoning laws would be the first thing, Local politics could be another.

On a smaller scale, people hire GC's to do a major rehab, and what you do is project management, though on this scale, people don't refer to it as such.

My wife majored in and have a masters in Urban Planning, and many graduates in the field gone into real estate and real estate project management.

Awesome Frank thanks for all the help and quick response. I think I will stick to the Project Management route

@Afrim Haxhaj Broadly, when I manage my rentals, I’m a property manager — tenant calls, leases, etc. When I manage my flips, I’m a project manager — time, budget, scope. Hope this helps.

Do both. Take a look at what @Joel Florek is working on. You may not need to choose between one or the other.

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