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Building Manager vs. Property Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in property management can be both rewarding and challenging. If you’re interested in this field, you may be wondering whether you should become a building manager or a property manager. Both positions have their own sets of responsibilities, and the role you choose will depend on your skills and interests. In this article, we compare the job titles of building manager and property manager, and we provide information on what you can expect from each position.

What is a Building Manager?

A Building Manager is responsible for the physical upkeep and maintenance of a commercial or residential property. They develop long-term plans for the property to ensure it remains in good condition and meets all local building codes. Building Managers hire and supervise a team of Maintenance Workers who carry out day-to-day tasks such as painting, repairs and landscaping. They also work with vendors to purchase supplies and equipment, and they may negotiate contracts for services such as waste removal and security. Building Managers typically have a background in engineering, construction or architecture.

What is a Property Manager?

Property managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of rental properties. They work with tenants to ensure that the property is well-maintained and that their needs are being met. Property managers also handle financial tasks such as rent collection, budgeting and bookkeeping. In some cases, property managers may also be responsible for marketing the property to potential tenants and showing the property to prospective renters.

Building Manager vs. Property Manager

Here are the main differences between a building manager and a property manager.

Job Duties

Building managers oversee the physical structure of a building. They’re responsible for making sure repairs are made and completed in a timely manner, ensuring that the right people are on staff to provide great customer service and overseeing any employees who work within the building. Property managers handle the more administrative aspects of managing a piece of property, like screening and hiring tenants, scheduling rent payments and maintaining good communication with clients. Both jobs duties include maintaining good client relationships and providing excellent customer service.

Job Requirements

Building managers and property managers typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field. However, some employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in business administration, real estate or a related field. Additionally, many building managers and property managers pursue professional certification through organizations like the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) or the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA). These certifications can demonstrate a commitment to professional development and excellence in the field.

Work Environment

Property managers work in a variety of environments, depending on the property they manage. They may spend time at commercial properties like shopping malls or office buildings, but they also work with residential properties like apartment complexes and single-family homes. Building managers typically work only in commercial settings, such as office buildings, retail stores and warehouses.

Property managers often travel to different locations to inspect their properties and meet with tenants. This can mean spending long hours away from home, especially if they’re working on multiple properties at once. Building managers usually work regular business hours in an office setting.


Building managers and property managers share some similarities in the skills they use on the job. Both need to be organized and efficient in order to manage their time well and keep track of deadlines, appointments and meetings. They also both need to have excellent customer service skills in order to deal with tenants, clients and vendors in a professional and polite manner.

However, there are some differences in the specific skills used on the job between building managers and property managers. Building managers typically need to have strong technical skills in order to understand and maintain the complex systems in a building, such as the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Property managers may also need to have some technical knowledge, but they typically don’t need to be as proficient as building managers.

Building managers also need to have strong security skills to ensure the safety of the people in the building and the property itself. Property managers typically don’t need to have as much security knowledge, but they should be aware of basic security procedures and protocols.


The average salary for a building manager is $64,078 per year, while the average salary for a property manager is $64,618 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company you work for, the location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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