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¿What is a property manager?

Property administrator or community management

Lately many people have been asking me what exactly a property manager is. So I found this article that defines it very well and written by a great colleague of mine.

To begin with, it is necessary to remember what is established in article 20 of the Horizontal Property Law:

a) To watch over the good management of the house, its installations and services, and for this purpose to give the appropriate warnings and admonitions to the owners.

b) To prepare in due time and submit to the Board the plan of foreseeable expenses, proposing the necessary means to meet the same.

c) To attend to the upkeep and maintenance of the house, arranging the repairs and measures that are urgent, immediately informing the President or, as the case may be, the owners.

d) To execute the agreements adopted regarding works and to make the appropriate payments and collections.

e) To act, as the case may be, as secretary of the Board and to keep the documentation of the community at the disposal of the owners.

f) All other powers conferred by the Board.

In short, the Administrator is empowered to carry out as many acts of administration and management as may be necessary, in compliance with the applicable legal regulations, custom and prudence, with no other limitations than those expressly received from the owner of the assets and those attributed exclusively to other professions.

It has been a long time since a professional property administrator ceased to be the person who kept the accounts, the minutes book and collected the monthly bills of the community. A task that could be carried out by almost anyone with a little bureaucratic expertise and basic knowledge of Excel. As a result, there are still communities where the residents themselves manage this work. However, in recent years, this management work has become exponentially more specialised.

Mainly because legislation is becoming stricter and stricter. Issues such as the digital certificate to receive notifications from official bodies or the Data Protection Act (LPD) applied to the Communities, which at the beginning nobody believed was necessary, today there is no one with a reasonable degree of responsibility who does not have it implemented in his or her community.

This is a living profession, in continuous evolution, and as I have said, with great demands. All areas affect the communities we manage. The number of owners does not matter. We have to be aware of all the modifications in legal, fiscal, labour and technical matters that arise in order to inform our administrators, the variations in the negotiation of the energy companies, the movements of purchase or absorption of the banking entities oblige us to carry out market studies where we can obtain the best suppliers for our clients, the atmospheric phenomena and the best solutions to alleviate them mean that we have to be proactive and have knowledge in these matters. And we must not forget a subject for which we must also be trained: we must be prepared to resolve neighbourhood conflicts with the greatest possible empathy. Holding meetings in which we are not the bearers of good news and these are not going to be well accepted by the owners. In other words, we must have sufficient academic and personal preparation to please our clients.

On the other hand, the profile of the owner within a Community has also changed a lot over time. Today they are more demanding with the management of budgets, with the level of detail of the information given to them by the Property Manager, and above all we must deal with a reduced amount of time to attend to these issues. Community members, in general, want to be informed about what is happening in our Community, a quick and efficient management of the problems that arise, which are not few: resolution of conflicts between neighbours, issues of arrears, specific information of a technical nature (such as, for example, the whole transition with the regulation of the Second Digital Dividend or information in hard times from COVID about the hygienic/sanitary procedures for the Communities of Owners), etc.

What I have just described is only an example, to understand the enormous amount of information/training that a Property Administrator needs nowadays. Increasingly, we are required to have knowledge of many more subjects. It is not for nothing that we manage one of the most precious assets of mankind, "his home". And we must do so in a professional, agile, economically adjusted manner, offering advice and guidance to homeowners that makes them feel comfortable and safe in their homes, that is to say, with "quality".

Well, this "quality", this "excellence" obliges us to continue our continuous training.

This has been, is and will continue to be the premise of the training commissions of all the official associations in Spain. These commissions are concerned with offering COLLEGED property administrators up-to-date training, with first-rate and eminently practical speakers to help us understand the various issues we face in the day-to-day exercise of our profession.

I recently read on social networks a cartoon depicting two people, one of whom asked the other a series of personal questions, I understand, in order to fill in a form. Well, when the information seeker asks the question "Profession? the second answers "accountant, plumber, electrician, carpenter, architect, psychologist...". To the astonished gesture of the first one, and verifying that there was not enough space in the field of the question to write down all these professions, the questioned person answers "Put ADMINISTRADOR DE FINCAS COLEGIADO".

That is the reality, it is not for nothing that we are commonly called "problem solvers".

Exceptionally, during 2020 and due to Covid-19, the face-to-face training days throughout Spain were cancelled. As good managers, we knew how to react and immediately set to work to be able to offer all these training sessions, adapting them to online training. We did not skimp on personal or economic resources.

However, thanks to the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions, the training courses have been resumed and will now have a mixed format, where it will be possible to attend in person or receive the information online.

In addition, the "Continuous Training Certificate" has begun to be implemented in all schools in Spain. Certificate created by the General Council of Administrators of Spain and that will consist of a recognition to all those property administrators who have invested enough time in the recycling of their training.

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