What is a Real Estate Asset Manager? A Comprehensive Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 November 2022

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A real estate asset manager role can be an exciting opportunity if real estate and asset management is your field of interest. Real estate asset managers ensure an impressive return on investment on real estate assets by managing them appropriately. The role includes a wide range of responsibilities, such as making smart financial decisions, forecasting and keeping track of the market and investment opportunities and minimising risk. In this article, we answer the question, 'What is a real estate asset manager?' and describe how you can enter this career field.

What is a real estate asset manager?

Understanding what is a real estate asset manager can help you make informed career decisions. A real estate asset manager is a mid-level role in the asset management industry that manages real estate assets on behalf of the clients. Asset management aims to enhance the market value of an asset so that owners can increase their profits. Real estate asset managers are responsible for making key financial decisions and helping the client's portfolio grow while ensuring the client's investment does not depreciate.

What differentiates a real estate asset manager from a property manager?

People often confuse a property manager with a real estate asset manager. While these two work in the same industry, their responsibilities are vastly different. Property managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations of managing rental properties. Finding and keeping quality tenants, negotiating leases and enforcing the terms and conditions, collecting rentals, paying vendors, maintaining the property, and presenting monthly and year-end financial reports to the owner are all key jobs and obligations of a property manager.

The role of a real estate asset manager is to conduct a variety of tasks to increase property value and investment returns. This means that they are in charge of decreasing and avoiding expenditures when appropriate, studying the most consistent and largest sources of revenue, and reducing responsibility and risk associated with real estate transactions. They ultimately assist clients in choosing the best investment strategy for their properties to maximise return on investment.

What are the major responsibilities of a real estate asset manager?

Real estate asset managers are in charge of keeping track of property performance and increasing revenue for their clients. They work at real estate development firms, asset management firms, and firms with a property portfolio, among other places. Here are some of the responsibilities of a real estate asset manager:

Ensuring best returns for the client

A real estate asset manager's primary goal is to optimise property value and investment returns. They don't just look after the assets, but also make appropriate financial decisions to ensure increased value and minimised risk over time. This includes cutting costs, identifying the most consistent and highest sources of revenue, and minimising liability and risk, among other things.

Related: What Are Communication Skills?

Communicating flawlessly

Real estate asset managers ensure the efficient completion of the reporting processes on time. It includes reporting of business plans and the regular monthly/quarterly reports. They provide senior management, investors, and owners with regular updates on asset performance and financial reporting and manage the reporting process in an efficient and timely manner.

They frequently communicate ideas, new trends and possible opportunities with the senior managers and the clients (if possible). Flawless communication ensures timely delivery of important decisions, helping the operations to run smoothly. Smooth flow of processes means improved productivity.

Planning and executing business plans

Real estate asset managers help design business plans and put them into action to optimise the value of each asset/property in their portfolios. They are responsible for setting the authorised strategy into action and refining it as needed. Furthermore, they take full ownership of the project they work on.

Setting annual goals for a property that reflects current market conditions and monitoring the impact of achieving the goals on the asset's marketability in the case of a sale is also crucial responsibility of a real estate asset manager. In the event of a property decline, real estate asset managers collaborate with a team to examine the market, appraise the property's physical condition, and design a strategy to reposition the property appropriately.

Keeping track of the market and opportunities

Real estate asset managers make sure that all possible lease transactions are in line with the current market. Their job needs them to keep up with current market conditions to assess each asset's lease and investment competitiveness in their portfolio. Real-time industry knowledge can help the investor and the business in many ways. It helps investors to seize opportunities on time, minimise risk even in case of property decline and help in better forecasting of future market conditions.

Related: How To Become a Mortgage Advisor

Research and forecasting

Real estate asset managers do market research, data analysis, and revenue projections with respect to the property in their portfolio. It also entails maintaining a constant eye on a property's competitive position and recommending corrective action when a property is thought to be in decline. Research and forecasting also help in communicating the rationale behind any decisions made.

Qualifications for a real estate asset manager

Many recruiters set specific standards for a real estate asset manager job, so you are mainly required to meet them. Therefore, obtaining relevant academic qualifications or training and experience is crucial to becoming a real estate asset manager. Since this role requires a lot of qualities out of practical knowledge, most employers prefer people with sound experience and a good grasp of the industry for property asset management jobs.

Here are a few crucial requirements for asset manager real estate jobs:

Education and training

Typically, a real estate asset manager role requires a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business, or marketing. Nevertheless, having an MBA degree can be advantageous. Furthermore, developing your skills through training can also increase your chance.

Some managers choose to pursue accreditations from different institutes and governing bodies. A professional certification implies that an individual has important job-related expertise, such as budgeting and accounting, environmental health issues, and risk management. Although such qualifications are not essential for employment, they can improve your competitiveness as a job seeker.

Professional experience of working in the industry

A thorough grasp of real estate and a track record of successful real estate transactions involving a variety of property types are necessary to land a real estate asset manager role. Although most employers look for property management/leasing/operations experience, you may also need finance or accounting skills for this role. Furthermore, good investment managers of real estate have a natural drive to learn about specific market characteristics with commercial real estate analysis/asset management experience.

This role also requires a thorough understanding of real estate and development industry trends. Only the academic qualifications may not be sufficient to convince the clients that you can manage their property and make investment decisions for them. Successfully managing assets requires practical knowledge of finance and investment and expertise in so many other areas around them. Therefore, the experience of working in the asset management or real estate sector is crucial.

Knowledge of the real estate and asset management sector

Effectively managing real estate assets requires an in-depth knowledge of the real estate sector. Therefore, you may want to join real estate firms in entry-level roles, such as real estate agents, and boost your knowledge if you don't have prior real estate experience.

Once you understand the real estate industry better, you can expand your knowledge in asset management. Years of experience in the industry can make you an ideal candidate for the real estate asset manager role. Nevertheless, your career depends on how you develop your skills over time and how you acquire new skills.

Related: A Guide To Estate Agent Jobs

Soft skills

To become a successful real estate asset manager, it's necessary to possess strong analytical, organisational, and quantitative skills In addition to academic qualification and experience. Some of the essential soft skills you require for this role are as follows:

  • Strong analytical skills: These skills are necessary for analysing and closing a variety of real estate transactions.

  • Communication skills: Successful real estate asset managers are excellent at communication. Therefore, good written and verbal communication skills are important in this field. Without them, you will be unable to persuade investors and understandably convey critical decisions.

  • Interpersonal skills: Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary to establish, build, and maintain relationships with key parties, such as management, investors, property managers and landlords.

  • Organisational skills: Strong organisational skills are essential for real estate asset managers to efficiently coordinate and manage many projects and prioritise tasks and efforts.

  • Negotiation skills: Great negotiation skills ensure a real estate asset manager lands profitable deals with every trade. It is not just profitable for the clients but also for the manager.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit: Many of the operations involved, such as negotiations, approvals, and lease analysis, demand the assumption of risks and the preparation of predictions. Successful asset managers are entrepreneurial.


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