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Property and Real Estate Managers


The first property managers, in the early 1900s, were real estate agents who earned additional income by collecting rent and negotiating leases. During the 1920s, the job became a menial position that was necessary in a real estate brokerage firm but was not considered a full-fledged part of the business. After the collapse of the financial market in 1929, banks, insurance companies, and other mortgage holders found themselves owners of multiple properties because of foreclosures. These new owners had neither the skills nor the inclination to manage the properties. Suddenly, the position of "rent man," which had been denigrated in the 1920s, became more respected and in greater demand.

The new importance of the property manager, together with a corresponding increase in industry abuses, led to the formation of a professional association for property managers, the Institute of Real Estate Management. The new members quickly set out to establish industry ethics and standards, professional designations, and industry education and seminars.