IREM International Members Discuss the Challenges and Opportunities in Property Management Associations, Condominiums and Planned Developments

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JAPAN

Historically in Japan, there was a ban on high-rise condominiums clue to concerns about the effects of earthquakes on the structure. Then in the 1960s, architects found ways to design earthquake-resistant buildings, and the ban on high-rise buildings was lifted. After a building boom occurred, thousands of new management companies entered the market, helping to contribute to the current Japanese condominium management industry and its corresponding regulations.

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In the past few years, with the economic crisis and shrinking new home market, these condominium management firms have faced increasing competition for existing markets. In the current oligopolistic market, only a percentage of the largest companies are expected to survive.

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Our company has responded to these challenges by specializing in the senior housing market and by increasing the client services we offer, including personal touches such as changing light bulbs, ordering taxis and staffing a fast response call center. We have an in-house training facility for our employees to ensure that our staff is of the highest quality.

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Akihiro Shingu, CPM, Osamu Tokunaga, Daisuke Ohmori, and Junichi Hata, Anabuki Housing Service, Inc., Takamatsu, Japan

CANADA

Coming from an area that has largely evaded the housing crisis, the condominium management market in Calgary has thrived in the past few years. The population in cities and metropolitan areas continues to rise, and condominiums are a viable option for first-time buyers, investors, retirees and others.

In Calgary, there is a high demand for competent property managers, and our main obstacle is a lack of knowledge about property management and available opportunities for those in the industry. Some areas of Canada have poor regulatory processes, and a lack of professional representation to lobby the government and major corporations that can support our status in the market.

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I believe there are great prospects in Canada for property managers who understand the business. With assistance from IREM to train and promote property managers, we will continue to increase our visibility in the marketplace. …