Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Germane Efforts: Property Management in Germany Continues to Solidify Its Presence

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Germane Efforts: Property Management in Germany Continues to Solidify Its Presence

Article excerpt

Almost everything in Germany is ancient. In Bavaria, the tradition of brewing beer, medieval castles and Oktoberfest are the best examples. Even though the history of property management in Germany does not date back that far, the foundation of a registered organization for landlords started 125 years ago.

In 1879, property owners of all kinds of real estate founded the "Verband Deutscher Hausbesitzervereine in Dresden," the principal organization for registered landlords. However, it was only located in northern Germany. Surviving several name changes and two World Wars, it has developed and spread throughout the entire country. Today, it unites more than one million members and focuses mainly on the needs of private housing.

The property management profession has slowly developed due to increasing requirements on real estate, especially commercial. In order to assure knowledge transfer and create a lobby for this profession, in 1988, a national organization of property managers "Dachverband Deutscher Immobilienverwalter," was established. Membership is only available to full-time property managers who are self-employed and manage real estate for third parties.

Although there are governmental definitions for most professions, there are no generally accepted requirements or licenses for property managers. However, due to increasing specialization and competition, qualified education has become available. The Chamber of Commerce offers schooling for the "Immobilienfachwirt" (Licensed Real Estate Professional), completion of which requires a real estate apprenticeship and two years of related work experience.

During the last decade, facility management has gained a toehold and is defined as management service with a focus on reducing real estate costs by 20 to 50 percent and utility costs by 80 percent. …

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