In a residential environment, a building manager will typically supervise a team of porters or concierge, cleaners, electrical and mechanical contractors and depending of the size of the development, a team of administrative staff. If the development comprises several blocks, it is common that the Building manager will report to an estate manager although both titles have become interchangeable. To a lesser extent, the term "development manager" is also used. Traditionally, this role's title was "house manager". The disparity in the job titles can reflect some differences in the job description but in essence the title that perhaps best defines the role is that of building services manager as the main aspect of the job relates to the day-to-day running of the development with particular focus on the maintenance, site staff management, health and safety and presentation of the building or residential complex. The biggest challenge in the role is to manage residents' expectations and match these up to the budget constraints and prevalent legal requirements.
An external property management company that will issue and chase up the service charges, supervise the annual budget and approve any additional works and requirements so that the development complies with current health and safety legislation and to ensure that the residential development, building or estate is maintained in accordance with the lease requirements and the service level agreement determined by both the lease and the service charge levied. They also manage the on site staff (i.e. the building manager and his team). They do this on behalf of the freeholder and they are only responsible for maintaining the communal areas and not the apartments themselves which are referred to in property management jargon as the "demised premises".
It's imperative to realize that a Building Manager should be an official agent, recognised by the Building Managers Official Association (i.e. CAF Madrid), which is a kind of Institute of Residential Property Management, as a means of delivering a portable professional qualification (AFC) in residential property management, available to anyone working in the sector, and one which would be accepted by all those operating within it. This will remain professionalism in property management, confidence and efficiency.