FM is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the co-ordination of all business support services. It is commonly misrepresented as a maintenance function in buildings. In reality it involves all types of business support processes including the care of offices, commercial or institutional buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, office complexes, arenas, schools or convention centers. FM can be defined as the integration and alignment of the non-core services, including those relating to premises, required to operate and maintain a business to fully support the core objectives of the organization.
According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), it is "a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, processes and technology." The discipline of facility management and the role of facility managers in particular are evolving to the extent that many managers have to operate at two levels: strategic-tactical and operational. In the former case, owners need to be informed about the potential impact of their decisions on the provision of space and services. In the latter, it is the role of a facility manager to ensure proper operation of all aspects of a building to create an optimal, safe and cost effective environment for the occupants to function.
Property management is the operation, control of (usually on behalf of an owner), and oversight of commercial, industrial or residential real estate as used in its most broad terms. Management indicates a need to be cared for, monitored and accountability given for its usable life and condition. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.
Property management is also the management of personal property, equipment, tooling and physical capital assets that are acquired and used to build, repair and maintain end item deliverables. Property management involves the processes, systems and manpower required to manage the life cycle of all acquired property as defined above including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization, and disposition.
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA International), founded in 1907, is a professional organization for commercial real estate professionals and is the oldest and largest in its field.Its membership includes building owners, managers, developers, leasing professionals, corporate facility managers, asset managers, and the providers of the products and services needed to operate commercial properties and it publishes The BOMA magazine.