It may be hard to see the relationship between globalization and property management, but actually Japan draws attention from property managers across the world. For example, a group of South Koreans frequently visit Japan to learn how we run the business. We interviewed Mr. Noriaki Shiomi from Meiwa Jyuhan Ryutu Center CO., LTD. He is the first Japanese CPM (Certified Property Manager) at IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management).
Mr. Shiomi started his company as a property management department of a condominium development company in 1987. He found that property management was not that common in Japan compared to real estate and decided to study American property management, one of the most advanced systems in the world. Property managers are to efficiently evaluate individual properties to maximize real estate value and optimize investment returns. He acquired the necessary knowledge and skills in this field and became the first Japanese CPM at IREM. As a member of IREM, he spreads Japanese innovation to international property managers. He plays an important role at many real estate groups, such as JPM (Japan Property Management Association).
Meiwa Jyuhan Ryutu Center CO., LTD
7th Meiwa building, 3-4-11 Wakabayashi, Setagaya, Tokyo
Tel 03-5430-5100/Fax 03-5430-5101
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The company has been selling and renting studio apartments for over 27 years. As of 2014, Meiwa manages 8,400 properties in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures. By staying on top of industry trends and providing quality services, It is able to increase the value of his properties and maintain high occupancy rates.
Why did you start your own business?
I just received visitors from about 20 real estate companies from South Korea the other day. When I started my own business, I didn't see that coming. I was a real estate agent before starting to manage my brother's property. He made a fortune from property investment. Back then, property management was not that common in Japan compared to real estate so I saw a business opportunity. I had to start from a scratch, but I was able to make profits by the age of 26 thanks to experienced professionals who share their knowledge with me. Now I am a board member at JPM, with whom I've been working as a member of planning committee.
The US introduced real estate securitization to Japan in the late 1990s. I visited the US with my JPM colleagues, and there we were introduced to property management. After this trip, we started a group to study this field. I needed to obtain my CPM qualification since I was in charge of this group. CPM is now a uniform global standard.
( Mr. Shiomi at a meeting in Guatemala, 2012)
(Mr. Shiomi at a meeting in Guatemala, 2012)
We have so much to learn from Americans who standardize their activities and spread them to the world. Without CPM, I wouldn't be able to meet my colleagues from other countries. We don't have many Japanese at IREM so I have a lot of opportunities to talk about Japan since a majority of IREM members are interested in our country. I am not that fluent in English and haven't spent much time in other countries, but I always have fun with international colleagues at conferences and receptions.
Do you feel your access to an international community of property managers gives you any advantages?
Given Japan's rapidly aging population, its concerns about Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) and upcoming Tokyo Olympics, globalization is the key to the success. I have many colleagues who are interested in Japan's advanced technology, stable society and unique culture. However, there are not that many Japanese property managers who are able to exchange ideas with international colleagues and introduce our ideas to the world. My colleagues are the people who want to make our industry better so I find it easy to build trusting relationships with them. There will be more international people who live and work in Japan. That means Japanese property managers need to build trusting relationships with international colleagues.
However, property management is not considered cool in Japan yet. I want to make it cool. You may be able to make a lot of money in real estate, but returns from real estate are closely correlated with the health of the economy. On the other hand, property management is quite good in terms of stability - you simply need to increase the number of properties to run a healthy business. I'm mainly working on Japanese properties, but there are many opportunities in South East Asia and South America, which will experience rapid economic development in the coming years.
（ Mr. Shiomi with his colleagues in Chile, 2013）
My message to the future generations
There will be many opportunities in property management. I believe that part of our mission is to meet residential needs. Now an increasing number of companies offer a new style of housing for foreigners, elderly and tenants with pets. We are meant to pursue the actual business of profitable property management on behalf of our owner-clients. At the same time, we also need to provide appropriate services and infrastructure for residents. That means we need to see things from their point of view and provide quality services. It would be great if we can come up with new services and share them with the world. With the Tokyo Olympics coming, Japan draws global attention. It's part of our job s to introduce our country to the world. There will definitely be many opportunities for talented domestic and international students. I want them to be aware of what's coming next and continually gain knowledge in this industry. JPM has launched an ideas competition for rented housing and offers internships for international students. I want them to be part of my team.