China Property Management

2021 China Property Management Report

The commercialisation of the property management industry in China started in 1981 with the incorporation of China’s first property management company managing a residential property in Shenzhen. In the subsequent ten years, residential property management continued to mature with the eventual establishment of the Shenzhen Real Estate Management Bureau in 1985. One of the first Grade A office buildings to be professionally managed was the Guangzhou World Trade Centre in 1992, where it was co-managed by Savills and Guangzhou Pearl River Hotel Management.

In the early days of property management in China, the sector remained immensely scattered and only basic property management services were provided. The China Property Management Association was eventually established in 2000, with the first nationwide property management regulations issued in 2003. As the property management sector continued to grow, local governments set standards for the market, requiring firms to obtain operation licenses and setting residential property management fee caps.

The industry started to undergo greater liberalisation in 2014-2016, with property managers no longer required to obtain the national ‘Certified Property Manager’ qualification license and commodity housing management fees caps removed and instead set by market forces. In more recent years, property managers have started providing value-added services (VAS) to boost revenues and profit margins. At the same time, many developers have spun off property management divisions in separate listings, with many of them given the mandate to aggressively expand market share, often through mergers and acquisitions. The property management industry is now also taking on a broader range of property types. In addition to the more standard commercial and residential developments, firms are be contracted for work at schools, hospitals, airports, sports stadiums and public utilities, to name just a few.