In an age of hyper-change, colleges and universities often aren’t nimble enough to respond to new, complex information requirements placed on businesses and organizations. Professional and trade associations like BOMA are offering valuable educational services.
From explaining new and proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations to providing classes on energy-saving strategies and operational best practices, organizations like BOMA are filling a niche in workforce training.
BOMA San Francisco offers education and training at various levels to fit the needs of building owners, mid- to senior-level managers, corporate facility managers, and onsite personnel. Instructors are typically people working in the field and expert consultants who bring fresh experiences and in-depth knowledge of their topics to the classroom. Many training programs emerge from the issues our various advocacy committees are confronting.
Evolving Industry Demands Continuing Education
Continuing education is vital in the fast-changing commercial real estate field. As in many professions, a college degree is just the first step. Managers need specialized training to stay current on issues such as regulatory changes and green initiatives.
Most real estate firms, especially small and mid-size companies, don’t have the in-house resources to train employees. They rely on BOMA to provide programs that are appropriate for a range of job categories – from asset management to property management to building operations.
“BOMA San Francisco is constantly striving to provide the real estate community with training and leadership opportunities regarding current topics, as well as basic required training,” says Jose Guevara, Property Manager for Cushman & Wakefield of California. He and his colleagues appreciate the useful training by actual industry professionals and the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and network with others in the real estate management industry.
Industry-Leading Programs Lead to Respected Certifications
Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) classes lead to certification as Real Property Administrator (RPA), Facility Management Administrator (FMA), Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA), and Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT). The USGBC has approved many BOMI classes for green education, which count towards maintaining LEED professional accreditation.
“I find the BOMI educational materials to be well written and directed specifically at our industry/business,” says Paul C. Richards, Director of Property Management for Wilson Meany Sullivan. “Students interface with peers, establish relationships, and share valuable industry and day-to-day operating experiences.”
Another course of study, Building Operator Certification (BOC) is a nationally recognized training and certification program that provides building operators and engineers with the skills to improve energy-efficient operations of their buildings.
BOMA San Francisco also offers briefings on regulations affecting the industry. At a recent workshop on the legal duties of voluntary preparedness, presenters educated BOMA members on key aspects of emergency preparedness, disaster response, crisis management, and business continuation.
Environmental and Operations Classes Grow in Popularity
Classes focusing on environmental concerns, such as sustainable operations and energy efficiency, are especially popular. BOMA San Francisco has partnered with BOMA International and Pacific Gas & Electric to offer the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP). This six-course series teaches best practices for lowering energy costs and consumption, resulting in more profitable buildings and improved tenant satisfaction. The program was developed by the BOMA Foundation in partnership with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.
BOMA’s web site (www.bomasf.org) hosts a helpful video for those considering a career in commercial real estate and resources for skills assessment and networking. The online Career Center also includes resources for matching job seekers and employers.
Marc Intermaggio is Executive Vice President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) San Francisco. Sheila Murphy is a BOMA San Francisco member and the chair of BOMA San Francisco’s Education Committee.