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June 29, 2018

IN THE KNOW: BOMA 2018 International Conference and Expo

“As a participant at BOMA’s 2018 International conference, I had the opportunity to meet face to face with various vendors and also attend a variety of interesting sessions. One session I particularly enjoyed discussed BOMA’s 2017 Building Measurements and the changes that came along with it compared to the 2010 standards. Stevenson Systems presented four major changes that the 2017 standards include. First, we are now able to include outside features, such as rooftop terraces, into the total building square footage. This also provides support when negotiating collecting rent on private suite balconies during new lease deals. Secondly, vertical penetrations, such as stairwells and elevators, can now be included. Note that you can only include the floor area where the penetration terminates. The third major change provides more clarity on inter-building areas. For example, if there are amenities that are exclusive to only one floor, it is important to only allocate the expense to that floor. BOMA focused on being transparent with your tenants and showing them how you allocate specific areas throughout your building. The final major change was the removal of how public pedestrian thoroughfares are addressed. This primarily relates to commercial buildings that have retail on the first floor. The removal of this standard has made it so that all floors are to be measured the same, which is from the interior face of the exterior wall. As an Asset Manager, it is critical to understand these changes and realize that the new standards on average are increasing building’s total square footages up to 2.1%. So, when your Company or Landlord push back on the thousands of dollars you request to remeasure your building, you should assure them it will be worth it as it will most likely grow the building and in return grow your profits.” – Heidi Duffy, Asset Manager

“Although I have been involved with BOMA for many years and hold their RPA designation, this was my first opportunity to experience the International Annual Conference & Expo. It was a great event. My intent was to focus on the Creating Asset Value conference series, which targeted the asset management function within commercial real estate. The tools provided not only work for tenant relations, but also for life in general. I found this to be especially true in the session Tenant Communication: Connecting with People Who Are Always Connected. The keynote speaker, Michael Broder, President & CEO of Brightline Strategies, emphasized the effective use of communication to create value for yourself based on what is valued by your tenant. He discussed the importance of understanding the business objective of the CEO or key decision maker in order to create the desired workplace experience and environment. Find out their top five expectations. Is it response time for maintenance issues, building efficiency, environmental friendliness or friendly service? Sustain the relationship to avoid being caught off guard with unknown issues or perceptions at the time of renewal. Be aware of their preferred method of communication both before and during the lease term. Thoughtfully framed communication can increase the rate of renewals between 8% - 17%. Indicators support the best days are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Know your audience and ensure the method drives tenant engagement, preference and loyalty. This was just one of many sessions that I thoroughly enjoyed and I definitely hope to attend next year in Salt Lake City!” – Linda Shoemaker-Haskins, Vice President, Asset Management