Just like Canada, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is celebrating a noteworthy birthday – its centennial year. As part of the festivities, BOMA’s flagship event, the BOMEX conference, was held in Toronto with approximately 370 participants to the conference, and 650 to a lively Gala, celebrating Property Management Companies who have distinguished themselves through customer service, environmental management, and service offerings.
The conference itself helped to assemble stakeholders from commercial real-estate, property management, building services contracting, and regional associations.
Among some of this year’s highlights was a recognition and call to action by several members to do more in terms of training and capacity-building in order to better support building/facilities operators and operations managers as they navigate an industry that has become more complex with the ascent of multi-use buildings, competition/cost-differentiation, infrastructure resiliency problems, complicated governance/ownership structures and changes to industry and environmental regulations.
Delving deeper into some of the challenges from a human resources side, it was highlighted that property management organizations are currently at the threshold of a complicated time from a personnel standpoint for three main reasons:
- The need for skills transitioning from baby boomers over to the newer generation of building/facilities managers;
- The automation of equipment and processes related to the industry;
- The need to improve capacity and reduce costs in order to better compete.
On this point, we also heard that real estate and property management firms recognize the need to develop both their own human resources and their building services contractors, from a soft (interpersonal) and hard (technical) skills perspective.
The presence of CIET was timely and well received at the conference in this regard, as our mandate calls upon us to helps firms like these articulate how, through training, companies with these challenges can save on their operating costs by reducing energy consumption, and plan for the future by developing learning and training plans – and connecting these plans to courses such as the Building Operator Certification (BOC) Program which serve to build capacity.
All in all, the conference was well executed, and provided a platform for stakeholders in the commercial real-estate industry across Canada to network together, and share their challenges.
A big congratulations to this year’s BOMA Award Winners. See the full list of 2017 Winners.