BOMA Year In Review
Since the 2008 Commercial Space Directory was published we have continued to fulfill our mandate and bring the professionals of our industry together. As the primary association of Commercial Real Estate professionals in Ottawa, BOMA manages its activities into four distinct areas.
One of the many functions of BOMA is to provide avenues for our members to network with each other. In 2008 BOMA adopted a philosophy that all events we organize should embrace this function. Our committees were encouraged to organize events that would meet their main objectives, but also provide opportunities for members to interact.
Whether it was a traditional networking event or a seminar, or even at committee meetings BOMA members were given time to mingle with each other and learn things they might not have an opportunity to hear about from anywhere else.
Since 2008 BOMA hosted eight lunches including one with the Ottawa Real Estate forum. In the 2008 Lunch Series, BOMA attracted 1,200 registrants to subjects as diverse as solid waste to changes in property assessment, and 2009 should equal that mark.
In addition the Annual Holiday lunch attracted 550 people to enjoy the company of their peers for an afternoon.
BOMA Event Days (ski day, curling funspiel, 2 golf tournaments) attracted another 600 registrants for a day of casual fun outside the office environment, no matter what the conditions around them speaking to the popularity of these events and the friendship that they foster amongst the members.
BOMA also has a mandate to provide professional development opportunities to its members. We do this so that our members may improve themselves, and share experiences that may be of interest or benefit to their peers. We do this both in academic and a casual settings.
The BOMI Educational Program is managed by BOMA Ottawa and provides an opportunity for those in the industry to secure one of four professional designations. In 2008 200 students enrolled in 9 courses where we administered both classes and national exams as well as providing support for those that preferred to work in self-study.
The Seminar and Workshop Program also had a successful year. In 2008 we hosted a new one day workshop developed in Ottawa entitled “Best Practices in Telecom for Building Operators”. This course was offered twice in 2008 and will be offered again in October 2009.
Our industry committees also hosted two separate 1/2 day seminars. In each case the committees secured outside experts, or unique case studies within the membership that were able to impart important information on new legislation, best practices or oncoming trends. Over 100 people attended the two seminars.
2008 saw the launch of new BOMA advocacy efforts in old territory as the City of Ottawa launched its consultation on a new official plan and new development charges. To date BOMA has been active in reducing the overall charge per square foot charge by 1/3 from the originally proposed rate and we continue to work on behalf of the industry to reduce if further.
At the forefront of discussion, BOMA has become the source for industry comment, often being asked to serve on city committees or at city information gathering sessions. Our opinion is being sought on development charges, taxes, water bylaws and employment lands. Our members are sought as representatives on the Business Advisory Council, Liaison Committee for the Development and other information gathering bodies.
It always falls to a professional association of peers to not only offer options for professional development, but to find ways to measure it. In 2008 BOMA Ottawa recognized building management excellence and service excellence through its TOBY and Pinnacle Awards as well as environmental excellence through the BOMA BESt program.
Both programs have one thing in common: they demonstrate attention to detail, and a willingness to be compared against a standard of the industry. Since the publication of the 2008 Commercial Space Directory property managers from Ottawa to Kingston have put over 100 buildings through Go Green, Go Green Plus or the new integrated program BOMA BESt.