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How BOMA's education program can make a difference in your career

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When I first entered the commercial real estate industry many moons ago, I had no idea what a property manager's job entailed. I had worked in the legal field since college. You could say I was like most people who went to work in an office building or shopped in a shopping center or had my car repaired in an industrial park -- I just thought the buildings took care of themselves. Let's be honest, few children dream of becoming a commercial property manager. I had no intention of entering this field, but the many twists and turns that life has to offer sent me down a different career path. I just stepped into it and was literally handed a box of keys to my building on my very first day on the job.

Because of my naiveté about what the job actually entailed, my learning curve was huge. It took many 14-hour days, six days a week for me to learn that special commercial real estate lingo, to understand systems and to actually understand what all of those service providers were trying to tell me or sell me (back then we called them "vendors"). And with every different property type I managed, I had more to learn. How I wish that back then I would have had access to the valuable information I garnered when I finally received my RPA (Real Property Administrator) and FMA (Facilities Management Administrator) designations from the BOMI Institute through classes offered by BOMA San Diego.

Whether you have been in the commercial property management industry for many years or are new to the field and want to make it a career, the information garnered from taking the courses offered by BOMA San Diego is invaluable. Like me, very few people entering the commercial real estate industry go to college majoring in property management. I mean, how many colleges actually offer a degree in this field? And in this fast paced, ever changing commercial real estate world we now live in, you can no longer afford to hope that on-the-job experience will teach you everything you need to know. As I learned, there is no greater asset than professional education. You will fall behind those who have jumped on the education bandwagon and are working diligently to make themselves stand out in a crowded and competitive industry.

BOMA San Diego offers approximately 10 courses a year from the BOMI Institute toward the RPA and FMA designations in the accelerated format. From my own experience and from witnessing my own staff members participate in the program, these courses will:

¥ Give you the confidence to communicate better with owners, corporate leaders, service providers and coworkers;

¥ Add prestige to your career;

¥ Increase your earning potential;

¥ Increase your base of knowledge; and

¥ Make you better qualified to meet the challenges of an ever-changing commercial real estate industry.

In 2007, the BOMA San Diego Advisory Board was formed, consisting of owners of real property in San Diego County and some of the top commercial real estate employers in the county. The advisory board has made it clear to the BOMA San Diego board of directors that the educational program offered by BOMA San Diego, specifically the RPA and FMA classes, is one of the most important assets of BOMA San Diego. So don't listen to me; listen to the top commercial real estate employers. The RPA and FMA designations are essential to the growth and development of commercial real estate professionals.

So start 2008 off right by putting your career at the top of those New Year's resolutions. Sign up for a 2008 class offered by BOMA San Diego. The class schedule can be found on the education page on the BOMA San Diego Web site at www.bomasd.org. To find out more about the BOMI Institute classes, go to www.bomi.org, where you'll find testimonials from graduates on how the designations have boosted their careers. Sign up now; you won't regret it!

Gualco, RPA, FMA, is general manager of Hazard Center for PM Realty Group.

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