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New BOMA course offers entry-level real estate management education

Core management strategies for property professionals

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The industry has spoken and BOMA has answered. The demand for practical, core commercial real estate management education for entry-level and up-and-coming property professionals is hotter than ever. BOMA San Diego is meeting this demand with the delivery of Foundations of Real Estate Management, a comprehensive introduction course to commercial real estate. The program covers topics in the areas of administration and management, building systems and operations, accounting and reporting, and contract administration.

Most new property professionals do not have real estate degrees, and there is a significant learning curve for understanding the basics of commercial real estate management. Also, on-the-job training is often inconsistent and sporadic. Foundations of Real Estate Management responds to these challenges by offering a curriculum that brings students up to speed quickly, supplements on-the-job training and connects students to a valuable peer network.

The course is ideal for all property management professionals with less than five years of experience, such as junior and assistant property managers and administrative personnel. Building engineers and supplier members can also benefit from the course and gain a better understanding of real estate management functions and issues. The course seamlessly integrates the broad range of topics that are essential for all property managers. For this reason, seasoned real estate professionals have also found the program to be a helpful refresher.

The program was originally developed and for the past three to four years successfully delivered by BOMA Atlanta to address the shortage of new, young talent in the real estate industry. BOMA International agreed to revise, update and repackage the curriculum for national distribution. The 28-hour curriculum is divided into the following five modules:

* Real Estate Administration

* The Well-Versed Real Estate Manager

* Building Operations I

* Building Operations II

* Putting It All Together

According to a senior vice president with Wells Real Estate Funds who put several staff members through the Atlanta program, “We’ve sent both new and more experienced employees to this training program and the results speak for themselves. Our property management teams are now more effective, more efficient and make better decisions.” The first module, Real Estate Administration, addresses the most important aspects of property management. In this module, students will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a property manager; adding value to a real estate investment; strategies for tenant satisfaction; contracting with vendors and suppliers and managing supplier agreements; property characteristics and leasing and marketing strategies; and managing risk and understanding commercial insurance coverages. Module 2, The Well-Versed Property Manager, delves into more complex issues. In this module, students will learn how to develop effective emergency and disaster preparedness plans and programs; how to manage tenant improvements and capital projects; budgeting, accounting and business plan development; methods for recovering operating expenses; the due diligence process for buying and selling real estate; and understand OSHA safety requirements, indoor air quality issues and EPA requirements. Modules 3 and 4, Building Operations I and II, respectively, concentrate on the critical aspects of understanding and managing building operations and systems. Students will learn how HVAC and plumbing systems work; how electricity flows through a building and the various levels of power; work order systems and best practices for managing service calls; types and operations of fire alarm and control systems; reactive versus preventive versus predictive maintenance of building facilities and systems; elevator and escalator systems and operations; roofing systems; managing solid waste and recycling; and managing cleaning services and contracts. The final module, Putting It All Together, rounds out the course. Students will learn successful approaches to pest management; types of parking structures and parking management; assuring secure and safe buildings; and understanding and managing landscaping tasks and snow removal. There’s also ample time to meet local BOMA leaders, learn about other BOMA programs and services, and discuss real estate career opportunities. Building tours are included in each module to reinforce learning. These tours provide participants with a unique opportunity to learn real-world professional management approaches by touring best-in-class examples of properties in the area. For example, students will have the opportunity to meet with the building engineer; see the building’s fire pump, chiller, elevator and other systems; walk out on the roof; perform a janitorial inspection; learn about the building’s recycling program; and more. This chance to interact with colleagues and discover new resources in a variety of settings is a learning opportunity rarely available in other educational courses. Foundations of Real Estate Management was recently piloted in Bethesda, Md., and received rave reviews. Students included an administrative assistant, a property manager just two months on the job and other more seasoned property managers with one to three years of experience. One student commented, “Not only did I learn about what I need to do on the job, I learned what I need to change right away.” For more information on Foundations of Real Estate Management or the current class schedule, contact BOMA San Diego at 619-243-1817 or visit bomasd.org.

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