Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

The Economy, Talent, Collaboration and Consolidation discussed at NAC

BOMA's National Advisory Council (NAC), an exclusive network of senior commercial real estate professionals, and the Regional Owners Council (ROC), a network for owners or equity partners of single or regional market commercial real estate, gathered recently in California. The meeting focused on the economy, human resources and talent, as well as future trends that will impact commercial real estate. The top issues on attendees' minds:

  • Talent Retention coupled with limited resources for salary adjustments and bonuses
  • Future of the work force and how will it influence commercial real estate
  • “Coopetition” (cooperation among competitors)
  • An unnerving, uncertain economy

Paul Adler, professor of Management and Organization, Marshall School of Business at USC, discussed the power of collaborative intelligence and the correlation between a highly structured company that has no new ideas to a highly entrepreneurial company that has incredible new ideas and energy but can't accomplish anything.  There is a need for both in a successful company. (Harvard Business Review July-August 2011)

Asieh Mansour, head of Research, Americas, CBRE Research Operations, predicted NO double dip recession, not because the economy is hitting on all cylinders but because you can't technically have a double dip recession unless it occurs within four quarters and we have had eight quarters of recovery. The typical recovery from a financial crisis takes three to five years. For her the rays of economic hope center on the fact that profits per employee are at an all-time high indicating hiring should begin, small businesses are beginning to access bank loans and are hiring, and the fact that the economy has deleveraged a lot. She sees office vacancy dropping to its natural rate of 13-15 percent by the first quarter of next year. Cushman & Wakefield’s Frank Freda talked about a report out in New York saying the financial sector will consolidate its space needs by fully one third over the next decade, and there were several unresolved conversations about what new space needs will mean for existing space in the future. Predictions for growth sectors include: high tech manufacturing, social media, auto and equipment manufacturers, agriculture, biotech, and healthcare and education, which never really slowed.

Steve Picarde, president of PI Midlantic, talked about the need for mixed recruiting tools in building staff teams.  The overall turnover rate is 40 percent, of that the voluntary turnover rate is 23.4 percent.  Who are all of these people leaving their jobs in this market?  Shockingly, fifty percent of resumes contain fraudulent info.  An interview alone is two percent better than a coin flip, partially because the interviewers are not any better at it than the interviewees, most decisions are made in the first five minutes of an interview.  An assessment tool adds objective measures to the process.  He also stressed that teams need a mix; you can't have ten strong personalities with the need to win.

BOMA International leadership and staff attending included BOMA Chair Boyd Zoccola, BOMA President Henry Chamberlain and BOMA Vice President of Advocacy Karen Penafiel. Co-hosting the event were Wells Real Estate Funds' John Oliver for the NAC members and Kiemle & Hagood's Larry Soehren for the ROC members.  Vornado/Charles E. Smith's Patrick Terrell will take over the NAC duties for the spring meeting.   For more information on either the NAC or ROC go to