Creating a Sense of Community


Over the past year as BOMA International chair, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with BOMA members and industry leaders from across the United States and around the world to discuss the changing landscape of technology, tenant preferences and economic trends. I have seen our industry’s creativity and resourcefulness on full display, and I am filled with optimism for the future.

Property professionals are tackling serious issues, such as the looming possibility of the next economic downturn and the growing impact of climate change. But, in addition to maximizing asset value and helping to create more resilient communities, commercial property professionals also are finding new ways to enhance the relationship between people and the built environment.

People deeply value beauty in their surroundings. In this issue, you’ll find an article about "Instagrammable" spaces (page 54). Instagram is a powerful tool for creating community within and surrounding a building, as well as establishing a strong company brand. My company, GBX Group, is leveraging Instagram to tell our story of "Preservation, People and Places." All three are core to our foundational brand values. What we do goes beyond the physical building; we strive to transform communities. We want to share that story and encourage others to, as well. In fact, the Catahoula Hotel in New Orleans, one of our recent projects, was named one of the most Instagrammable hotels in the world by Vogue magazine. The commercial real estate industry has moved far beyond the old paradigm of simply providing and maintaining an empty space. Alongside the wide range of amenities and services many commercial spaces now offer, we have the opportunity to enrich people’s lives. An Instagrammable space is a beautiful, interesting space that encourages people to engage with their surroundings in some way. People feel more connected and drawn to buildings with these elements. It creates a sense of community and community is a powerful force.

"Alongside the wide range of amenities and services many commercial spaces now offer, we have the opportunity to enrich people’s lives."


I’m looking forward to connecting with my own professional community at the end of June at the 2019 BOMA International Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City. Every year, the conference is a hub of new ideas and shared knowledge, and I always walk away feeling inspired about the work we do. It will be a little bittersweet for me, as I pass the baton of BOMA leadership to BOMA International Chair-Elect Scott Jones.

Thank you all for a fantastic and memorable year, and I look forward to seeing many of you in Salt Lake City.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2019 issue of BOMA Magazine.