Markling Hopes To Open Doors As BOMA Chairman
By Casey Laughman, Managing Editor - September 2012 - Commercial Office Facilities
New BOMA chairman Joe Markling has a few different goals for his term, but they can all be summed up simply: access.
In an overall sense, Markling hopes to make BOMA an organization that not only includes ownership companies and property managers, but also asset managers, which he feels are a key constituency.
"We're trying to bring the O back in BOMA," says Markling, who is also managing director, strategic accounts, CB Richard Ellis. "While we get the owners as companies, we don't have a lot of asset managers, who are the representatives of the owners and the direct person that every property manager works for. That's a group that's totally missing from our organization."
To encourage more membership from that segment, BOMA is developing an educational track for asset managers. While there currently is a track for property managers who want to become asset managers, the new track will be aimed at those who are already in that position.
In a similar vein, Markling hopes to be able to bring more buildings under the umbrella of BOMA 360, which is a program that certifies buildings as being run in an efficient manner. While it does include some sustainability elements, it's not the same as LEED. Rather, it emphasizes operations in all areas, from energy management to security to insurance certificate management.
Markling's main goal for the program is to make it easier for companies that have stringent in-house requirements for how their buildings are run to earn the designation. For example, at CB Richard Ellis, buildings are audited every three years as part of the company's internal Environments for Excellence program. Under Markling's plan, scoring high enough in that program would be sufficient to meet the requirements for BOMA 360. Not only would it be helpful for management companies, who Markling says would be allowed to use their own in-house programs if the BOMA board feels they're strict enough, but it would help increase membership in 360.
While some companies are already committed to pursuing 360 certification for their entire portfolios, it certainly would speed up the process to allow them to use their results from in-house audits instead of having to go through the entire process for certification, most of which would be duplicating efforts.
"I could deliver, through CBRE, hundreds more buildings if we could somehow map our process with the BOMA 360 process," he says.
While a company such as CBRE, which is pursuing 360 certification across its portfolio, would benefit from being able to gain certification for a number of properties at once, owners or property managers that are new to the process would benefit as well. Instead of having to start from scratch, they could simply show that they're already focused on efficient operations.
"If somebody wants to do this (certification process), I'd love to be able to flip a switch and say it's pretty much done," Markling says. "This program is about not only achieving a certain result, which is a well-run building in all facets, but recognizing buildings that are already well-run. It's designed for the building that wants to get to that level, but it's also designed to say 'hey, you should be recognized for what you've been doing for the last five years.'"
Markling says that while his goals are attainable, they will take time. If, five years from now, BOMA members can look back and say they see his tenure as the start of success in these areas, it will have been a success.
"I'm just planting the seeds," he says. "Someone else will water them and someone else will harvest them."