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BOMA, NAIOP, IREM Create College Program for Young Real Estate Talent




Working under the banner of the Commercial Real Estate Alliance for Tomorrow’s Employees (CREATE), four real estate trade groups are fully funding an ambitious new outreach program designed to recruit and train future real estate leaders. Launched in the fall of 2017, the two-semester Commercial Real Estate Fellows Program at San Francisco State University builds upon the success of the industry’s Commercial Real Estate Certificate Program, which began in 2012.

The impetus for the program is the looming building management talent deficit, which presents serious short and long-term implications. Unless the commercial real estate industry recruits significantly more people into its workforce to replace a wave of retiring Baby Boomers, the quality of building and facility operations housing employers from all fields, will suffer. Not only may building occupants see a decline in services, but investors could see a decline in asset value.

There is a solution, but it requires commitment. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco, BOMA Oakland/East Bay, NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and IREM have developed a model, multi-dimensional program to address the industry’s HR crisis: CREATE.

The new Fellows program targets all 6,000 students in the San Francisco State College of Business. In the program, seasoned professionals from BOMA and other associations teach segments on communications, property management, leasing and marketing, teamwork, asset management and construction management.

In addition to coursework, students in the CRE Fellows Program, who are about to finish their first term, gain real-world knowledge by touring commercial buildings and other activities. Recently a group of students toured a premier high-rise property in the San Francisco financial district managed by Tishman Speyer. In addition, many commercial real estate firms offer internships that help students develop skills and often lead to entry-level jobs. 

According to consulting firm CEL & Associates, more than half of building and asset managers working today will be gone within a decade. BOMA Executive Vice President Marc Intermaggio says, “We need to grow our workforce now.”

This Quick Read was submitted by Edward Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine, edward.sullivan@tradepress.com. Click here to read about survival strategies for facilities departments trying to do more with fewer people on Facilitiesnet.com.

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