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BOMA Conference 2020 Recap from Scholarship Recipients

Wednesday, July 29, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christine Miclat
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BOMA Conference 2020 Recap from Scholarship Recipients: Hayley Hughes and Jamie Peterson

BOMA Seattle King County awarded two Emerging Professionals full scholarships to BOMA International's Annual Conference and Expo. Below is their brief recap about their experience:


"As an active participant in BOMA, I jumped at the opportunity to attend the BOMA 2020 International Conference. Although this year wasn’t very typical, I was able to learn so much and am very excited to share my first experience with you. The variety of sessions provided me with multiple opportunities to learn about new ways of thinking and the ever-changing landscape of Commercial Real Estate. What I took from these sessions will directly translate into my every day work environment.


Due to the current pandemic, the COVID-19 Commercial Impact session was something I knew I couldn’t miss. The session included responses collected from commercial office decision-makers and high-level influencers in April of this year as well as study results done to understand the impact COVID-19 has, and will continue to have, on office tenants. The study quantified the risk for commercial office owners as well as determined how tenant’s values have changed, which is something I really connected with as a property manager. Knowing how my tenants and owners are thinking affects the way I handle situations on a daily basis. Additionally, the study found that 54% of tenants are struggling to pay rent along with 62% of tenants seeing less value in their physical space, specifically with tenants in industries like technology, real estate and professional services. With my building having tenants matching all three of these industries, knowing this will help me with the way I communicate and make decisions moving forward.


The Post Pandemic Outlook for Commercial Real Estate session tied in well with what I learned in the COVID-19 Impact session. This session went over the importance of adaption and flexibility for both landlords and tenants as well as going over the possibility of seeing more de-densification/suburban living. Working in the downtown Seattle core, if businesses were to start moving out to the suburbs, I would see the direct effect of this. They tied this with an expected higher focus on employee wellness and cleaning. Tenants will need more space to allow their employees to feel safe and a higher level of cleaning through out the building. As I handle cleaning tenant spaces in my building, this could change my process and the way I think about how often I have to clean as well as the level of cleaning that is performed. A happy tenant is the best tenant.


The idea of focusing on employee wellness leads me right into The Science of Happiness and Design session I also attended. When workers are happy, they are more successful and drive higher productivity. The session went over a model of treating employees as family along with the importance of exterior areas and tenant amenities. As I am always looking to improve my tenants' experience at my building, the ideas presented in this session are something I will be able to apply right away when new projects or ideas are presented to me.


To wrap up, I want to say thank you to BOMA for inviting me to be a part of my first International BOMA Convention! It was a very educational experience that will help me as I continue my career in Commercial Real Estate. I also want to give a huge THANK YOU to the sponsors and presenters for all of your hard work. I hope to see everyone (in person!) next year at the 2021 International Conference!"


- Hayley Hughes, Urban Renaissance Group


"I had a wonderful experience attending the 2020 BOMA International Conference. Although I was sad it was online, rather than in person, I feel that I still got a lot of benefit from attending the keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Two of my favorite presentations were “The Essentials of Leadership – What it Takes to be a Great Leader!” and “Collaborative Climate Action Planning: Public Sector and Real Estate Working Together to Develop Successful Climate Policy”. In the leadership course, Joe Markling spoke about being an effective leader by being kind, having fun with your team, and encouraging team members to develop and utilize the strengths that they already have. He also spoke about management being about outcomes, but true leadership is focused on the people. It comes full circle – if you have great people, you will have great outcomes.


In the collaborative climate action planning course, they spoke a lot about how the real estate industry can partner with our state and local municipalities to increase sustainability in our portfolios in ways that are mutually beneficial. They went into detail about how tracking our energy performance can impact future policies, working sustainability compliance and initiatives into capital plans, and ideas to implement in both new construction and existing buildings.


I also liked the way they had the exhibition hall setup. It was nice to be able to go there when I had time and look through all of the different vendors nationwide. I ended up learning about a ton of companies that I hadn’t heard of before or wasn’t sure what services they performed prior to attending the conference."


- Jamie Peterson, CBRE

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