New decade brings more changes for asset managers

Channing Gibson,
RPA, FMA, LEED AP, CAM
Director of property management,
RISE CPS and 2019 president,
Denver Metro BOMA

One of my first duties in early 2019 as the Denver Metro Building Owners and Managers Association president was to give a little overview of what property managers could expect in 2019 and the foreseeable future. My original thoughts have not changed. Low interest rates, strong building fundamentals and the attractiveness of commercial real estate as an asset are major contributing factors for real estate in Denver and across the country to still be in growth mode. Of course we are all keeping an eye on political, economic and regulatory issues, any of which could adversely affect this growth pattern. I still say this is a great time to be involved in real estate – new construction, an expanding population, a multitude of code and legislation issues, sustainability, diverse generations in the workforce and office space use changes. All we have to do is embrace the change (which just happened to be my 2019 mantra). At my firm, we are committed to providing our employees the technology, best practices and support to not only embrace but also to lead in implementing change. If we want to stay ahead, we have to truly understand all of the changes that have been sneaking up on the commercial real estate industry.

What do these changes from the old commercial real estate platform look like?

• Over the past several years, the worlds of hospitality and commercial real estate have become intertwined. The traditional theories toward commercial real estate management have shifted. We now are focusing on connecting tenants to the places they work through an emphasis on the tenant experience.

• A great building experience needs to implement a service and hospitality-oriented theme. There needs to be an opportunity for multiple touch points between the operations team and the occupants to help create a community feel, which also will allow for free flow of thoughts, ideas and ways to improve the tenant experience.

• There must be a genuine effort to provide the tenant and their employees amenities that provide an optimal experience. Amenities and community need to be created within the common area of a building in order to provide a satisfying work environment. Think Wi-Fi in the common areas, collaborative areas, food services, laundry service, mobile car wash, towel service in the fitness center, etc.

• Sustainability used to be boutique, only for LEED certified buildings. Today it is mainstream and is being forced to the forefront. Legislation such as the Green Roof Initiative and Energize Denver are just the start of sustainable requirements that will shape how commercial real estate is designed, built and operated. Corporations already are putting sustainability requirements into their requirements when they look for space. Individuals are starting to notice when sustainability efforts are not a priority in the operation of a building.

• The workforce is now made up of baby boomers, Gen X’ers, millennials and Gen Z’ers. Each has different goals and motivators. How companies address these different generations in the workforce will have an impact on space needs.

• Technology allows commercial real estate professionals access to huge amounts of data. Financial software packages have morphed into complete real estate packages. These packages now have modules for owners, deal makers, property managers, building engineers and vendors, and aggregated data is proving to be an extremely flexible benchmarking tool.

• Continued advancements in connectivity is allowing for the ability to access data, in real time, from virtually anywhere. This is changing how corporations are assessing their space needs, opening up the ability for employees to work from home, implement hoteling, decentralizing leased space, etc.

If you are involved in commercial real estate, embracing change is now a requirement. If you want to be a leader in change, look into all of the benefits of joining the Denver Metro BOMA.

BOMA is the primary commercial real estate association advocating for, and focusing on, protecting our industry and property owners’ assets across Colorado. We’re leaders, educating and partnering with government officials to advance the needs of the commercial real estate industry. We evaluate impacts of legislation, code and permitting changes and, if required, put our efforts into steering potential change that is beneficial for owners of real estate.

We also provide myriad professional development opportunities. From disseminating information in meetings and classes, to designations for emerging professionals, property managers, facility managers and building engineers. These educational opportunities are designed to provide an excellent knowledge base, understand changes in real estate and design ways to implement best practices.

In addition, BOMA offers many opportunities for knowledge exchange. BOMA is comprised of hundreds of professionals all focused on the commercial real estate industry. Getting to know others in the industry builds your network, increases your knowledge base and enhances your adoption of best practices. Our owners and managers can help with trends in the market and solutions to problems. Our service provider partners provide expert advice on new technologies and upgrades to buildings. A large group of industry-specific members can assist you by ensuring your property is running efficiently, is positioned properly in the market and is staying on top of changes in the industry.

Join BOMA and experience the benefits and results of our advocacy, professional development and knowledge exchange. You too will benefit from not only embracing change, but also by being a leader implementing those changes. You won’t be disappointed.

Featured in CREJ’s Jan. 17-Feb. 4, 2020, issue

Edited by the Colorado Real Estate Journal staff.