The RMR Group and BOMA 360: A Perfect Match
By: Jessica Bates
From Dan Cote’s perspective, The RMR Group and the BOMA 360 Performance Program were a perfect match. “BOMA 360 is a great program that recognizes excellence,” explains Cote, area director of the West Region at The RMR Group. “And, The RMR Group is all about building excellence.”
As a self-described believer in BOMA 360 designation for many years, Cote immediately recognized the value it could bring to The RMR Group’s portfolio when he started with the company in 2016. The heart of BOMA 360’s appeal is in its name, Cote says: “It truly is a 360-degree look at a property to prove that it is outperforming in all areas, and that is exactly what The RMR Group wanted to achieve.” The alternative asset management firm manages a large, diverse portfolio of more than 77 million square feet, and Cote wanted to ensure each property was operating at the same level of excellence using the same best practices. “We know we were doing well operationally and that our tenants were happy, but we wanted recognition that would help to define our brand,” he recalls. The company began the effort last year, and so far, 23 properties have achieved the BOMA 360 designation. The RMR Group anticipates that additional properties will be designated within the next few years.
The first property in the portfolio to earn the designation was Anasazi Plaza, a nine-acre multi-tenant office park, located in Phoenix. Carol Mullin, a senior property manager with The RMR Group, led the effort, which both served as excellent training for her entire staff and allowed her building team to celebrate its accomplishments. “We are so busy with day-to-day operations that we rarely get the opportunity to reflect on the hard work we have done for the building,” Mullin says. “Going through this process and receiving the designation reminded the team that we have so much to be proud of.”
It also allowed her team to look for areas in which they could improve, and they realized that they had an opportunity to take their community involvement to the next level. The property already had high tenant satisfaction scores and the building team hosts regular tenant events—they even take the time to learn as many individual tenants’ names as possible. But, says Mullin, since going through the designation process, they have begun working with tenants to host blood drives and food drives to help promote corporate philanthropy efforts. As a team that prides itself in going above and beyond, they were pleased to discover a new way to foster stronger tenant relations, while doing good for the local community.
Once Anasazi Plaza achieved the BOMA 360 designation, Mullin shared the successful application with other property managers throughout the company, helping to streamline the portfolio-wide effort. “I’m quite proud of our accomplishment—not just for our property, but for the other buildings that are earning the designation in our portfolio,” she says.
Cote also believes that the portfolio-wide effort supports a positive company culture. “This process truly involved everyone—from senior leadership to administrative assistants—without putting a huge burden on any of us,” he says. “We have had buildings already achieve the designation earlier than we expected; it has been very motivating for our property teams.” He attributes much of this enthusiasm to the chance to be recognized for hard work, “There aren’t that many chances for property teams to get the acknowledgement they deserve for the work they do behind the scenes, but BOMA 360 offers that valuable recognition.”
Just as Anasazi Plaza made improvements on a property level, The RMR Group also is looking for possible areas of improvement throughout its portfolio as more and more buildings earn the designation. “We already have a quality set of policies and procedures in place, and it has been validating to see how consistent that is across properties,” Cote says. “The feedback we have received is that the BOMA 360 designation is a great confidence-builder for property teams, as well as a great way to foster collaboration and communication during the submission process.” Cote is looking forward to seeing the results of achieving the designation across the portfolio. “It’s going to be a testament to our success in employing best practices—something that will really resonate with our owners, and current tenants and prospective tenants,” he says.