The BOMA Membership Effect: A Property Manager's Story
Thursday, March 2, 2017
by: Nicole Schuck, Transwestern

Section: Member News

Two years ago, I was the recipient of a six-month BOMA scholarship, which was an amazing opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of and influence in the industry through the association while balancing my full-time responsibilities as an assistant property manager. My employer, Transwestern, has offered me tremendous support as I continue my professional growth within BOMA; however, many other employers have concerns or show hesitation when someone at a junior level in their company wants to be part of BOMA.

A property management company has to consider their return on investment, since BOMA memberships are costly. Employers might have concerns that their staff will neglect their office duties and take half days to attend luncheons, special events or committee meetings. I took my six-month scholarship as an opportunity to show my employer that their investment would work to their advantage, and they have been gracious enough to support renewal of my BOMA membership, and appointed me as the BOMA representative for Transwestern in San Diego.

During my first six months at BOMA, I had to work double duty. I attended any event that I could, and made sure to learn all the friendly faces and absorb as much information as my mind allowed. To be successful, you have to allow your ambition for knowledge and opportunity to extend past 5 P.M. My normal day-to-day might include staying late at the office to catch up on work after attending a luncheon, typing up committee notes on the weekend, calling food truck vendors for a special event planning on my lunch break, or attending an evening networking event after a hard, long day. By sheer hustle and determination, I was able to expand my network and contacts, increase my knowledge of building operations, and learn the important “buzz” within our industry for my company. Within a year, I was graciously rewarded the Jack Moshgat Scholarship for 2016 and I am currently on my way to becoming RPA certified. I was able to do all of this just by filling out a simple membership scholarship form.

There are some tips and tricks to help newcomers navigate the BOMA waters:

  • Attend every luncheon even if you think the program topic for the month doesn’t seem to apply to you. You will be amazed at how even the smallest bit of information you absorb at the luncheon can come in handy six months down the road.
  • At every luncheon, make it a habit to sit next to a different person. Luncheons are all about networking, developing relationships, and making new connections. It won’t be helpful if you sit and talk with the same people every month. Push yourself to get out of the comfort zone; your minimum goal should be to get to know at least one person at every luncheon. Be genuine, be kind, be honest, and embrace a passion to get to know every principal and associate member you meet.
  • Committee involvement can be tricky, but it is essential to your success with BOMA. Many people make the mistake of going to one extreme or the other – either they aren’t involved enough and can’t make a difference, or they are so involved that they are spread too thin to make a difference. Your goal should be to join only one committee for the first few months, to allow yourself to adjust to this new adventure. Once you start building confidence and getting comfortable with a group, add another committee to your arsenal.
  • Get involved at the committee meetings. Be consistent with your attendance, and participate anyway you can. Don’t just show up sporadically and do the nod and smile routine. Be honest, give constructive criticism, ask questions, be helpful, and be dependable.Good luck with your pursuit of greatness! I hope to see you soon at the next BOMA event. 

Good luck with your pursuit of greatness! I hope to see you soon at the next BOMA event. 

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