As Baby Boomers Leave, Property Management Goes Green

Approximately 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.

That staggering fact is not lost on the world of commercial real estate, and many in the property management field in particular are working to deal with the waves of coming retirements.

And, as the younger generation of property managers take over, many experts say they will continue to carry the flag of sustainability and push property management to be even greener than it is now. “It’s not that the new generation will save our bacon,” says Marc Intermaggio, executive vice president of BOMA San Francisco, noting that property management has come a long way in sustainability goals. “But there is a broader level of consensus among the younger folks simply because these environmental issues have been elevated more for them, than during the 1950s and 1960s.”

BOMA San Francisco has been partnering with San Francisco State University’s College of Business to develop curriculum that allows students to get a certificate in commercial real estate by taking four specially designed classes. The first four students graduated from that program this winter. “We’re trying to take this to the rest of the California state university system,” says Intermaggio. “This is going to help students be more job-ready, to have even more training, to have a greater familiarity with the issues.”

Industry analyst CEL & Associates Inc. estimates that there could be an annual shortage of 15,000 to 25,000 qualified real estate professionals—in all fields— nationwide, says Christopher Lee, president of the group. Property managers are a profession that is also constantly in demand, Lee says. In a boom, more managers are needed to meet demand of new construction; in a downturn, managers are still needed to keep existing buildings going—and to ensure they operate at peak efficiency to save crucial capital.

Lee says it is difficult to predict when real estate professionals will be leaving because many are staying on longer due to the recession. Property management is also a field that allows people to work into their later years, unlike more physically taxing jobs, he says. “Many people are holding back on retirement because of economic uncertainty,” says Lee. “But once they leave, they will leave at a quick pace and my concern is that there is a lack of people in the pipeline to take their place.”

Individual companies are also working to ensure that the younger generation is ready to take the reins—and that they will continue to maintain sustainability programs. CBRE Group Inc. has put 15,000 employees through BOMA’s Energy Efficiency Program. It has 500 LEED AP (Accredited Professionals) employees in all fields. Cushman Wakefield has 71 LEED AP professionals and 100 LEED GA (Green Associate)-certified employees, mostly in property management. Over the next two years, the company plans to train 80 managers through the Urban Green Council’s GPRO courses.

 

 

Source: National Real Estate Investor

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