Having won the BOMA Orlando 2018 TOBY Award in the Industrial Category for Horizon Commerce Park, A1 Orange asked EastGroup’s Megan Tucciarelli and her property management team to talk about their experiences so far in the TOBY process. Getting 8 buildings on their property TOBY-ready seems like a big job, but they had fun and strongly encourage others — especially industrial managers — to enter the process next year!
1. Why did you decide to enter the 2018 TOBY Awards? How long did it take to get your property “TOBY-ready”?
I love the TOBY program and I have been looking forward to entering Horizon Commerce Park for a few years now. Since the buildings are relatively new, I had to wait until they met all criteria – 2018 was the year! I like to think that my buildings are always “TOBY-ready.” We gave our vendor partners plenty of time to put their “finishing touches” on the buildings before the inspection and it probably took us a week or two to get our presentation together.
2. People often think that entering the TOBY Awards is very time consuming – what did you get back for the extra effort?
Honestly, I think that is one of the biggest myths about entering your building(s) for TOBY. It really does not take that much extra time or effort – you most likely already have these practices in place. It takes a little time to gather the materials and prepare for the inspection, but the satisfaction of winning a TOBY makes the entire process worth it.
3. What does winning a TOBY Award mean to you and your team?
Winning the TOBY was a huge accomplishment for our team. It was also a great way to highlight our amazing BOMA vendor partners and all of their hard work that goes into maintaining the buildings. We could not have done this without them.
4. Based on your experiences, would you recommend that other property managers and engineers make the time investment to participate in their local TOBY Awards? If so, why?
1000% yes! I specifically want to encourage other industrial managers to enter their buildings. It is such a fun process and you learn so much. It is also a great opportunity to go over your practices/procedures/manuals and find areas that can be expanded or improved upon.
5. How are you preparing for the Savannah BOMA Southern Region TOBY Awards Competition in March?
Writing, writing, and more writing — because there is no site visit and everything must be communicated on the written application. My writing skills are a little rusty, as I have not written like this since college. It has been a tedious, but fun process. I am so grateful to all of the past Southern Region TOBY winners, as they have all so eager to help. We have a great network in BOMA Orlando!
6. Did you share this news with your tenants? How? Did they share the excitement? Will you include your TOBY win in marketing materials to tenants?
We notified our tenants at Horizon via an email after we won locally, they were all so excited for us! We also had a few tenants volunteer to write a “letter of recognition,” that we included in our Southern Region write-up. Our TOBY win has been included in several marketing presentations so far. Fingers crossed we can add a BOMA Southern Region TOBY to our resume!