New Foundry Team Takes on Gateway Center & TOBY Awards

“If you’ve going to manage a property, why not follow the comprehensive guidelines available in the TOBY judging criteria? It’s a win for your team — whether you win a TOBY or not!” Alana Guinard, Foundry Commercial, Real Estate Manager

The Foundry Commercial property management team, led by Alana Guinard, won the BOMA Orlando TOBY Award in the 100,000 – 249,000 sq. ft. category. A1 Orange asked Alana to share Foundry’s TOBY preparation experience to encourage other property managers to enter the TOBY Awards in the future.

1. Why did you decide to enter the 2018 TOBY Awards?

When the engineers and I came together in 2017 as a new team at the Gateway Center, there were many things that we wanted to achieve operationally. We used the 2018 TOBY competition to give us focus and a deadline.

2. So you used the TOBY entry criteria as a checklist to organize your “plan of attack” operationally?

Yes! While the property was well maintained, as a new team, we wanted to review and update all policies and procedures in place. From day one at the Gateway Center, we began preparing the property by updating emergency and security procedures, engaging in energy efficient projects and coordinating tenant events – just to name a few. Entering Gateway Center in the TOBY competition challenged each member of the team.

3, What does winning a TOBY Award mean to you and your team?

Winning the TOBY Award was a great achievement for our team and vendors. It highlighted the Gateway Center as a Class A building — with an operations team that follows industry-best practices. Our vendor partners were recognized for their hard work and dedication to quality service.

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?

The time invested in TOBY preparation is valuable because the judging criteria actually serve as guidelines on what is expected in a well-maintained building. Everything that is done to prepare can only improve the operations of the building. I would highly recommend all property managers to enter their buildings. Even if you do not win, you will benefit greatly from the preparation and feedback from the judges.

5, How are you preparing for the Savannah BOMA Southern Region TOBY Awards Competition in March?

Southern Region is an online written submission. The judges for the Southern Region do not physically tour our building, so it important that we use our words to paint the picture. We are fortunate that BOMA Orlando has several past international winners who have volunteered to mentor us through the process.

Best of luck to Alana and the Gateway Center team as they prepare for the BOMA Southern Region TOBY judging process! A1 Orange is proud to be part of your amazing team.

Is BOMA 360 Designation in Your 2019 Plans?

As a BOMA 360 Ambassador and sponsor, A1 Orange agrees to serve as a resource on BOMA 360 to both current and prospective designees – promoting the program to our business partners and the industry.

You are probably aware that BOMA 360 is a commercial real estate designation developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and recognizes all-around excellence in building operations and management. The program benchmarks building performance in six key areas: operations and management; security and safety; training and education; energy; environment and sustainability; and tenant relations.

Since the program’s inception in 2009, nearly 1,900 BOMA 360 designations have been awarded. Currently there are 40 BOMA 360 certified buildings in Florida — and 27 of them are in A1 Orange’s business territory, from Tampa Bay, Orlando to Northeast Florida and in-between. As a BOMA 360 Ambassador, we are committed to promoting this program and providing services and programs to help more buildings earn this designation.

BOMA 360 buildings provide tremendous value to their tenants, instilling satisfaction and confidence by ensuring exceptional management, cost-effective operation and best-in-class service. In addition to well-deserved industry recognition, buildings that achieve the BOMA 360 designation also enjoy:

  • Measurable savings and operational efficiencies
  • Higher tenant satisfaction scores and retention rates
  • Higher rental rates than similar buildings without the designation
  • Full details on the BOMA 360 Performance Program can be found online here.

A1 Orange provides support and programs in meeting several of these requirements – to help keep or raise your building to BOMA 360 quality. We try to highlight our BOMA 360 services and programs on our website, in newsletters an emails with our BOMA 360 TIP logo at right. These include:

  • Products used for regular window cleaning and pressure cleaning are green
  • Upon request, A1 Orange can use certified green products like Green Seal
  • Opportunity to participate in OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week program, August 12-18, 2019
  • A1’s OSHA 1910 Compliance Program re: roof anchorage
  • Proactive maintenance planning for your property
  • Support BOMA educational programs, TOBY Awards and events – financially and as volunteers

Piedmont Shares TOBY Experience

A1 Orange is so excited for all of BOMA Orlando and Tampa’s 2018 TOBY winners. We asked Christie Crosby, Carol Nash and their triple winning teams to share their TOBY preparation experience and what they’ve gained by participating in the TOBY’s. Their winning properties were:

  • CNL Tower II, 250,000 – 499,999 sf
  • Suntrust Center, 500,000 – 1 million sf (and Best of the Best Winner!)
  • Piedmont 500 TownPark, Corporate Facility Category

Q1:  Why did you decide to enter the 2018 TOBY Awards? How long did it take to get your property “TOBY-ready”?

We decided to enter CNL II, SunTrust and TownPark 500 into the TOBY Awards as we had won the previous year with CNL I and SunTrust Center and enjoyed the experience and competition very much. We feel that it is important to showcase the properties in Orlando and is a great opportunity to give credit to all our vendor partners that assist us in keeping our buildings well maintained and functioning operationally at their optimum level.

Fortunately, our buildings are Class A and are maintained as such at all times but collectively, our team and vendor partners went through extra preparation with paint touch-up, detail cleaning, lighting audits, etc. We were able to get the building “show ready” in just a few weeks.

Q2:  What does winning a TOBY Award mean to you and your team?

Winning the TOBY means a great deal to the Piedmont Team. Our engineers work hard and our vendors are delighted to be part of our winning team. We are proud of CNL II, SunTrust Center and TownPark 500 and it is an honor to have them celebrated by our industry colleagues.

Q3:  Preparing for TOBY judging takes extra time – what did you get back for the extra effort?

Taking a close look at all areas of the property and its management with “fresh eyes” as the TOBY judges would, is always beneficial. TOBY preparation is a great learning tool for the entire team and gives us an opportunity to review and update documents, plans and procedures and ensure that the building is show-ready. The preparation gave us the assurance that the building was “show-ready” for any potential prospective Tenant or VIP tours (which can take place at any time). The review of our files/records allowed us an opportunity to make sure that all inspections, etc., were documented and up-to-date for code and audit purposes.

Q4:  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?

We would definitely recommend other property management teams consider entering the TOBY Awards, it is a great team building exercise that benefits all participants. It is exciting to win but the process of entering and representing the building at the awards gala has its own reward even when another takes the trophy.

Q5:  How are you preparing for the Savannah BOMA Southern Region TOBY Awards Competition in March?

We are currently gathering all our photographs and documents for our TOBY Regional submission and participating in BOMA Southern Region TOBY conference calls and meetings.  We will also ask for former winners of the award to review our draft submission prior to final entry.

Good luck to the Piedmont teams as they advance to the TOBY regional competitions!