Catherine Mulkey, President, Building Owners and Managers Association
Commercial real estate in central Arkansas is a robust industry that covers development, property management, multi-family complexes, industrial, office, retail and mixed-use properties. The professionals in these different aspects of the industry work together well to make Little Rock a great place to live and work.
There is a long history of partnerships between commercial real estate professionals, other private industries and the public sector. To update or complete a new real estate project takes effort and input from numerous minds.
The path of a commercial real estate transaction might start as the idea of a developer. That developer then needs to join with a private citizen or a corporation that owns land or other assets. A broker lends expertise in finalizing a deal between the interested parties and might work with the developer to secure financing. Partnerships with professionals outside the commercial real estate industry are vital at this point. Attorneys, lenders and title companies help finalize the details of the transaction. Once the deal is closed, architects and designers collaborate with contractors to develop, present and complete a plan for the space. The operation and maintenance of a building then become the responsibility of a property manager. A smart building owner will include the property management team in the design phase of projects. The expertise of property managers can ensure that adaptive changes don’t impede the regular operation of the building and provide efficient maintenance on a day-to-day basis.
Property management is a lesser-known piece of the commercial real estate puzzle but is actually the glue that holds it together. The property management team provides oversight for any action that changes the shape of a building or space, as well as the day-to-day operation that ensures functionality for occupants. Property managers also work to protect and increase the value of the asset. A great property management team includes the property manager and building engineer, and any administrative, maintenance, leasing or financial staff.
The importance of property management is shown when a visitor walks into a building. Is there signage to help direct traffic? Is the space clean and inviting? Are the tenants able to utilize the space to meet the needs of their company? A good property management team knows its building, how it functions and the best way to operate within the building’s scope.
Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Little Rock’s (BOMA GLR) mission is to grow and enhance the real estate industry through education, research, advocacy and information. Members include property owners and managers and many service providers who provide support to the BOMA-managed 30 million square feet of central Arkansas’ commercial property. Greater Little Rock office buildings contribute more than $291 million to the state’s economy and support nearly 9,000 jobs.
BOMA GLR provides educational opportunities for commercial real estate professionals in informal sessions, like luncheons, as well as classes for certification programs and professional continuing education. Classes for Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facility Manager Administrator (FMA) certification are regularly offered. BOMA GLR and BOMA International are leading voices for the commercial real estate industry. BOMA has saved its members millions of dollars and continually helps to craft national public policy development by educating public offices about our industry.
One of the most valuable benefits of membership in BOMA GLR is the ability to network within the local commercial real estate community. BOMA GLR hosts numerous events throughout the year for members to enjoy socializing with others involved in the industry. Participation increases visibility for members and their company.
Many property managers did not know their career path existed until their first property management position and rely on seasoned property managers to help them learn the ropes. BOMA GLR members gain access to an extended group of commercial real estate professionals with similar interests and concerns. Resources provide techniques and strategies to increase the value of the asset and show it to its best appearance.
BOMA regularly recognizes excellence in building management through The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) awards. Little Rock buildings have been recognized at the state, regional and international levels. The BOMA GLR TOBY was awarded in 2019 to 400 West Capitol Regions Center Office Tower.
BOMA GLR was founded in 1947 and is affiliated with BOMA International, a federation of 91 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates, founded in 1907. For membership information, visit bomaglr.org or contact 604-2677.
Principal Broker and Director of Property Management at Whisinvest Realty, LLC, Catherine Mulkey is president of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Little Rock’s Board of Directors. She begin her career in commercial real estate, focusing primarily on leasing and property management, after earning a bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her portfolio of commercial properties has included general office, medical office, and retail establishments.