The Benefits of Winning a TOBY Award

Back in April, Ciminelli announced that Conventus was awarded the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) Outstanding Building of the Year Award (TOBY) for the Middle Atlantic Conference in the medical office category. While the building receives the award, the TOBY award is really in recognition of our facilities management team. Buffalo has not seen a TOBY Award since the Guaranty Building won the Mid Atlantic regional award in 1986.

BOMA’s annual TOBY award is the most prestigious and comprehensive award of its kind in the commercial real estate industry, recognizing quality in commercial buildings and rewarding excellence in building management. During the competition, all facets of the building’s operations and management were thoroughly evaluated. Buildings and management teams were judged on everything from community involvement, tenant relations and site management, to environmental and “green” policies and procedures.

It is an extensive process and a huge accomplishment, with a number of benefits not only for the building, but for the management team as well. Let’s take a look at a few you may not have considered.

The TOBY Award sets Ciminelli’s Facilities Management team apart from the competition

Compiling the submission for the award consists of gathering quality material on an aggressive timeline. Ciminelli’s facilities management team had to provide descriptive responses in the application and present supporting documentation, including various manuals, financial reports, policies, qualifications, newsletters, and verifications. All of these materials had strict deadlines, and if missed, the application would not be considered.

In many instances, the materials, policies and programs are not part of any code-related or regulatory requirement for buildings in Western New York. This means that Ciminelli’s facilities management team is going above and beyond industry and owner expectations to ensure that the management process at Conventus is exceptional. And it is just part of what sets Ciminelli apart from its competitors in the surrounding market.

Applying for the TOBY Award is a team-building opportunity among members of the Facilities Management team.

From an internal perspective, the TOBY award presents an opportunity to our facilities management team members to connect with each other. Although our staff is in contact with each other on a day-to-day basis, this application allows everyone to review procedures, manuals, and other necessary supporting documentation. It’s an opportunity to update documents and processes for tenants, re-evaluate building procedures, and receive input from multiple perspectives. It also reinforces to the building owner that we take pride in the work we do and strive to operate their building to achieve full potential.

Winning the TOBY Award assists our leasing team in attracting new tenants.

Not only does the TOBY Award speak volumes about Ciminelli’s facilities management department, but it also provides our leasing team with a variety of helpful selling points to share with potential tenants. It is necessary for a potential tenant to know that the building they are considering is operating efficiently and effectively. A crucial part of the TOBY application is a physical inspection of the building, where BOMA certified judges evaluate safety systems, HVAC distribution systems, elevators, loading docks, finishes, and other crucial building features. Any potential tenant considering a TOBY Award-winning building for their new space can be sure that all of the building’s physical components are operating at the highest level.

Additionally, the TOBY Award winners are second to none when it comes to tenant relations and communications. The award application requires building management to include an evaluation of tenant relation programs, handbooks, events, satisfaction surveys, and appreciation letters. Therefore, not only is the physical building in excellent condition, but the management and tenant programs within the building – and the management team itself - are up to BOMA’s high standards.

The opportunity for existing tenants to recognize and appreciate the behind-the-scenes work.

The TOBY Award gives us a chance to share with our tenants at Conventus the hard work and dedication that goes into maintaining and managing an award-winning building. It’s easy for tenants to get caught up in their work and overlook what management is doing on a day-to-day basis, and that’s okay! The purpose of a highly efficient building is for it to be so seamlessly managed and operated that there are no distractions to the tenants. This award recognizes that efficiency, and brings it to our tenants’ attention.

The TOBY Award paves the way for participation in other recognition opportunities, such as the BOMA 360 Performance Program.

Winning a regional TOBY Award can be the stepping stone to winning an international TOBY Award, or even applying for the BOMA 360 Performance Program. The BOMA 360 Performance Program is an overarching evaluation of building operations, recognizing buildings that meet industry best practices in operations and management, safety and risk management, training and education, energy performance, environment and sustainability, and tenant relations. Due to such similar requirements, TOBY winners are allowed to waive several application sections when applying for BOMA 360. As of now, over 700 buildings have been acknowledged by the program since its launch.

If you’re interested in learning more about what makes Ciminelli’s facilities management team award-winning, contact us at (716) 631-8000.