What Does BOMA Stand For?

Glossary of Commercial Lease Terms and Standards

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BOMA stands for the Building Owners and Managers Association International. It's a professional association first founded in 1907 that provides “information on office building development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics and technological developments.”

Local BOMA Associations

BOMA calls itself a federation and it includes 90 local BOMA associations in the U.S. as well as 18 more associations across the globe. Association members include property owners, developers, and property and leasing managers. BOMA associations keep a watchful eye on pertinent national, federal and state legislation that affects building regulations and codes, and it represents and lobbies on behalf of its members and the commercial real estate industry as a whole when issues arise.

BOMA regularly hosts conventions for member associations, including the BOMA International Conference and Expo which takes place annually in June, the Every Building Conference and Expo, and the Winter Business Meetings and Leadership Conference.

You can form your own local association with permission from BOMA if you can guarantee at least 30 members as of 2017.

What Does 'BOMA Standards' Mean?

BOMA publishes standards for measuring office space and select other commercial properties. The industry guidelines published by BOMA are referred to as "BOMA Standards."

The federation also publishes and circulates a magazine, The BOMA Magazine, to keep members and others up to date on current issues that affect the commercial real estate industry. It also publishes and distributes The Experience Exchange Report or EER which is considered an industry benchmark for the financial aspects of owning, leasing and managing office buildings in America.

Joining BOMA

Membership is open to owners, managers, developers, and ​investors at the government, corporate or commercial level. You may qualify if you simply earn your primary income from the commercial real estate industry. There's no single membership fee—these are set individually by local BOMA associations. Four types of memberships are available as of 2017:

  • BOMA local association memberships.
  • Members-at-Large (MAL) memberships accommodate those who are operating and working in areas that do not have local associations
  • National Associate Memberships (NAM) are additionally available for those who are members of a local association
  • International Memberships are also available for those not located in the U.S. Professionals located outside the U.S. may also join as Members-at-Large.

What's in It for Members?

In addition to lobbying assistance and representation, BOMA offers educational programs and various networking opportunities, as well as assistance with career planning, resume writing, and salary and educational resources.

Exceptional properties are recognized by BOMA's Outstanding Building of the Year awards. Judging is based on a property's impact on its community as well as environmental sustainability and energy conservation. And it's not just about the buildings. Tenant and employee relations also play a part.

BOMA should not be confused with BOMI International, the Independent Institute for Property and Facility Management Education, although BOMA members may receive discounts on BOMI courses.