In this letter I’d like to highlight robust information sharing and research resources available to IAMC members.
In 2009, a member with a large U.S.-based chemicals company suggested IAMC create a process for quickly communicating with the Corporate Active members about urgent, late-breaking corporate real estate (CRE) business issues. The member modeled the idea after a method her company used to quickly brief hundreds of middle managers about important news. The company called these sessions “flash calls,” and IAMC adopted the same name for conference calls dedicated to getting fast answers to Corporate Active members’ questions.
Most professional associations support their members by providing technical, management and market information. But early in IAMC’s existence it was not obvious to its leaders how to approach this challenge. After all, the commercial real estate industry already published tons of data. But soon it became clear what the Corporate Actives needed was trusted advice and input from fellow CRE professionals. Often, they did not know whom to ask and who could be trusted. So, IAMC’s leaders set out a code of conduct emphasizing ethical standards and behavior. Over time, the Corporate Active membership has become a community whose members share information with a high degree of confidence.
Flash Calls were IAMC’s first foray to help the Corporate Actives work better by sharing advice, ideas and methods. The next iteration in this process was a service we call IAMC Special Information Requests. These dispensed with the conference call that characterized the Flash Calls. IAMC staff emailed the questions to the Corporate Actives, tallied responses and forwarded these to the question originators along with the names of the respondents. This worked well, and demand for the service quickly expanded.
Next, to simplify the process and reduce the time required to deliver responses, IAMC invested to enhance its online member-to-member service. The new capability, called Cornerstone, is an online digital discussion board that enables all members to seek information and provide their own input to others’ questions. The service is flexible, allowing a question poster to define the member group to which the question will go.
Today, when members have specialized questions, we can offer them three tools: Flash Calls, Special Information Requests and Cornerstone. But Cornerstone gets the most use because it’s easy to use and the responses come fast. To access it, go to IAMC’s website and click the button at the top.
And let’s not forget another way we share information: IAMC’s official publication Site Selection magazine, which has reached a notable milestone with this 65th anniversary issue. Congratulations to Site Selection on its impressive service to its market and longevity. The publication’s relationship with IAMC began in 2002, the year the organization was founded. The alliance has created positive value for both IAMC and Site Selection.
Lastly, the Santa Barbara Forum is coming up May 4-8. Register now if you have not already done so. We’ll provide strong CRE professional development workshops and top-notch speakers, notably including Steve Forbes. I know you’ll enjoy the city and its surroundings. To register, go to www.iamc.org.
Chair, IAMC Board of Directors