Ethics is Good for Business

Ethics is Good Business is the name of a training course that was offered by the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) in conjunction with the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMEX) held in St. John’s Newfoundland September 25th and 26th.

It is the first time BOMI has provided an educational program at the conference and if it is successful this year it will likely be available at next year’s BOMEX in Ottawa.

The ethics course is one of five core courses, out of a total of eight, required to earn a Real Property Administrator (RPA) or Facilities Management Admistrator (FMA) designation from BOMI.

Ethical issues are a part of doing business and are resolved on a daily basis by property managers according to Susan Ziemski, CREIT Management LP. Kiemski who was attending BOMEX manages a 17-storey office building in Winnipeg as well as a shopping centre in Oakbroak, Illinois. She also serves on the Board of Directors of BOMI.

Examples that Kiemski provided of ethical dilemmas for property managers that, although not necessarily life change matters, nevertheless need resolution:

A property manager receives an invoice from a service company that has significantly undercharged for their service. Does the manager inform them or not, and how quickly?

A floor in a building is sprayed with a pesticide where tenants might be sensitive to toxic substances such as a pregnant woman. Notification is not required, however should the tenants be informed in advance.

The City is flushing the water system and brown colored water, although declared safe, will run from the taps in a building for half a day. Should the tenants be informed or should a property manager wait a couple of hours until the water returns to normal and address individual complaints.

As part of the curriculum the BOMI course presents scenarios such as these. Students are instructed about ways of analyzing situations and arriving at an ethical decision.

At eight hours, the ethics course is the shortest one offered by BOMI. The length of the course facilitated it availability at BOMEX where four hours of instruction was offered on each day of the conference. There were eight (8) people enrolled in the course at BOMEX.

BOMI has a program underway to recruit new instructors at the local level for its real estate program explained Jim Preece, President and CEO of BOMI. Although a program of self study and online courses are available, class room sessions provide an accelerated review of course material and allow the students to network and learn from others taking the course.

For more information about BOMI visit BOMICanada.com.


Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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