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Why should commercial property owners have BOMA drawings made?


Blueprint showing different rooms in a house
BOMA drawings have standardized requirements

First, what’s BOMA?

BOMA stands for Building Owners and Managers Association International and is the organization that sets the standards for real estate measurements. They determine how to calculate Gross Building Area, Usable Area, Rentable Area, and all other details that go into calculating a tenant’s rent.

These measurement standards were developed to standardize the rentable square footage up for lease in commercial properties. These standards provide building owners and property managers with the right tools to successfully market properties, and use a formula to determine what is acceptable as leasable square footage.

Blueprints showing accurate square footage
Don't guess your building's square footage!

What’s the advantage to having BOMA drawings made?


1. Maximize Rental Income

Your most important reason to have drawings made is because without them, you may be leaving money on the table. Having your property measured to accurate standards will provide trustworthy square footage numbers for the owners to compare to current lease information. By comparing the differences, owners and managers can work with leasing brokers to adjust the numbers for upcoming leases to take advantage of increased rentable area.

According to a case study taken by the AIA, one office building with an existing rental roll of 420,000 square feet determined that the correct rentable area was actually 460,000 square feet. At a conservative example rate of $20 per square foot, that’s $400,000 in rent lost in one year!

An average of 8% more rentable area is discovered by doing BOMA drawings. How much rental income could you be losing?

2. Due Diligence for Total Rentable Area


Having BOMA drawings are useful for both buyers and sellers of commercial real estate.

If you are buying, and there are no BOMA drawings available, having them done will help you determine the true value of your investment. When buying commercial real estate, there are several reasons as to why rentable and gross square footage numbers can be incorrect.

If the measurement numbers are old, or if they were never properly measured to begin with, the square footage of a property or the details of rentable area can easily be overestimated or underestimated. By having BOMA measurements and drawings made, potential investors can vet the building to determine if it’s smaller - or bigger! than marketed.

You can see the clear advantage to buyers - but there is an advantage to sellers as well. Showing the BOMA drawings will help justify the price you are asking and ensure that you get the best value in the sale. Knowing your numbers up front will give you a leg up in negotiations as well as get the deal finished faster.

3. Square Footage Analysis for Government Services Agency

If you are approached by the government services agency (GSA) to lease one of your spaces, having a BOMA measurement done is essential. The government will provide the landlord with a number that they have determined is leasable. If you don’t independently verify this information, you have no way to know if your space is actually larger than the number that the GSA provided. Without getting this information, owners can lose out on enormous amounts of lost income due to the inaccurate numbers.


Building sections and elevations
Building Data Labs can do more with your building's measurements

The bottom line


Building Data Labs helps building owners to maximize rentable square footage by identifying and capture additional space. We have helped many clients maximize asset value through our LiDAR scanning and existing building documentation services. If your building matches the average of 6-10% growth in rentable area shown in the market, how much more can you earn by using our services?

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