In June of this year, Corenet Global published a report entitled, “The Future of Corporate Real Estate.” The report covered several major trends which would influence the corporate real estate function. Such trends as sustainability, advanced information technology, globalization, the “gig economy”, urban development, workplace changes, etc. would all have a major impact of the future of corporate real estate.
Earlier this week, the world was stunned by the British vote to leave the European Union within 2 years. The most likely impact on corporate real estate markets and operations will be immediate. While equity markets have recovered somewhat from the lows, it’s unlikely that the stock market will return to its historical highs of last week any time soon.
In the last several Blog posts, I’ve explored the various steps in becoming a CRE executive. Today I want to address the question of CRE organization. There is no one organizational model that is ideal. But there are various structures thatfit the needs of most business entities.
Entering a career in Corporate Real Estate can take many paths. During my career I met countless CRE executives with myriad backgrounds. Some moved from real estate services such as brokerage or consulting. Others came into the profession as architects or engineers. A popular avenue is facility management, since the disciplines of property and maintenance management are a natural stepping stone to real estate management.
In this blog entry I would like to introduce the topic of CRE leadership and management. I hope to explore the topic over the next several weeks with the hope that these personal observations will be useful to those readers who aspire to make corporate real estate management a long term career.
Back in November of last year I cited a study by CBRE that seemed to debunk several myths about the Millennial generation and the office environment. The essence of the study was that while Millenials had certain preferences and attitudes about the workplace, in general there was little difference between the generations about their desire for workplace flexibility, preferences for urban settings, more collaboration, and more autonomy. However, in a recent article about Millenials in the March 15 issue of Fortune magazine, the theme of the article is about how to attract and retain the Millennial generation.
The primary driver of this growth is the rise of the contingent worker, which represents about one third of the US workforce according to government estimates. With the advent of mobile technology and cloud computing, millennials, those between the ages of 20-35, seek non-traditional work environments as well as a sense of community. Co-working meets these needs by offering informal and edgy workplaces, and a spectrum of services that might include WiFi, marketing training, social events, and even conferences aimed at the young, independent entrepreneurs.
For some large companies, the charter of CRE has expanded to include physical security, sustainability, and now even the charter may include company wellness programs. In an open online survey conducted by CoreNet Global, a strong majority of respondents – 80 percent — said that corporate wellness initiatives represent a “significant trend,” while only 20 percent said that they were a “passing fad.”
Earlier last week I attended a dinner in San Francisco of a group of corporate real estate executives. During the evening I had a chance to speak with several of the attendees, and queried what were the major issues being discussed by the group at their 2 day meeting. A number of topics came up including the subject of Corporate Wellness, Sustainability, and Strategy.
A major question I am asked on occasion is what is the best way to organize the corporatereal estate function. There are several fundamental principles that should be considered to answer this question.
With the New Year it’s a good time to take stock of the corporate real estate domain and consider the challenges facing the managerial profession responsible for the corporation’s real estate assets and services in the year ahead. Here are five major challenges if dealt with effectively will determine in part the success of corporate real estate in 2016.
In my last Blog entry I wrote that IOT would be a megatrend that would revolutionize building operations by imbedding machine addressable technology in every aspect of the built environment. IOT is not new. In fact the technology has been around since the late 1990s. Gartner estimates that there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.
Price Waterhouse Coopers recently published a report, “The Future of Work, a Journey to 2022,” in which the consulting firm developed three scenarios of how the future of work may evolve over the next 7 years. Mike reviews them here.
Virtually the entire infrastructure of the enterprise combines traditional facilities assets: buildings, land, furnishings, and lease contracts and IT assets: servers, storage, networks, mainframes, and applications. In the last half century these distinct asset classes have become ever more intertwined, interdependent, and fused to create work platforms.
In this morning’s New York Times, it was reported that Goldman Sachs recently consolidated from three floors to two in its major Manhattan office tower. The Times reports that “the changes in real estate have helped Goldman reduce its cost by 17 percent since 2010.” This is yet another example of the value in corporate real estate strategic planning and why I wanted to spend a bit more time on the subject.
At the time I was the Corporate Real Estate Director of a major multinational corporation with a headquarters in New York City. It was the mid 1990s, and the real estate market in midtown Manhattan was a bit soft. Senior management wanted to move out of New York to an owned (and relatively vacant) office building in suburban Connecticut.
What are some guiding principles for selecting and investing in software functionality in support of your facilities and real estate operations?
Many companies today use tenant representatives to handle various leasing actions such as leasehold relocations, renewals, expansions, and extensions. Tenant representatives are commercial brokers who typically operate exclusively as tenant advocates, while collecting commissions from building owners. This may seem like a conflict of interest, but the industry has self-regulating practices to avoid most abusive behavior.