Being Different

Looking to the future can be fraught with difficulty.  Any business leader will testify to this given the difficulties of the last couple of years.  Actively preparing and transforming in anticipation of the future is even more challenging.  Breaking down traditional behaviours, structures and mentalities can be time-consuming, expensive and represent a step from safety towards the uncertainty of the unknown.

The global financial crisis shocks the corporate real estate industry from its orthodoxies.  Corporate leadership demanded more, scrutinised more and applied more pressure upon corporate real estate teams than ever before as they fought to cut costs and ensure survival.  Results from our recently published, inaugural Global Corporate Real Estate Survey confirm this and point towards a permanent change in operating context.

Facing up to a tougher operating environment necessitates a rethink of the delivery model for corporate real estate services both in terms of how the internal real estate function is structured and skilled and, crucially, how and which services are delivered through an outsourced service provider.

Although the real estate outsourcing market is at varying levels of maturity, we believe there are four behavioural traits required if the market is to break the current mould and evolve further and perhaps faster.  CRE leaders will need to be different and be one or more of the following.

Clear – about their vision of how future real estate services will be delivered (a quarter of our survey respondents are not presently)
Open – to change and recognise that the external service provider market can deliver and enable CRE teams to focus on higher value, internal engagement
Bold – to bring about the centralisation needed to make more advanced outsourcing models work
Exclusive – preparing to move to exclusive single partner relationships is a big step but one that will drive significant behavioural change for the long-term

Changing behaviour and ‘thinking outside the box’ represent two of the greatest management challenges.  They are challenges that CRE leaders are rapidly facing up to.  The strength and scope of response will ultimately determine the shape and speed of evolution in the outsourced real estate services market.

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To access our Inaugural Global Corporate Real Estate Survey please click here