Article | Evolving Workforces

Managing Corporate Real Estate: Leading and Emerging Practices

A Global Annual Study by CBRE & Corenet Global

24 Mar 2021 5 Minute Read

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CBRE and CoreNet Global partnered to survey corporate real estate (CRE) leaders and gauge the evolution of CRE’s mission and purpose, explore how CRE departments are structured and document both emerging and established management practices.

The results are particularly insightful, as many CRE teams around the world are seeking guidance on go-forward strategy and structure in 2021—in light of COVID-19’s long-term impact on the corporate workplace.

Key Findings:

  • Mission and Priorities: Health & safety now shares top billing with cost savings as a leading priority informing the CRE mission.
  • Performance Metrics: CRE departments’ performance is generally measured through financial goals.
  • Reporting Structure: CFO remains the most common executive role into which CRE reports.
  • CRE’s Role Within Mergers & Acquisitions: A majority of CREs report early engagement in mergers and acquisitions.
  • Business Unit Engagement: CRE leaders foresee an increased focus on client relationship management (CRM) and portfolio planning in 2021.
  • Approach to Budget Ownership: The pandemic is causing many CRE departments to reconsider their approach to budget ownership and associated business unit (BU) allocation methodologies.
  • Departmental Centralization: Centralization of portfolio responsibilities through CRE has become a standard industry practice.
  • CRE Organizational Design: The lasting effects of the pandemic have spurred many CRE departments to reevaluate the team’s organizational structure, roles and responsibilities.
  • New Skill Sets: CRE leaders are seeking new and different skills in response to the evolution of the workforce.
  • Data, Technology and Analytics: CRE departments combine internal capabilities and service provider platforms to deliver portfolio analysis, operational reporting, CRM and more.
  • Leveraging Service Providers as an Extension of CRE: CRE leaders are expecting to increase their use of outsourcing in the COVID-19 era.

Study Overview

Geographic Inclusion

Remit ranging from regional (i.e., Americas, EMEA, APAC) to global
*Survey conducted Q3 2020

Mission Priorities

Health & safety now shares top billing with cost savings as a leading priority informing the CRE mission

CRE leaders are reporting a major shift in their priorities as a result of COVID-19 — with many objectives altered from pre-COVID times.

Pre-COVID, CRE leaders’ goals most commonly focused on enabling the core business (68%) and delivering quality service on time and budget (62%).

Today, the top two priorities of CRE leaders are ensuring the health and safety of employees in the work environment (71%) and identifying/driving cost savings (71%).

Top Missions and Priorities of CRE Organizations

How would you describe the primary mission and priorities of your CRE organization?
Please select your top 5 for the pre- and post-COVID-19 eras, respectively.

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