Creating Resilience

The Case for Centralization of Corporate Real Estate

February 28, 2024 3 Minute Read


A notable trend is emerging, as those responsible for corporate real estate are increasingly establishing centralized organizations to streamline operations and optimize efficiency. In a recent survey by CBRE Institute, nearly one-third of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities leaders anticipate major team restructurings, while 66% anticipate near-term organizational changes.

Centralizing a corporate real estate organization is an opportunity to transform the team into trusted advisors. A centralized structure enables proactive portfolio management by consolidating resources and expertise, leading to cost reduction and enhanced alignment with corporate strategy. This shift empowers the team to anticipate and address real estate needs strategically. It drives greater value for the organization while fostering a culture of innovation and forward-thinking decision-making.

One head of corporate real estate at a fintech company said, “Transformation is one of the most overused terms in business. But there are corporate real estate organizations truly undergoing transformations that are creating a sense of urgency, resiliency and momentum to deliver real and sustainable results. Incremental change is not their story.”

An example of real estate transformation, hybrid occupancy strategies, has shifted the way organizations think about their teams: how they report, how they function and how effective they are within the company model. This is more than a simple redrafting of the organization’s structure. A thoughtful approach to establishing (or re-establishing) a corporate real estate organization structure will prepare for unknown workplace changes and give a company competitive advantages.

Consolidating a real estate organization yields numerous corporate benefits, including a consistent client and employee experience that enhances the brand and provides an edge in the fierce competition for talent. Moreover, the company stands to gain a stronger financial position by:

  • Strategically and efficiently managing the portfolio
  • Leveraging scale to drive down operating costs
  • Establishing centralized controls to mitigate financial, reputational and safety risk

This approach optimizes resource utilization but also fosters a culture of accountability and efficiency, ultimately contributing to sustainable growth and success.

Centralizing a corporate real estate organization requires a holistic approach that considers various factors. Understanding the needs of an organization’s stakeholders ensures alignment with their objectives. Assessing current capabilities and identifying areas for improvement helps determine the necessary resources and skill sets required for success. Deliberately designing the processes and technology that support the real estate portfolio sets the conditions for efficiency and effectiveness. Finally, a purposefully organized team structure promotes employee development and well-being, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement. The ultimate outcome is a lean, flexible organization of real estate professionals that is thoughtfully designed to deliver on business priorities.

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