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Saturday, 29 February

Order Takers to Order Makers? CRE Teams Under the Cosh

Skyrocketing ‘C-suite demands’ for productivity are creating a ‘pressure cooker’ of expectations for corporate real estate (CRE) teams, according to a new JLL international report.

Tracking insights from 544 CRE executives worldwide – 32% in Europe – the survey details the C-suite’s growing recognition of CRE and the corresponding pressure on CRE teams.

JLL’s third biennial Global Corporate Real Estate Trends report shows that CRE teams are even more challenged to transform their role from order takers to order makers today than in the company’s last survey in 2013. More than half of respondents report even greater C-suite expectations in nearly every category.

A ‘concerning’ 15% state that they are ‘poorly equipped’ to meet the increased demands; double since 2013. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who say they are ‘well-equipped’ has fallen from 28% to 17%. Lack of access to data and analytics was the top-rated constraint limiting further development of the CRE function. 

The report states that the most effective means to transform the CRE function in a business is to prioritise people and people skills. This, combined with a strong data and analytics platform, will ‘facilitate smarter corporate real estate decisions’.

“Today across Europe, Middle East and Africa, CEOs have an unrelenting focus on wringing the maximum productivity out of their office space,” explained Vincent Lottefier, Global Director and CEO of Corporate Solutions, EMEA for JLL. “Speaking to CRE professionals in the region, we’ve found that the most pressing challenge they are facing is the need to balance cost reduction with value creation. But while we are seeing that the CRE function is rapidly maturing, its transformation from tactical manager to trusted advisor is far from complete.”

The report notes that the top C-suite demands to CRE teams include:

  • Stronger involvement with the business. 62% of CRE executives report increasing C-suite demand to present real estate scenarios and ‘solutions’ to the business, and nearly 70% report increasing demand to challenge the business about its presumed space needs.

  • Improve workplace and workforce productivity. CRE teams are at the forefront of creating a more positive experience and increased effectiveness in the workplace. 62% of CRE teams see increasing demand from leadership to enable more flexible working and 59% envisage increasing demand to support ‘cultural’ change.

  • Improve asset and business productivity. The C-suite also expects improved productivity across the corporate real estate and facilities portfolio; a complex goal with many ‘moving parts’. In 2015, 60% of CRE teams report pressure to improve the productivity of the physical real estate assets; a significant increase over the 47% reporting this pressure in 2013.

“The key to achieving the right CRE balance across the world is a business-aligned approach that prioritises data science, proactive leadership and predictive analytics,” said Lottefier. “Without this shift, CRE teams will continue with ‘business as usual’ instead of breaking through to the next level.”

Picture: JLL’s third biennial Global Corporate Real Estate Trends report shows that CRE teams are even more challenged to transform their role

Article written by Robin Snow

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