Many of the industry's senior-most corporate real estate executives gathered recently for the CoreNet Global's fourth annual Industry Leaders Roundtable to identify forces, trends and practices redefining the nature of work, the workplace and the delivery of real-estate related services.
Forty-seven real estate practitioners, service providers and staff used the series of 11 Discovery Forums and two Location Strategy Forums held in 2002 as a backdrop for the December 4-5 Roundtable in San Mateo, California.
In addition to providing the basis for new learnings and knowledge sharing via Global Summits, the Executive Development Seminar Series, Chapter educational sessions and other channels, the Roundtable findings serve as an industry barometer for the coming year.
"The corporate real estate (CorpRE) profession gains a tremendous amount of leverage when CorpRE professionals can meet and share their experiences, and we, in turn, add more value to our companies," commented one of the participants, Heather M. Macdonald, Director of Corporate Services, Intuit Inc.
"It's a great opportunity to test theory against reality," according to Julian Pinner, Partner Head of Corporate Real Estate, Knight Frank, who traveled from London to attend the event.
Impacting the Profession
Key CorpRE business drivers emerged as one outcome of the two-day dialogue and include:
Much of the discussion accounted for the pressure facing most corporate practitioners and their service provider partners in the areas of cost control, risk management and adding value. A sense of 'doing more with less' but being strategically successful at striking a balance predominated the case studies and other insights that were shared.
"The roundtable is a place to challenge and be challenged - and to critically think about what business processes will work for my company," added Randall W. Smith, Vice President, U.S. Real Estate & Facilities, Oracle Corporation.
The impact of economic and business cycles on real estate remains profound, as the discussions revealed. The result is that corporate real estate continues to change and that new business models are emerging. But the uncertainty surrounding the business climate is only growing as the repercussions of 9/11 and other events pronounce themselves.
As stated by Tony Linden, Director of Real Estate, UPS Europe S.A./N.V. , at a recent Discovery Forum in Paris, "We used to be able to plan with a relatively high level of certainty, but there seems to be less certainty about the economy than I have seen in the past - and that uncertainty is starting to cause problems because investment decisions are being delayed."
Where Corporate Real Estate Needs to Provide Strategic Focus
Participants explored a spectrum of strategic focus areas:
"The value of this roundtable was related to the great exchange of ideas between professionals who engage their business units and have established processes for delivering service - as well as focusing on the future while solving real problems related to the current economic environment," said John F. Igoe, Vice President of Real Estate & Site Services, Palm Solutions Group.
Changes in Corporate Real Estate Management
"In" vs. "Out"
Outsourcing is one of the forces most affecting corporate real estate's role in adding value to the organization. Views have evolved over recent years about the extent to which corporate real estate functions should be outsourced. The debate is reflected in this comparison from the recent CoreNet Global Industry Leaders Roundtable:
CoreNet Global Learning produces the annual Industry Leaders Roundtable and thanks the following organizations for their support:
Accruent Inc. Booz Allen Hamilton Co-Source Inc. Herman Miller
The Staubach Company