Occupiers incorporating third-party agile space into their real estate strategy

Occupiers increasingly incorporate third-party 'agile space' into their real estate strategyCorporate real estate departments need to become more effective partners in the agile transformation of their broader organizations., claims a new survey conducted by CBRE, in partnership with CoreNet Global. When describing Portfolio Agility, i.e. the ability to rapidly adapt, scale and reposition the organization’s real estate portfolio to support shifting enterprise needs, 67 percent consider portfolio agility as the most important type of agility for business success, yet only 14 percent consider themselves highly agile in this area. The most prevalent portfolio agility practices included negotiating flexible space options in the lease, seeking shorter and/or more flexible lease terms, supporting an enterprise-wide flex-work program and delivering free address work environments. The report states that new workplace guidelines for efficiency have altered the way companies plan for density and more occupiers are incorporating third-party ‘agile space’ into their overall real estate strategy.

“While frequently used for individuals and small teams, some companies are testing this strategy on larger groups of employees, now increasingly viewed as consumers, because the offering typically provides the aesthetics, amenities and experience that appeals to today’s workforce,” said Brandon Forde, executive managing director, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE.

The 87 participating organizations, primarily in the finance, technology, government, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, that took place in the survey, self-described their level of agility and identified agile practices in which they regularly engaged.

Digital & Technology Agility: describes the ability to execute a vision for corporate real estate technology today while monitoring and accounting for technology that may be available in the future. Only ten percent believe their corporate real estate digital and technology strategy is highly agile. The most agile organizations are monitoring emerging trends in technology and creating sophisticated business analytics and dashboards to inform the C-suite.

Fifty percent of survey respondents maintain a digital & technology funding mechanism, highlighting the continuing challenge of prioritizing real estate technology needs among organizations today.

Organizational Agility: describes the ability to easily scale the organization’s core real estate team to serve business needs. Just 16 percent of respondents consider their corporate real estate organization as highly agile, yet the survey found they were not employing any materially different strategies from their less-agile peers.

In-house real estate teams tend to be lean and 69 percent of respondents leverage third-party partners to outsource certain real estate functions, such as brokerage, project management, facilities management, transaction management and lease administration.

“Corporate real estate departments are changing their operating models and placing a higher value on leveraging service provider capabilities, coverage and expertise, said Karen Ellzey, executive managing director and global lead, Management Consulting and Analytics, CBRE.

“This approach, particularly when undertaken in a comprehensive and integrated manner, enables the internal CRE organization to stay focused on more strategic forward-looking business priorities.

“This becomes all the more important in an increasingly dynamic, unpredictable economic environment.”

Read the full report on CBRE’s website