Real estate is found to contribute to business objectives in general as well as financially, especially by outsourcing services to professionals and changing ownership in rent or lease.

The 2004 study also found that two-third of companies owned more than 70% of their real estate; now the number of companies owning 70% has decreased significantly. And multinationals that still own a significant share of their real estate consider selling property to release money for core activities.

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The survey shows that most enterprises now have a real estate strategy. A clear trend in corporate real estate management is centralisation and professionalisation. Real estate professionals are appointed to set up a real estate and accommodations administration. Often real estate consultants are hired for support because of their experience and expertise.

Even though the consciousness has increased, companies should be aware not to lose their focus on the importance of real estate in business, the study warns.

Jan Siemons is a partner in Ernst & Young.

 E-mail: jan.siemons@nl.ey.com