Changing market dynamics require a new approach to enterprise real estate support needs and the much more complex client demands of today. Some service providers will embrace this shift and some may be left behind.
Business enterprises have historically strived for stability, process, and predictability. The last three years have now proven to the business world the greater importance of agility, adaptability, and responsiveness—not only to endure today’s challenges, but to also prepare and prosper in the future.
These concepts are often just buzzwords frequently used in “corporate speak” or in executive whitewashing statements without a sincere commitment to change. To make a real impact, an agile mindset and adaptive structure must be integrated into a company’s core culture. As corporations are created and mature, their continued growth can often become more important than culture, teamwork, and agility. At times, this can put the prospects for both corporate growth and talent retention at risk.
Commercial Real Estate (CRE) is not immune to these issues where agility, adaptability, and responsiveness can be true service differentiators for creating and executing a compelling service delivery solution. After many years of hyper corporate consolidation in the CRE Brokerage industry and the creation of many large-scale institutional grade CRE Brokerage firms, it becomes very difficult at times to discern where the client priorities actually fit into the bureaucracy of the Big Box Brokerage machines.
How does an institutional sized Big Box Brokerage firm remain agile enough to emulate a start up mindset? And to be truly focused on the client’s need for efficiency, empowerment, teamwork, collaboration, conflict free advice, and a financially transparent process? How can a Big Box Brokerage operate at flat organizational style execution speed?
Three strategies for future success.
01 Client First Strategy
Enterprise Clients rightly deserve a service providers focused attention, counsel, and professional real estate expertise. Finding the best opportunities and minimizing client risk means always staying ahead of the competition and quickly adapting to changes and challenges in the market.
Providing a highly responsive approach to real time market dynamics through research, experience and statistical analysis within a strategic mindset (not a transactional mindset) serves to help our clients with a better understanding of the issues and to better define all of the opportunities and all of the risks related to every engagement.
No matter what resources you have or need, the strength of any professional service provider team is the strength of the primary talent of the individual professionals being engaged. Once the team members are unencumbered by the layers of decision-making protocols, they can quickly adapt to their clients needs—in short, they are now enabled to do what is best for you, the client.
The very best solutions always require loading the proverbial quiver with just the specific arrows or tools needed for the task at hand—no more and no less. There is just no big box “one-size-fits-all” solution for most client engagements.
02 Agilty Is Flat, Fast And Focused
Many large companies often struggle to remain agile because as they grow they become more centralized and inflexible. Growth can provide economies of scale, but all the additional processes, automation, and complicated hierarchies can often be a source of frustration for clients, employees, and investors.
The tide seems to be turning now against large centralized and rigid organizational structures. Take note of the strategies used by Google, Apple, Salesforce, and Netflix—all are moving toward more agile and decentralized business models. In fact, some global corporate giants are working hard to emulate startups with a focus on company culture, efficiency, empowerment, and flat organizational flow.
The Netflix culture deck, for example, goes into great detail about freeing up talent from bureaucracy to just focus on doing great work for consumers. This proves that companies can sometimes be both big and agile, but agility and flexibility in larger companies must be intentional and embedded in the culture—not an easy task.
Alexandre Arnault is a prime example of creating rapid response playbooks by creating new ideas, making noise in the market, taking calculated risks and responding quickly to new trends in the article Inside Tiffany & Co.’s remarkable brand turnaround. To adopt agility requires a significant shift in the leadership mindset. We must be committed to a process that enables a team’s ability to pivot by removing rigid hierarchies, siloed business units, and mind-numbing bureaucracy away from the business model.
A strong agile platform is innovative, structured to embrace change, and able to quicky adapt in real time.
Within an agile platform, the enterprise can achieve efficiencies of scale with speed, flexibility, and resilience. This provides a competitive advantage over traditionally slow and heavy business models.
03 Stay ahead of the curve
Both customers and CRE service providers are increasingly challenged by the speed and uncertainty of change. This requires a sharp strategic focus on all key elements of economic risks and rewards, technology changes, talent, engagement and human behavior. .
Agility, service provider value, and real vested accountability have become an increasingly important part of our CRE industry enterprise client engagement process.
Many large format Big Box Broker firms continue to operate withing a traditional top-down hierarchy, which are often slow—or worse, unwilling—to adapt to a clients’ changing needs. Also, often financially conflicted on many project engagements with their embedded profit centers, siloed operational issues and opaque conflict of interest disclosure practices.
The best-in-class CRE service provider model today is quickly accelerating to a much more agile and nimble solutions platform where professional talent is strategically focused and delivered through a partner who puts your real estate challenges and opportunities first—always.
This “Trusted Advisor” model is not new by any stretch, but it does require talent, knowledge, and an absolute dedication to fiercely delivery transparent solutions that are always fully aligned with your company’s strategic objective.
Let’s work together.
Kevin Beaudry, SIOR, MCRE
+1 416 254 6099