Large Companies Pay Too Little Attention to Real Estate

Ineffective management means companies may be spending far too much on office buildings and other property, according to Accenture survey.

Athena Reilly, global leader, Accenture Real Estate SolutionsMany large corporations with significant property holdings are doing a poor job of managing, utilizing or even just keeping track of their real estate holdings, and could be spending way too much on things like office buildings, retail space or manufacturing space. That’s the finding of a survey conducted by the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture, which surveyed real estate executives at 181 companies. 

Athena Reilly, global lead for Accenture Real Estate Solutions, says that if large companies acted to optimize their real estate portfolios, “they could save anywhere from 5% to 40% of what they are spending on real estate.” In many cases, that could be quite a lot of money.

“What we’re seeing is that managements are starting to try to centralize property oversight so they can gain more transparency across their portfolio,” Reilly says. “The actual management of properties might remain decentralized, but they are trying to centralize the data. They’re also getting more interested in analytics.”

Reilly predicts that this centralization will make corporate real estate more of a risk management issue, “so treasury and risk departments may have a bigger role in real estate going forward.”

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