Real simple Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

Most companies can effectively manage one or two or three facilities. There are many legal, tax, rent, and maintenance issues to consider, but a few properties in a single market can usually be understood and administered well.

But what happens when you have 12 or 212 or 2,012 facilities? Unless your company specializes in real estate or wants to make a significant, long-term investment in a full-service, internal real estate department, the task of managing a growing list of properties can be overwhelming. That’s where corporate services step in to offer dedicated, comprehensive real estate services to clients on an as-needed basis.

“Corporate real estate advisers focused on servicing all of the real estate needs of their clients,” says Robin Wherritt, senior vice president with Cresa Partners Orange County. Senior-level advisers like Robin can work in as many as 450 national markets. “We work hard to insure our clients receive the best result at the lowest possible cost while insuring each solution aligns with our clients’ business plans.”

Smart Business spoke with Wherritt about how corporate advisers make real estate management effortless.

What is included in corporate real estate services?

Corporate real estate services provided by expert real estate advisers take the burden of real estate management off a company. These advisers do everything from research, logistics and site selection in new markets to analyzing and implementing a competitive contract renewal process that insures venders, such as electrical contractors, are in place nationwide.

Corporate services allow companies to work with a professional who specializes in real estate and understands their business. These advisers can streamline everything about real estate management so that clients have a consistent experience and know their entire real estate portfolio is handled as effectively as possible.

What benefits do corporate services advisers provide for businesses?

Numerous benefits result from bringing corporate service professionals onto a real estate management team. One of the biggest benefits is a consistent, seamless, comprehensive approach to real estate that reduces costs and increases efficiency.

Legal documentation: Because corporate service professionals handle all of a company’s real estate needs, the company can enjoy the advantages of a streamlined process. For instance, all of the documents can be preset and pre-approved by the internal legal and real estate departments. That means companies don’t experience delays due to constantly revising and re-approving items like sublease contracts, requests for proposals, or letters of intent.

Strategic acquisition: Working with a single source allows you to maximize your strategic use of real estate and minimize the amount of time you spend on the process. Corporate service advisers have an intimate understanding of a company’s real estate requirements and an extensive network of real estate contacts. When a client wants to move into a new area, its corporate service adviser can effectively hire and direct a local market specialist to find the best options available. The local broker offers area knowledge, and the corporate service adviser makes sure that all of her clients’ needs and wants are included in the package she presents.

Management analysis: Corporate services simplify real estate research and analysis, so that clients simply have to choose from among the best options. Corporate services have a comprehensive database of information about the companies they serve and the ability to research all different types of service providers. That means that corporate service advisers can help businesses implement corporate mandates.

How do advisers ensure a company’s real estate portfolio meets its business objectives?

Corporate service advisers act as a one-stop real estate shop. Instead of having to work with countless real estate professionals, companies go to their adviser with their requirements, such square footage, location and move date.

From that point, the adviser springs into action, activating his extensive network of local brokers. The adviser finds the best alternatives, secures pertinent data and sets up client site visits. The adviser then helps the client interpret how the information relates to her real estate business objectives.

If a client decides to purchase a space, advisers handle all of the negotiation. Then corporate services can then help businesses look at options for finishing out the building, like alternatives for furniture providers or contractors.

On a continuing basis, corporate real estate advisers help companies confirm that they are running efficient operations. They will provide analysis and leadership by helping to create corporate standards focused on creating better space utilization or creating standards associated with materials suppliers. They can also provide an associated cost comparison analysis. Long before a client’s lease expiration, a good adviser will pro-actively analyze the market, confirm the client’s objectives, and develop and implement a strategy that maximizes savings and landlord concessions.

ROBIN WHERRITT is senior vice president with Cresa Partners Orange County. Reach her at rwherritt@cresapartners.com or (949) 706-6631.