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Corporate Real Estate and Procurement: The Next Power Couple

Collaboration between corporate real estate and procurement teams can drive employee engagement, innovation and workforce empowerment.

CHICAGO, Jan. 2, 2014 — Today’s most-successful partnerships – in popular culture, politics and the business community – are a result of collaboration to achieve mutual long-term goals. Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2013 Global Corporate Real Estate Trends survey (GCRES) explains how corporate real estate and procurement teams can emulate these partnerships by proactively collaborating to achieve strategic objectives, despite a price-driven outsourcing process.

“Procurement departments can add efficiency and transparency through standardized processes – but corporate real estate teams must partner with their procurement peers to build a shared understanding of real estate’s contribution to corporate strategy,” said Bryan Jacobs, International Director, Jones Lang LaSalle. “Without this collaboration, a company risks undervaluing its real estate partners or constraining their abilities to deliver long-term productivity gains.”

SURVEY SAYS (VIDEO):  JLL’s Global Corporate Real Estate Trends survey highlights the risks of corporate real estate and procurement functions ineffectively working together: 

Christian Beaudoin, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Jones Lang LaSalle

Outsourcing on the Rise
JLL’s report, which surveyed more than 630 corporate real estate executives around the world, found that only eight percent of companies globally have retained all corporate real estate functions in-house, a significant drop from the 24 percent reported in the 2011 GCRES. In the survey, 69 percent of CRE executives describe procurement as being actively involved in corporate real estate, with 36 percent describing procurement as being involved “on a permanent basis.” At the largest companies with global headcounts of more than 100,000, an even higher percentage — 47 percent — report permanent involvement.

Beyond Price: CRE’s Strategic Contributions
The involvement of procurement in real estate works most effectively when goals such as employee engagement and innovation are stated as shared objectives, along with price. The report found that 30 percent of CRE executives view outsourcing as a strategic relationship in which partnership value is assessed over the long term, while only six percent see it as a tactic to be executed with the lowest-cost supplier. Many are engaging in transformative relationships involving performance-based incentives, key performance indicators and risk-sharing to capitalize on value from deeper, strategic partnerships. 

However, corporate real estate executives share a concern that procurement is not familiar enough with the real estate function to work together toward strategic goals. According to the GCRES survey, 58 percent of respondents report that procurement has a limited knowledge of real estate as well as the nature and complexity of the services being procured.

“The real estate function today presents an opportunity for strategic sourcing professionals to create value for the enterprise through worker enablement, talent attraction/retention and employee engagement,” said Jacobs. “The right real estate partner with the right strategy can help enhance employee productivity, optimize the balance sheet and meet corporate goals ranging from M&A to sustainability.”  

JLL’s second biennial report on Global Corporate Real Estate Trends unearths the five top corporate real estate risks, including possible negative impacts to competitive advantage and profitability from cost cutting, procurement processes, lack of collaboration between functions and failure to drive productivity. It measures insights from more than 630 corporate real estate executives in 39 countries.

Wondering where your corporation stands? Find out how your organization measures up to its peers in key areas such as outsourcing plans, workplace strategy and resource capacity. Answer five quick questions via JLL’s interactive online tool and receive an instant comparison of your responses with the survey result norms.

To request a full copy of the report, visit or download a presentation on JLL’s new Slideshare profile. Social media users can also engage in the conversation about the future of corporate real estate on Twitter using #CRETrends.  

A leader in the real estate outsourcing field, JLL’s Corporate Solutions business helps corporations improve productivity in the cost, efficiency and performance of their national, regional or global real estate portfolios by creating outsourcing partnerships to manage and execute a range of corporate real estate services.

This service delivery capability helps corporations improve business performance, particularly as companies turn to the outsourcing of their real estate activity as a way to manage expenses and enhance profitability.

For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please visit the firm’s global media center Web page

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6 billion square feet and completed $63 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2012. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $46.7 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit