Watch the banks

December 14, 2011 / By

It has been no surprise that banks emerged as the corporate real estate (CRE) trendsetters amid our wobbly global economy. As the first to enact massive headcount cuts a couple of years ago, many banks were left with unoccupied offices, frequently in prime downtown spaces.

Having recovered their grasp on growth with a focus on Asian and Latin American developing markets, financial institutions are no longer occupying office space in the traditional way.

Banking and finance CRE executives’ responses to our inaugural Global Corporate Real Estate Survey 2011 show that they are doing more (and anticipating further) strategizing with their company CEOs and other C-suite officers.

They were especially fervent about tactics that support flexibility, geographically tailored solutions (as what works in Europe, the US or Australia may not work in Asia), alternative/mobile workplaces, CRE partnerships and more scalable leasing arrangements.

These trends are here to stay as banks and other financial organizations are entirely committed to smart, flexible growth. That entails facilitating growth where needed while right-sizing real estate portfolios and optimizing owned or leased space elsewhere.

Responding to the smart growth imperative and to higher C-suite expectations, CRE executives are increasingly empowered to take a lead role in executing these strategies. This involves challenging the status quo—not always easy when it comes to persuading top executives that they no longer need that spacious room with a view.

Banking and finance companies continue to be the trendsetters in corporate real estate. You may not be working with a bank, a securities house or a finance company. You may not plan to in the near future. Yet, even if none of these trends intrude on your work or thoughts right now, three years from now, you might be thinking differently. Watch the banks.

Read more in Jones Lang LaSalle Trends in the Banking and Finance Sector – Global Corporate Real Estate Survey 2011.


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