The Big Issues Facing Commercial Real Estate

By US Daily Review Staff.

CoreNet Global’s Industry Leaders Opinion Poll, conducted in March 2012, gauges the level urgency of a variety of social responsibility, environmental, economic and financial issues. Nearly 200 senior-level corporate real estate and workplace executives at Fortune 1000 companies around the world were surveyed.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The survey revealed that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important to corporate real estate executives and the multinational companies they serve.

Four out of five respondents perceive CSR with reliable performance measurement as urgent to extremely urgent, again starting with the fact that many members have direct day-to-day impact within this area and often help inform the so-called “Triple Bottom Line” along which many publicly traded companies report performance results today.

Two other related issues, Existing Buildings and Energy Management, also resonate strongly among CoreNet Global members, and are ranked highly by the respondents.

One issue ranked as urgent in the survey, Quality of Working Environments and Work Experiences, speaks to the importance of flexible workplace strategies as the most critical aspect of CSR. More than nine in ten of the respondents ranked it as such.

CSR and sustainability issues topped the poll’s urgency scale:

  1. Quality of working environments and work experiences 93%
  2. Energy conservation and alternative industries 90%
  3. Existing building stock retrofit or disposition 84%
  4. CSR with reliable performance measures 80%
  5. Green location incentives 47%

“Once again, work environments rank highly whether in terms of corporate social responsibility, sustainability or profitability,” said Richard Kadzis, vice president strategic communications at CoreNet Global, noting that work-life support, work enablement and employee engagement are already the top drivers of major social change in the workplace over the coming years. For these reasons, Kadzis adds, “the CRE model is now the business model.”

Economic and Financial Issues

“For several years running, lease accounting standards have remained a pressing issue for corporate real estate executives and their CFO’s,” added Kadzis. “While the FASB and IABC accounting boards have been reviewing how to best move real estate and other leased assets onto the corporate balance sheets for quite a long time now, the CRE industry is concerned about further delays in the final draft of the new standard. It’s still a ‘hurry up and wait’ kind of scenario that will result in higher administrative and technology costs and overhead for most publicly-traded companies.”

Government leaders could decide to offset monetary and economic issues with economic stimuli. This question is linked to a range of other related issues and opportunities that, if addressed positively, would create more investment, jobs and growth globally.

Industry executives ranked the economic and financial issues as follows:

  1. Lease accounting standards implementation 76%
  2. Sovereign debt and fiscal instability 69%
  3. Global infrastructure upgrades and enhancements 65%
  4. Real property taxation 64%
  5. Global regional location incentives  55%
  6. National corporate income tax rates 54%

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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