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Competition continues to accelerate and to drive change in the business world. The pressure to reach diverse global markets with speed and agility means the successful global corporation is in a perpetual state of introspection and evaluation, always seeking ways to improve and sustain maximum performance.

Upstream real estate planning can give corporations the advantage they seek.

Pervasive—across the board—upstream strategic corporate planning, which includes the alignment of corporate real estate with the overall corporate and business unit objectives, is key to efficiencies and economies in the areas of capital allocation, company-wide operations and day-to-day optimal real estate related cash flow management. But, true capital-based real estate alignment requires the involvement of real estate managers very early in the corporate decision-making process.

When real estate is viewed in relation to the comprehensive business plan, it is possible to develop the specific strategic and tactical maneuvers necessary to reach the overall corporate goal. Accurate, well-informed decisions can be made about the corporation’s current and future space needs. Centralized policies and increased communication between real estate planners, top-level executives and the various business units allow for the adoption of best practices and industry benchmarking.

Corporate business objectives and corporate real estate have for too long been viewed as two separate issues, rather than two sides of the same coin.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to view real estate in a vacuum, as it can have a crippling effect on overall performance. Corporate strategy backed by proactive real estate planning also allows for intelligent exit strategies, efficient and productive re-use of capital, flexibility and, most importantly, the avoidance of waste.