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Real Estate & Location Strategy

Know your footprint – plot your course


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Real estate & facilities typically represent a company’s second largest spend after salaries and wages, but many organizations overlook them as key components in strategic decision-making. This can limit the ability to realize potential cost savings and operational efficiencies. Organizations would benefit from a full understanding of the extent and cost of owned and leased properties and related services and amenities. By doing so an organization can incorporate this knowledge into its strategy and planning.

We’ve done work on the ground in more than 60 countries and hundreds of cities, for virtually every business function and industry. No matter what obstacles your location, consolidation, capital program, or real estate & facilities management organizational restructuring project may encounter, we have the experience, knowledge and skills necessary to help you in your efforts to find the path to the results you want. And we do it with the hard-nosed objectivity that comes from decades of experience. Learn more about the service offering.

Case studies

Real estate & facilities operations improvement project
Deloitte helped one of the world's largest insurance businesses conduct an in-depth assessment of their existing global operations and develop recommendations and a road map for creating a world-class RE & FM function. The organization expects these improvements to reduce their total cost of ownership and operations by 10-15 percent, creating significant value for their business.

Advanced workplace strategies
As part of an enterprise-wide re-engineering effort, this client is targeting real estate costs through a large-scale alternative and mobile workplace program. The advanced workplace effort yielded overall run rate savings of hundreds of millions dollars per year.

Enterprise footprint optimization
Deloitte is working with this Federal Agency to conduct in-depth assessments of the location, utilization and costs associated with their real estate portfolio. We are helping the senior leaders of this Agency to develop a unified vision for their portfolio strategy and the action plans they need to execute in order to achieve their goals.

Real estate & facilities technology enablement
Deloitte helped this global pharmaceutical company to consolidate a multi-functional asset management process by integrating TRIRIGA and another leading software solution to create an enterprise-wide asset management platform that made over fifteen systems obsolete. This effort facilitated the development of an opportunity business case for implementing advanced workplace management strategies and developed a new real estate portfolio strategy / program to drive significant reduction in ongoing costs.

Site selection
This solar company engaged Deloitte to assist in developing and executing its global expansion and location strategy. Deloitte developed the strategy and led the negotiations with the governments for the land transfer, tax holidays, utility and road infrastructure development, training and investment grants and other inducements valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

Real estate & incentives negotiations
This client, a major global manufacturer for the wind industry, operates specifically in the production of wind turbine motors. Deloitte was engaged to help with identifying an effective location in the U.S. for a new facility. Deloitte supported the client’s site selection process and negotiated monetary incentives that totaled nearly 50% of the project capital expenditure.The client’s operations also created 275 jobs.

Featured insights

Transforming CRE service delivery: Unlocking sustainable value for the enterprise
Read the article from "The Leader" magazine published in the January/February 2013 issue.

12 mistakes to avoid in site selection
Read the article.

Real estate consideration in M&A and divestiture activity
Role of real estate & facilities (RE&F) organizations in M&A and divestitures.

Is your corporate footprint stuck in the mud
Read the Deloitte Review article.

Making mobility stick
Seven insights for increasing adoption of your workplace mobility program

Meet our people

  • Darin Buelow, Principal, Practice Lead - Commercial, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Dennis Schultz, Principal, Practice Lead - Federal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Related offerings

Learn more about the offering

Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy (RE&LS) practice is focused on three aspects of operational excellence: 1) enhancing the effectiveness of the real estate & facilities management function / organization, 2) effectively managing the performance of an organizations real estate and workplace assets and 3) striking and maintaining an effective balance between market access, talent availability and cost competitiveness when making location strategy and incentives decisions.

Today, many organizations should adopt a new approach and viewpoint --- one that does not loses sight of the big picture. How will new locations likely affect existing operations? What type of operating model should you deploy to effectively balance the needs to function / process vs. geography? How will different locations and talent markets likely change over time? What are the potential tax implications? What kind of technology enablement should you put in place to support real estate & facilities operations? These are the types of questions that organizations grapple with in their search to find balance.

How we can help

Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy practice benefits from access to the depth and breadth of resources that one of the world’s largest professional services provider has to offer. We have a dedicated, full-time team of management consulting specialists focused on RE&LS; as well as an extended team of over 200 professionals that focus on lease consulting, property tax and financial advisory services.

Our team of seasoned practitioners assist many complex organizations in developing innovative strategies and executing complex programs that are designed to add significant value, while reducing risk and enhancing enterprise alignment. The six core RE&LS service offering categories include:

Bottom-line benefits

Our Real Estate & Location Strategy services are designed to help organizations in their efforts to:

  • Align with and contribute to corporate strategy
  • Expand market share and the potential to penetrate wholly new markets
  • Improve workplace flexibility to support organizational and business change
  • Improve the effectiveness of incentives and real estate negotiations
  • Improve ability to manage the organization and external service providers
  • Reduce costs by addressing “all in” costs of a location and associated service delivery

Five ways to get more value now

Our team has helped some of the world’s leading companies in their efforts to improve performance of the real estate & facilities management function. We have also provided services in support of thousands of expansion and consolidation projects in locations around the world. We’ve learned a few lessons along the way. Here are a few worth keeping in mind.

  1. Take the initiative. Real estate and facilities can be a major consideration whenever strategic planning, budgeting, branding, M&A integration, divestiture planning, outsourcing, or off-shoring is on the agenda. Earning a seat at the corporate strategy table means proposing value-creating initiatives now, not waiting for leadership to come to you.
  2. Bring real estate together. Standardizing and streamlining real estate processes, along with information management technologies, across the enterprise can help create efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction and reduce risk. Effective strategies draw upon a variety of approaches that accommodate changing business conditions, sustainability objectives and workforce needs.
  3. Get close to your customers. Learning about internal and external customers and understanding how real estate and related decisions can affect them can pay dividends. Understand the business objectives, expectations and risk tolerances of the organizations you work with.
  4. Look before you leap. Any strategy should clearly establish the decision drivers and consider the broader impact of decisions on the overall operational and facility footprint. The strategy should be broader than deployment-related issues, such as physical space constraints and operating cost reduction targets. More strategic considerations such as growth objectives, depth and flexibility of the talent pool, intellectual property protection and political or currency risks also have a big role to play.
  5. Think like the locals. Many companies are surprised to find that their deeply entrenched approaches to talent management, local vendor management, leasing and other important aspects of buildings and operations do not translate well to new locations – even domestically. There is no substitute for understanding the nuances of local markets when considering locating a new facility.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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