Aaron Pomerantz, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, says a little planning and attention to workplace culture can help associations make more-informed real estate decisions.
When should associations evaluate their current real estate?
Real estate is typically the second-highest expense organizations incur next to staff, so consistently evaluating this component to determine if you’re getting value for your money is key. And because it typically takes about one to two years to find, negotiate, and build out new office space, if your association decides it is time for a new home, it’s important to be proactive and ready to look long before your lease expires.
How are associations’ real estate decisions affected by changing work styles?
What an association requires can change depending on its culture, the type of work it does, and where the organization is in its real estate lifecycle. That said, we’ve seen a few things influencing decisions. For example, after years of trending toward footprint reduction, recently organizations have been remaining static in terms of size. Plus, the allocation of space has shifted, with a trend toward smaller workspaces that include more collaboration areas and meeting rooms.
What is the most important real estate trend for associations to pay attention to in the next year?
The most important trend is the focus on space flexibility. Since the future is always uncertain, associations should prepare for possible economic change. Organizations must seek to future-proof their real estate strategy and always be looking for space that gives them the flexibility to reduce their footprint, terminate their contract, or sublease their space.