Smaller and medium-sized real estate companies can find a place in the corporate outsourcing market by providing something more important than scale.
According to an Avison Young report, while global real estate providers have the reach and brand recognition, smaller firms have a place in the market and should have one thing in mind when dealing with corporate clients.
"It all begins with trust,” says Brian Bellew, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the firm's enterprise solutions practice group. “Trust in an outsourcing relationship is more important than what both parties negotiate into the service agreement. Trust is a key element to the long-term success of the relationship. Trust is causal – that is, a direct link exists between trust and longevity in outsourcing relationships."
The report - "Shifting Gears: Corporate Occupants Re-evaluate Real Estate Outsourcing Models" – identifies key trends in the corporate real estate outsourcing market.
"Outsourcing drivers are changing among heads of corporate real estate for occupants, especially those with smaller or medium-sized portfolios," says Bellow. "Their companies often do not need fully integrated, global services. These leaders now have more choices and are more open to working with smaller- and medium-sized firms that do not necessarily position themselves as full-service global corporate real estate providers."
The report asks whether some of the larger firms have lost the ability to act quickly, think entrepreneurially, and take reasonable risks.
And that is leading some corporate executives to reverse their thinking around broker-led models, which have been considered to lack some of the additional services required.
“Increasingly, corporate real estate executives are realizing that the behaviour-based qualities of service providers like commitment, team chemistry and trust are just as important – or even more important – than sheer scale or technology to the overall success of the joint relationship,” adds Bellows.