The cost of choice: how corporate real estate managers evaluate business space options
Gibson, V., (2000) The cost of choice: how corporate real estate managers evaluate business space options. Working Papers in Land Management & Development. 04/00. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp16.
Firms are faced with a wider set of choices when they identify a need for new office space. They can build or purchase accommodation, lease space for long or short periods with or without the inclusion of services, or they can use “instant office” solutions provided by serviced office operators. But how do they evaluate these alternatives and are they able to make rational choices? The research found that the shortening of business horizons lead to the desire for more office space on short-term contracts often with the inclusion of at least some facilities management and business support services. The need for greater flexibility, particularly in financial terms, was highlighted as an important criteria when selecting new office accommodation. The current office portfolios held were perceived not to meet these requirements. However, there was often a lack of good quality data available within occupiers which could be used to help them analyse the range of choices in the market. Additionally, there were other organisational constraints to making decisions about inclusive real estate products. These included fragmentation of decisions-making, internal politics and the lack of assessment of business risk alongside real estate risk. Overall therefore, corporate occupiers themselves act as an interial force to the development of new and innovative real estate products.