R. J. Brennan: Cost Cutting in a Real Estate Portfolio

Don’t waste a good crisis.  Right now is a great time to sit down and rethink and reinvent how we look at real estate and the workplace.  That’s the opinion of R. J. Brennan, Associate and Director of Workplace Strategies at IA Interior Architects in Chicago and former president of the Chicago Chapter of CoreNet Global.  Additionally, Brennan has lectured internationally on sustainable design, high-performance work spaces and change management.

In a recent interview for The Alter Group Podcasts on Real Estate, Brennan notes that a new study by CoreNet Global called “Portfolio Research Consortium” has found that Corporate America’s highest priority is cutting costs.  Space consolidation and alternative workplace strategies occupy second and third place.  The danger, Brennan warns, is not to cut so much that companies eliminate critical components necessary to support change.  If you don’t have adequate space to move staff as necessary, that creates a problem with doing business effectively.

Procurement, especially in terms of furniture, is another critical area where potential savings and greater value can be achieved.  Furniture systems, case goods and demountable walls are a strong negotiation point that can achieve an additional savings of three, four or even five percent.  On a 300,000 SF headquarters building, that could add up to a savings of more than $1 million.