The Next 30 Years
Someone asked me recently what I predict about the future of the corporate real estate industry. Cresa Minneapolis is turning 30 years old this month, and to answer the question, I looked back at where we’ve been.
Here’s what’s funny: My predictions for the future of the industry are pretty similar to what Cresa’s founders, Bill Tobin and Tom Sexton, predicted when they started Cresa 30 years ago. They were mavericks three decades ago, and we’re still mavericks now.
Bill and Tom saw that the market was missing a true tenant representative, who served clients without the typical conflicts of interest in real estate. They wanted to fill that gap with their new firm. To do that, they left behind the standard model of hiring brokers and built a company that looks less like a sales engine and more like a professional-services firm.
All these years later, our focus on conflict-free tenant representation is very much the same. And we’re still the only ones in the market who seem to think that way. For all the new technology we’ve seen move into business, the corporate real estate model has stayed pretty much the same.
How the Industry Will Change
So, what do I expect to see over the next 30 years? I do think that our industry will be disrupted, and soon. Customers will seek out experts who can guide them through major real estate decisions and business strategies — not just through quick one-off transactions. Our team at Cresa is well-suited to rise to the occasion. We already have CPAs, attorneys, business analysts, property managers, designers and contractors on our team who come together to help clients make the best possible decisions.
Customers are looking for different kinds of real estate models, too. Before the Recession, we’d see companies holding on to extra square footage in case they grew and expanded. Now, we’re seeing the opposite: Everyone wants to do more with less, limit their square footage and occupy less square footage per employee. Even industrial and manufacturing companies want more streamlined, efficient spaces.
Decision makers also want more information. Instead of just looking to us for real estate options, they’re looking for data about the shifting labor market, patient data, parking, transportation logistics, competition and many other inputs that influence big real estate decisions. Customers want to leverage our proprietary tools and data sets to make better informed real estate decisions. Providing that expertise will continue to set Cresa apart from the crowd.
The Future for Cresa
When I think about the future of Cresa, I think about our people. As customers look for trusted, expert advisers, our people will matter more than ever. When I look at our team at Cresa, I see people who have been with the organization for 10, 15 and 20 years. Our “new” people are the ones with five years under their belts. To me, that’s the sign of a successful company, and we’re proud of that kind of tenure. We want to create a place where people come and stay. We’re constantly looking at what other leaders in the market offer employees, and we always want to be a notch above that at Cresa.
Our team loves the work we do. We love coming to work every day, and we’re thankful to our clients and partners for working alongside us for the past 30 years.
Cheers to the next 30 years!