Bell’s Blog in Perspective; Ideas for Future Topics

As we enter our third year of Bell’s Blog, I thought it would be helpful to step back from blog content and reflect on what topics should be explored in the months ahead. In this vein, I invite readers to propose topics that haven’t been covered. As a reminder, the purpose of Bell’s Blog is to cover topics that are related to the management of corporate real estate. In some sense, I’ve structured the blog as a set of tutorials for the aspiring CRE manager or executive. It’s written as a management guide for a manager or professional who is relatively new to the CRE field. Having been at all levels of the corporate real estate profession (including leasing manager, project manager, technology manager, department head, consultant and corporate executive), I base the blog content on nearly 30 years of experience. Also with 10 years as a Gartner analyst, focused on CRE technology and data center topics, I bring information technology knowledge to the blog.

With this as background, what are some of the themes and topics I have in mind for the remainder of 2017? I plan to write several posts on organizational structure and related topics on team building and leadership. A discussion of organization necessitates a discussion of process design. And this discussion of process design will lead to the relationship of process design and technology support. I recall that many consulting assignments I executed at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) related to organizational audits and diagnostics. Clients wanted to know how their CRE organization was performing and how to improve. The main diagnostic tool we used was a “process map” of the organization which identified key information flows and organizational dependencies. I’ll do a deep dive into this subject in a future post.

Another set of topics I’m considering is the subject of market forecasting. How to read, interpret, and use various market reports in the CRE management process is an essential knowledge base for the CRE executive. Most major real estate service firms produce regular market reports and forecasts which are generally useful but in most cases you will need more focused analysis that is relevant to your leasing project locations.

Another set of topics relate to the subject of benchmarking. This is where your real estate applications including your lease management application will be brought to bear. Benchmarking is a powerful tool for making a case for change to your corporate management. I recall an assignment at PwC that asked the question, “How does our corporate headquarters facility compare to other major headquarters in our area from the standpoint of cost and utilization?” We benchmarked nine HQs and discovered that the client HQ was flagrantly too expensive, too inefficient, and too grandiose. Based on the benchmarking, the Board of Directors commissioned a relocation project to a less expensive and more efficient structure.

Finally, I hope to do a series of case studies of Visual Lease clients that will illustrate many of the topics and themes covered in the blog. I found that CRE managers learn best from their peers and case studies can reveal valuable insights into best practices.

I invite readers to submit topics they would like to see in future posts. My goal is to make Bell’s Blog both relevant and helpful to Visual Lease clients and interested parties.

Send your ideas to: bell.mrmike@gmail.com