The purpose of this paper is to describe the need to go beyond relationship management to embrace the techniques of value management with details on why and how CRE managers should pursue this as a professional goal.
This article discusses the experiences of the author working across multiple global corporate accounts. The article advances the discussion on how to strategically align and advance the performance of CRE departments to support business change for corporate competitive advantage.
As CRE managers strive to elevate their strategic relevance to the organization, they are challenged to go beyond relationship management. They are challenged to become value managers, capable of implementing corporate strategy anywhere and with anyone in the organization.
Further research is warranted into the perspectives of senior management on the contribution of CRE to the business planning process. CRE managers are often viewed as functional experts and may be overlooked as candidates for involvement in corporate management development programs.
CRE managers, in charge of business alignment, must turn a professional corner by focusing more on driving corporate value. A career choice is required to invest in the business and financial acumen needed to sit credibly at the planning table with senior management. The career path of the in‐house CRE manager is one of a general business manager, referred to in this article as a “value manager”.
CRE managers are challenged to adopt the behavior, attitude and skill set of general business managers to arrive at solutions to business challenges. These challenges are cross‐functional in nature and often do not start nor end with real estate or, by extension, facilities. Thus, the role of relationship manager needs to evolve into a value manager, who possesses the skills of business planning, business case development, and cross‐functional project management.
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