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Corporate Real Estate

Real estate has become an important part of the overall strategy for many businesses. Some of the largest corporations around the world, and they must decide what the best utilization for their business is. Many of these companies have to decide if they should buy and hold their facilities or merely be tenants leaving the responsibility of maintenance and ownership to a developer or property manager.

Retail stores are a good example of companies who must decided how to invest in their real estate. As brands and numbers of stores grow across the country these companies must maintain an internal real estate team who decides where the best location for a new store.

These professionals function very similarly to someone who works at big development firm. They must do everything a developer does ranging from doing their market research to seeking out multiple sites that fit their vision and company strategy the best. For a store like Best Buy this may include finding a vacant piece of land to build a free standing store. Retailers like Victoria Secret that exist in malls or other shopping centers need to be aware of what vacancies exist or will be coming about as well as what new facilities that meet their criteria will be built.

It is also the responsibilities of these professionals to understand and determine where the store should be located within a mall or lifestyle center in order to maximize value to the company. That would involve an analysis of rents, depending on store size and location, as well as consumer market research to better understand peoples’ buying behaviors.

A big component of working in corporate real estate is being strategic. That means understanding where the next big city or market might be for a store to move into or the next popular shopping area that will open.

A corporate real estate officer must be able translate his/her company’s strategy into its physical space and create as much revenue as possible. Not only does this have to do with finding, managing, and maintaining the physical facilities but some workers are also involved in understanding how to best create and adjust a store’s layout.

It is important to recognize that some merchandise will sell best when it is in specific places within a store, that be near the front door or adjacent to another section’s merchandise, or recognize that the store’s location needs to be at a certain place within a mall or lifestyle center. It can be part of the corporate real estate department to determine how the store should be laid out in order to maximize the company’s investment.

A finance background and education is extremely helpful and necessary for a position in corporate real estate. Just like a developer, a corporate real estate professional must know how to structure a potential real estate transaction to benefit the company. That involves creating analysis and projections of construction costs that will be incurred as the store is built or fitted to meet the store’s criteria and what future revenues the store will make from customer sales. These analyses will tell the company how much it can afford to pay for monthly rent and could help determine the size of the store the company will want to invest in.

In addition to the finance background, professionals working in corporate real estate must also understand the legal sides of the business in order to create a purchase contract or lease that fits the company’s needs. Marketing is also necessary to understand who customers will be and what geographic locations they will most likely be willing to shop at or near. Knowing the construction process is extremely necessary because that will help create the projections for the store’s value. By knowing construction timing the professional can adequately project the time when the store will open and when merchandise will need to be ordered.

Internships are a great entry way into these companies, with the hope that they will hire their interns full-time. The best way to find out about these opportunities may be to contact companies directly. Businesses ranging from fast food restaurants to clothing stores are regularly in need of new space, so by researching some of the top retailers across the area, fastest growing in the country, or just personal favorites might present opportunities for corporate real estate positions.