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“Break down the cubicles” October 31, 2013

Posted by Bob Cook in Alternative Workplace Strategies, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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I rarely repost stuff you can find elsewhere on the web, but this performance from the opening ceremony of Corenet Global’s Summit in Las Vegas last week is sure to become a classic in the corporate real estate community and deserves reposting … and reposting … and reposting.  Enjoy.

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“We’ve come up with a design that puts 12,000 people in one building” June 9, 2011

Posted by Bob Cook in Company Case Studies, Corporate HQ, Green Initiatives, Profession of Corporate Real Estate, Silicon Valley.
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It’s not often that a CEO of a major company makes a presentation to City Council on company plans for a new headquarters building.  But Apple is no ordinary company, and Steve Jobs certainly is no ordinary CEO.  He’s not afraid of being accused of having an “ediface complex” — a concern that afflicts most other CEO’s and which is responsible for the declining quality of architecture as it relates to corporate headquarters buildings, IMHO.  No, no one is going to challenge Mr Black Turtleneck, Mr Cool, himself, on this one.

It’ll be interesting to see if Jobs’ new Apple HQ announcement spurs imatators … just as has been the case with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.  Will it become ok, again, to build iconic HQ’s? 

See Jobs’ presentation to Cupertino’s City Council here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/cupertinocitychannel#p/u/0/gtuz5OmOh_M

It’s a LinkedIn World after all …. May 19, 2011

Posted by Bob Cook in Financial Planning & Analysis, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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The dazzling success of LinkedIn’s IPO today took many by surprise.  Some people might be scratching their heads, saying “Linked Who?”  “Linked What?”  But LinkedIn is no stranger to those of us who have used LinkedIn to connect, learn and interact over the last few years.  Forget Facebook … too many under 25’s, over 65’s, and early retirees with too much time on their hands.  (Do I really want an update on what a “friend” ate for breakfast?)  For business professionals, the place to be is LinkedIn.

I remember my first invitation to “Link-In”.  (Is that the correct verb?  Is it in the dictionary, yet, like “to friend”?)  I must have received that first invite in the early-oughts.  I undoubtedly said to myself “Linked Who?”  “Linked What?”  I left the invite in my in-box for at least a year before I LinkedIn.  Since then, I’ve gotten to know scores of people through the platform.   And I’m flabbergasted by the fact that I’m only three degrees away from over 5,000,000 people (and, can you believe it, only three degrees away … not six degrees away … from Kevin Bacon! – is that really him on LinkedIn?)

For myself and many others, LinkedIn has eclipsed organizations like Corenet Global and IFMA (International Facility Management Association) as the primary vehicle through which people stay in touch.  Those professional organizations have other valid roles … like providing opportunities for face-to-face interaction (because we all need to come out of the cave occasionally) and providing structured education (which Corenet has done phenomenally with its MCR program) … but keeping people in touch in a fast-paced, flat world is probably no longer a valid mission for professional organizations.   These organizations need to mash-up with LinkedIn, let it serve as the day-to-day forum, and not try to compete by firing up their own social networking sites.

In fact, the mash-up is already happening.  There are, by my count, over 40 LinkedIn Groups with the word “Corenet” in their names and over 100 with the acronym “IFMA” in their names (although, to be honest, I didn’t weed out those that might be related to the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association or the Institutional Fecal Matter Alliance).

Yep, LinkedIn is the place to meet.  It’s no longer over golf (does anyone still have time for the links?) … or at a fancy restaurant  (do people still wear cuff links?) … or even at Joe’s (anyone still eat sausage links?).   Nope.  The place to be = LinkedIn.

And, today, on its first day of trading, it’s up 100%.

Full disclosure:  I was not smart enough to buy LNKD this morning.

2011: Year of the Rabbit …. and Decade of the Corporate Real Estate Exec February 13, 2011

Posted by Bob Cook in Alternative Workplace Strategies, Corporate HQ, Financial Planning & Analysis, Green Initiatives, Lease Accounting, M & A Integration, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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This Thursday ends the 15-day Chinese New Year Celebration.  According to the Chinese Zodiac, we’re entering the “Year of the Rabbit”.   We may also, though, be entering the “Decade of the Corporate Real Estate Exec”, the decade in which corporate real estate execs rise to truly strategic roles in their organizations.

The year 2011 will usher in an era of increased responsibility for corporate real estate professionals.  Events playing out this year will put corporate real estate executives, their staffs, and their advisors front and center.  The spotlight will be hot, but rewarding … for those ready to perform.

Leaving the oughts behind

With a name like that … “the oughts” … we should have known the decade from 2001 through 2010 was going to be tough.  Slashing budgets, laying-off people, constantly explaining why the company still has too much space:  it was not the best of times for corporate real estate folks. 

To be fair, the oughts did have their fun moments:  implementing alternative workplaces, expanding into China and India, building solar-power arrays, planning next-generation data centers.  But while these activities were sometimes high-profile (in the sense of “gee-whiz”, isn’t this cool), for the most part they tended to be tactical activities in service to specific divisions or functions … away from the central concerns of headquarters.  They did, however, help raise the self-image of corporate real estate professionals who no longer are satisfied with a backstage, custodial role.  Most are ready to perform on stage.

The good and the bad

So, if you’re in corporate real estate, how will 2011 differ from the past?

Good News:  You won’t be tasked to slash your budgets; corporate profits are doing just fine and executive management is now focused on growth rather than contraction.   You won’t be consolidating (unless your company buys another company to integrate); you’ve already done your consolidations.  And you won’t have to lay off any more of your staff; thank God, that’s over … or at least it is if you avoid being on the “losing end” of a Merger.

Bad News:  Some of you may lament, though, that some of the things that were fun in the past won’t be on the agenda in 2011:  You won’t be constructing many new buildings; we have enough of those for a while.  You also won’t be building out much space inside your buildings because you probably have built space you’re still not using.  You won’t be flying across oceans looking for new space; globalization is taking a breather while companies wait for worldwide demand to catch up with worldwide capacity.  And you probably won’t be doing a big outsourcing; where outsourcing makes sense, you probably already have.

The shape of 2011 and the decade to come

The Year of the Rabbit, CY2011, and the coming decade will bring a new world shaped by these forces: 

  • cash hoards at leading companies in a “winner-takes-all” economy
  • attractive real estate markets  from an occupier’s perspective, for at least a few more years in most locales and indefinitely in some
  • new advances in “green technologies” and lowering prices due to competition
  • the establishment of a new lease accounting standard
  • strained budgets at all levels of government

The New Agenda

This world will bring those corporate real estate professionals who are ready for the stage closer to the core of their companies’ businesses.  The new corporate real estate agenda for the “Year of the Rabbit” and beyond:

  • Acquisition Integration
  • Balance sheet Management
  • Corporate Citizenship
  • Design & Management of Processes
  • Employee Retention and Recruitment

 

Acquisition Integration.  Most leading companies are sitting on cash hoards and have large borrowing capacity, setting the stage to make the year 2011 record-breaking in terms of M&A activity.  Corporate real estate execs will play key roles in integrating acquired companies, as they have been, but those, savvy enough to grab the opportunity, will engage beyond managing cost-saving consolidations.  They will take a leadership role in managing the “soft art” of cultural integration. Corporate real estate execs have an opportunity to address a vexing problem: most M&A’s are unsuccessful.  Most experts think the obstacle to success is cultural incompatibilities.  By simply extending corporate real estate’s responsibilities from the physical environment to the social environment and thinking of themselves, not as “facility engineers” but, as “social engineers”, corporate real estate execs can … and should … take on the challenge of successfully merging cultures to achieve M&A success.

Balance Sheet Management.  All that cash and borrowing capacity at leading companies are going to make real estate central to discussions about financial structure.  Companies need to decide whether they should continue to retain all that cash (something that stockholders don’t like), pay down debt (something that has probably already been done if the company has a lot of cash), give cash to shareholders via stock buybacks or dividends (something that company managers don’t like because they want to keep money for a “rainy day”) or spend it (something that certainly cannot be done foolishly.)    It turns out that spending cash to buy company facilities bridges these concerns: it keeps wealth in the company in a way that can be turned into cash if needed, earns more than cash-equivalent investments, and can often support business operations better than can leasing property.  Real estate is, thus, destined to become important in discussions about a company’s financial structure, particularly over the next few years while an “occupier’s market” reigns and purchases can be made cheaply.  Also entering the discussion will be the new lease accounting standard that will transform the balance sheets of many companies and bring real estate strategy (own vs lease, lease duration, utilization) even further into discussions about company financial structure.

Corporate Citizenship.  Our governments are broke (to use an imprecise but, I think, meaningful term.)  Corporates will be called upon to pick up the slack … either forcefullly by regulation or voluntarily… and they will have to get serious about social and environmental responsibilities.   Federal and state governments can’t afford tax breaks for energy-savings and environmental-protection so companies will be expected to beef up their sustainability programs.  While technological advances may improve the ROI on energy-saving and environmental-protection investments, companies will be expected to make these investments even where there’s no payback.  As for local governments, they can’t afford redevelopment programs so companies will be expected to participate in urban revitalization projects, even when no subsidies are available.  There may even be a return to the civic-mindedness of the 1960’s when corporations built their headquarters with plazas to serve as centers of their communities.  Corporate real estate professionals will be managing much of this good corporate citizenship.

Design & Management of Processes.  As the role of corporate real estate execs migrates towards the center of the company, execs will find themselves spending less time on implementation and more time designing and managing processes to lead, coordinate and govern the implementers, who will increasingly be outsourced providers.  Acquisition integration, for example, requires processes to plan consolidations, account for them, and track implementation status.  Another example: the new lease accounting will require SOX-compliant processes to record leases in a timely fashion, abstract them accurately, and (if the present proposal holds) make quarterly assumptions about their likely lengths, contingent rents, and service components.  All these processes will have to be integrated with processes of other functions … HR, IT, Finance … intertwining corporate real estate with other key functions and making it integral to how the company works.

Employee Retention and Recruitment.  Despite the fact that unemployment is still stubbornly high, competition for top talent is severe.  As product design, marketing, supply chains, financing, and the art of management, itself, becomes more sophisticated, the winning of the competition for sophisticated talent is becoming more and more important to company success.  If you have the best talent, you can create the best products, the best marketing, the best cost structure, etc. … the things that allow you to easily win the competition for customers.  And what attracts talent?  Money helps, but ultimately, it’s about the work environment.  Here again, corporate real estate execs can play an important role by using their command over the physical work environment to help mold the social work environment that will determine how successful their company is in retaining and recruiting talent.

It is a new year:  “Year of the Rabbit”. 

Will it be a new decade:  “Decade of the Corporate Real Estate Exec”?

Person of the Year….. December 26, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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This is the time of year when “Persons of the Year” get announced.  Time has anointed Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Fortune crowned Netflix’s Reed Hastings.   They both are sound choices, both have changed the world.

I’m wondering this:  Might the “Person of the Year” ever be someone involved in corporate real estate? Might a corporate real estate professional ever change the world enough to be worthy?

This is not as crazy a question as you might think.  Thirty years ago, “Time’s Person of the Year” titles didn’t go to CEO’s; they went to politicians, artists, musicians, scientists.  (See note below.)  The idea that a CEO’s like Zuckerberg and Hastings (and Turner, Grove and Bezos before them) would be “Person of the Year” would have been thought, by many, to be ludicrous; CEO’s were still thought to be “robber barons”.  So it’s hard to tell what types of people will be capturing the awards in the future.  Why not a corporate real estate professional?

So, for those mid-career corporate real estate professionals who aspire to become a “Person of the Year”, let me offer three visionary roles that might spear the title.

Work-From-Home Revolutionary.   By most measures, employees love being able to work from home. Work-life balance and a sense of greater productivity are cited as the benefits and a revolution has already begun.  Work-from-homers are, though, still a minority of workers.  Might a leader come along who can push the revolution to what-some-think-is its logical conclusion: where the majority work-from-home?  What kind of leader might this be?  Perhaps it could be a corporate real estate exec of a major company (or his CEO boss) who willfully shuts all offices and gets his company to send everyone home to work.   Or better yet, someone who does this for the federal government (and in so doing balances the federal budget by selling off all the buildings that suddenly become unnecessary).  Or maybe it will be an entrepreneur who comes along and establishes a chain of drop-in offices that allow workers from any company to rent space and technology by the hour in office centers that become as ubiquitous as Starbucks.   Some have called the concept “Cloud Officing”.  Or maybe someone who takes Starbucks … which already offers a small form of this… but expands and augments the Starbuck’s mission to create the drop-in centers that truly transform how and where and the majority of people work.   Would not such a person be worthy of being anointed “Person of the Year”?  Isn’t how people go about working at least as important as how they watch movies?

Planet Saver

Or, how about someone who discovers some incredibly simple, inexpensive way to reduce the fossil-fuel consumption of buildings.  What might that innovation look like?   It’s probably not something like use of solar energy which is a technology that is sure to continue to advance but not in any revolutionary way; radical change is needed to be crowned “Person of the Year”.  So, think more radically.  Imagine a garage-tinkering facilities manager who finds a simple way to make electricity from the kinetic energy of workers walking around the office.   That’d, for sure, capture the title.   Get tinkering.

Civic Builder

And I have one last suggestion … maybe not quite so “out there” … that could capture the “Person of the Year” title.  Imagine a corporate real estate exec at a fast-growing company that suddenly needs large amounts of office space in major cities … somewhat similar to the situation tech companies like Cisco, HP and Oracle found themselves in at the height of the dot-com boom.  Now think about how a confident corporate real estate executive could use this building program to change the face of the cities where he’s building by constructing buildings with important public spaces, buildings that positively impact the civic life of the city.  It has been several decades since we saw companies building such “people places” as New York’s Citicorp Plaza,  Chicago’s First National Bank Plaza (now, JP Morgan Chase Plaza), and San Francisco’s Crocker Center.  Those tower-and-plaza forms might not be what would make sense today, but I’m sure that there’s some way to make a positive civic impact.

Target: 2020

Achieving great things in corporate real estate takes time, though, so set your sight on getting the “Person of the Year” award, not next year, but maybe a decade from now.  The year 2020 is a good round-number target.   Who out there is up to the challenge?

A Note on Time’s Person of the Year

The first Time “Man of the Year” (as it was originally called) was Charles Lindberg in 1927, and then the next two years the title went to business persons: Walter Chrysler of Chrysler in 1928 and Owen Young of RCA  in 1929.  Then, though, between 1930 and 1990, not a single business person received the title … a sixty-year drought.  Since then, the title has gone to Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting (1991), Andy Grove of Intel (1997), Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon (1999) and now Mark Zuckerberg (2010).  Of eighty-one titles, only six have gone to business persons, although there have been four business persons named in the last two decades.

CoRE Tech: a response to the new process orientation of corporate real estate professionals November 3, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Financial Planning & Analysis, Lease Accounting, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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Next Wednesday, November 10th, I’ll be moderating a panel at the inaugural CoRE Tech event in Chicago.  The topic: “The New Corporate Real Estate Accounting Standards – Technology’s Role”. 

On the panel will be John Clark, Marketing Programs Director for TRIRIGA and Denis DeCamp, Head of Real Estate and Facilities Management for AkzoNobel.  We’ll be talking about the implications of the new accounting for  technology solutions and for process management and leadership in the corporation.

CoRE Tech is produced by Realcomm which for 12 years now has run a conference devoted to the intersection of commercial real estate, technology, automation and innovation.  According to Jim Young, CEO of Realcomm, the annual Realcomm conferences were never targeted at corporate real estate professionals, but that group of people have, nonetheless, taken an interest in and attended the conferences.  So it was decided to create “an event specifically for those individuals involved in real estate issues and operations in a corporation”.  That event is CoRE Tech.

It is interesting how much the corporate real estate profession has changed over the years.  Two decades ago it was largely about doing real estate deals and constructing buildings.  Today, the profession is more about corporate planning and process management.  The real estate and building functions continue to be important but are more and more outsourced activities.  

If you are a leader in corporate real estate now, you are involved in corporate planning and process management … and you have to get involved in managing the supporting technology.  As Jim Young says, “The structure of how companies manage real estate is likely to change with technology being at the center of organizational realignment.”

It will be interesting to see the turnout for the first-ever CoRE Tech event.  I hope to see you there.

Three facts that compel you to tackle the new lease accounting NOW October 17, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Financial Planning & Analysis, Lease Accounting, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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A lot of corporate real estate people have not yet begun tackling the challenges brought on by the new lease accounting.  You may be one of these.  You may think this new accounting is something that won’t affect you … that “accounting” happens downstream from your decision-making.  Wrong!   It’s going to rock your world … from how you strategize to how you manage.   Or, you may be one of those waiting for direction from your finance / accounting department, having been told … admittedly, correctly so … that the standard hasn’t even been finalized yet.   “Danger, danger!”  Maybe you need Will Robinson’s robot to warn you about what is just around the bend.  And don’t you watch action movies?  Don’t you know the bomb squad doesn’t wait until the existence of the bomb is confirmed before they spring into action?   Maybe you’ve been lulled into non-action because you’ve been told the Effective Date won’t be until 2013 or 2014, and therefore, you think you have plenty of time to address the issues.   Well, shame on your finance group, if they haven’t also told you about the comment period that ends in two months.  And double-shame, if they haven’t briefed you on the details of the accounting and its transition rules, particularly if they haven’t explained to you the meaning of:  “no grandfathering” and “retrospective application”.

Now, to be fair, the standard isn’t finalized and you might not want to “pull out all the stops” yet to address it.  There’s even a chance … ever so slight … that the standard, due out by end of June 2011, will be postponed… perhaps even indefinitely.   Still, there is plenty to get started on to prepare for its issuance.  In fact, what you should get started on is too much to list here…. but I’ll outline it in a future post.

While some of the details of the standard, as outlined in the Exposure Draft of August 2010, may be changed, the issuance of the standard, in a form close to that outlined, is pretty likely.  After all … the creation of this new standard has been in the works for several years and has followed a deliberate, rigorous process that included issuance of a Discussion Paper way back in March, 2009.  That paper outlined the general thrust of the standard … that all leases would go onto the balance sheet … and it solicited comments … pro and con …from companies and other interested parties.   Three-hundred comments were received … some supportive, some not.  The non-supportive ones did not persuade the FASB and IASB to change course.  The momentum to establish this new standard is strong.  Its issuance is not inevitable, but it’s very likely.

Now is the time to get cracking on this.  There are three facts that compel you … if you are involved in corporate real estate … to address the new lease accounting now:

Fact #1:  Comment Deadline.   December 15, 2010 is the deadline for interested parties to comment on the standard as outlined in the Exposure Draft.  Anyone can comment.    Corporate real estate execs should get involved.

It’s appropriate that comments made to the FASB and IASB come from finance departments who have the technical background to understand the nuances of the standard and to communicate their concerns in accounting language.  The finance department probably does not, however, understand how difficult it is going to be for the corporate real estate department to supply the type of data that the new accounting requires.  The corporate real estate department needs to share its perspective, particularly because that perspective will inform what-is-probably the most controversial aspect of this new standard … and that is the cost-benefit of the standards application.  Much of the cost … in terms of both out-of-pocket costs and demand on management time … will be borne by the corporate real estate department.  The finance department cannot address the cost-benefit question without input from the corporate real estate department.

Now, some corporate real estate execs may take the view that they don’t need to get personally involved because comments to the FASB and IASB from larger companies, with more resources to devote to comment letters, will cover the same concerns they would bring up.  Besides the fact that this is like a citizen deciding to not vote because he thinks his one vote can’t make a difference, there is a big problem with relying on the comments of others.   Every company is unique.  Your company may have special contractual situations that may be inadvertently affected by the new lease accounting.  You should know that the new accounting applies not just to explicit leases, but also to implicit leases.  A document doesn’t have to say “Lease” in its heading to be a lease.  Every company should be looking at its business model to see where this new accounting might apply.  Many companies are going to be surprised to find how it can apply to things like outsourced manufacturing, CoLocation datacenter contracts, and on-site solar energy contracts.  Some of these will be sorry they didn’t comment on the impact on their special situations.  Don’t you be one of these.

Fact #2:  No grandfathering.    It is almost 100% assured there will be no grandfathering of existing leases.   If existing leases were not put on the balance sheet at the time the new standard is applied, the balance sheet would become meaningless.

So… many leases being signed today will eventually fall under the new accounting.  And it won’t just be leases with expiration dates beyond the time when the standard will be put in place.  It will also be leases that expire sooner but that have options to renew for periods that go beyond the effective date.   Most sizeable leases would fall into one of these two categories.   If you are not already looking at these leases … and the relevant issues such as lease-vs-own and length of lease … through the lens of the new leasing, then shame on you.

Fact #3:  Retrospective application.    When companies first issue financial statements using the new standard, there will be a need to include prior-year comparison statements so investors can make year-to-year comparisons on an apples-to-apples basis.   Most companies will show two years of prior statements in what-the-FASB-and-IASB-call a “simplified retrospective approach”.   If you think through the timeline, you’ll quickly see that you may already need to begin collecting the required lease information, lest you end up having to scramble in three years to reconstruct what your lease data was three years prior.  For example, an Effective Date in 2013 would mean you need to have data to prepare 2011 financials using the new accounting and, in order to do that, you’d need information going back as early as 2010.  (Yes, that’s NOW!)  Unless you’re different from most companies, you  probably are not now collecting all the data points that will be needed for the new accounting.  If you don’t start now, you’ll have a huge headache later.

So, if you are one of those corporate real estate folks who have postponed addressing the new accounting because you are skeptical that the new lease accounting will have much effect on you … for example, if you don’t agree with the opinion that the spotlight it puts on corporate real estate is likely to transform the profession and what-is-expected of you … then, at least, these three facts should stir you into action.

FAS 13 and IAS 17 soon will both be history.  Learn more about the new lease accounting here.  If you’d like to follow my posts, click on the “subscribe me” on the side bar.

Eleven things I learned at the CorenetGlobal Summit in Phoenix September 23, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Alternative Workplace Strategies, Financial Planning & Analysis, Green Initiatives, Lease Accounting, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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 1. 110 degrees doesn’t feel that bad in the shade.

2.  Face-to-face meetings are a nice complement to living “la vida webosphera”.

3.  Corenet Summits ain’t what they used to be, many long years ago… but…

4.  Even without Duck Soup, Summits are still pretty good.

5.  Topics presented in breakout sessions draw varying sizes of crowds.  My take:

6. “Alternative Workplace” is still in first place as a topic of interest to the most people.

7. “Career Planning” is close behind (perhaps because of all the members “in transition”)

8. “Green” is gaining ground fast and could overtake “Alternative Workplace” shortly, and …

9. “The New Lease Accounting”, while far behind (it wasn’t even given a prime time slot), is coming up fast (judging by the standing-room-only crowd at a 7:45 AM session on subject).

10. PHX is near the downtown convention center, allowing for a fast exit.

11.  Saguaro live to be 200 years old (according to art exhibit at PHX) and take ten years to grow one foot tall.

My White Paper on the New Lease Accounting Is Available August 9, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Financial Planning & Analysis, Lease Accounting, Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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If you register on the TRIRIGA website, you can get access to my white paper “The New Lease Accounting Standard and You” here. Like the TRIRIGA webinars that I’ve held, the paper will inform you about … not just what the new standard will be, but … what the strategic and process implications are for those involved in corporate real estate.

If you’d like to hear the webinars, they are also still available, on-demand, on TRIRIGA’s website here. If you have time to listen to just one of the three, I’d recommend the second webinar entitled: “Strategic and Practical Implications”. I’ve had many people tell me that they found the webinars very illuminating.

BTW, FASB and IASB are expected to issue the Exposure Draft on Lease Accounting this week.   There probably won’t be too much new in the document for those who have read the previously-issued Discussion Draft and who have followed the accounting boards deliberations over the last few months … but the issuance of the Exposure Draft should spur companies to get serious about addressing how the new accounting standard is going to affect their real estate strategies and processes.   See my previous posts on the New Lease Accounting, here.

Your favorite corporate real estate websites and blogs? July 16, 2010

Posted by Bob Cook in Profession of Corporate Real Estate.
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I’d like to augment my blog roll … that is the links I provide at the lower part of the sidebar … by including more worthy blogs and websites that cover corporate real estate topics.  Please comment as to which sites you’ve found helpful, and I’ll share them with others via my blog roll.  I don’t promise that I’ll include them all, but I’ll try to include those that seem particularly valuable.  … And, “yes”, you can recommend your own site if you’d like.

Also, please note that you can subscribe to this blog via email.  There’s a link to sign-up near the top of the sidebar.  It’s a good way to keep up-to-date on the topics I cover.