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03 March 2016

What can the iPhone teach us about real estate benchmarking?

Every time Apple announces the launch of a new iPhone, it usually sparks differing reactions. On the one hand, the iPhone becomes an instant success and people queue outside Apple Stores to be one of the first to obtain the latest gadget. The sceptics, on the other hand, benchmark its features against other smartphones and criticise the iPhone for its poorer metrics, such as a higher price, fewer features and a shorter battery life. 

White Paper - Corporate Real Estate: no benchmarking without the correct data

Benchmarking a real estate is important for comparing success of a portfolio. But benchmarking can't be done without the right data and standards

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Benchmarking is a tool for organisations to compare their performance against other organisations, and identify areas where there is room for improvement. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the large amount of data available. What does it take to do proper benchmarking? Despite the fact that Apple ignores the standards by pricing their technology twice as high, people still line up to buy their products, making price alone an irrelevant benchmark.

Real estate benchmarking

An increasing number of organisations are looking for insights into their real estate portfolios. Benchmarks deliver a wealth of control information to justify decisions, such as the purchasing and selling of real estate, and achieve objectives of portfolio optimisation and cost savings.

Problem solved? Not quite. Without reliable data there cannot be a reliable benchmark.

In response to members’ requests, CoreNet Global  ̶  the world’s leading association for Corporate Real Estate and workplace professionals, service providers, and economic developers  ̶  has implemented a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art, online benchmarking tool called BenchCoRE. Organisations provide cost, size, and personnel data for the facilities in their portfolio, which is reviewed, validated, and uploaded with consistent definitions. From there, organisations can run numerous standard reports on cost, space utilisation, or portfolio status and select any combination of geography, asset class, and occupancy status or ownership type.

The reliability of a benchmark depends entirely on the quality of the supplied data and the degree of uniformity in concepts and definitions. If properly implemented, often a great deal of relevant data about Real Estate is available in a company’s Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS).  This data can only be used if it is based on the same (international) standards. Without standards it is impossible to benchmark across departments or organisations. For BenchCoRE, there is an extensive guide with definitions and concepts covering the data to be provided.

Back to Apple

According to CNN, an Android smart phone performs better than the iPhone on eight out 15 basic tasks. Is Apple concerned over these types of comparisons? Probably not. After all, they have the most important benchmark covered: the profit.

Anne-Marie Kleiss
Director Marketing Operations & Field Marketing APAC

Planon has compiled a white paper called “Corporate real estate: no benchmarking without the right data”. It covers the background and purpose of benchmarking and discusses the efficient and effective re-use of the available data. Click here to download it.