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March 03, 2016

What the iPhone can teach us about real estate benchmarking

Every time Apple announces the release of a new iPhone, it usually sparks differing reactions. On the one hand, some deem the new iPhone an instant success as people line-up outside the  Apple stores to be one of the first to obtain the latest gadget. The skeptics, on the other hand, like to benchmark its features against those from competitive products and criticize inferior metrics, such as a higher price, fewer features, and a shorter battery life. 

White Paper - No Benchmarking without the right 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 an important tool for any organization to compare their performance against others  to help identify areas where there is room for improvement. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the large amount of data available, and the process of determining what is important will be different for every organization. For instance, benchmarking price alone may be irrelevant for Apple, because people still line up to buy their products even when their technology costs twice as much. So, when it comes to real estate, what is the proper way to approach benchmarking?

Real estate benchmarking
An increasing number of organizations are looking for insights into their real estate portfolios. Benchmarking delivers a wealth of information to justify decisions, such as the purchasing and selling of real estate, the setting of portfolio objectives, and the areas to cut costs.

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

The reliability of benchmarking 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 organizations.

In response to this issue and its member 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. In order to address data standardizations, BenchCoRE provides an extensive guide with definitions and concepts. With those guidelines, organizations can then provide cost, size, and personnel data for the facilities in their portfolio, which is reviewed, validated, and uploaded with consistent definitions. From there, organizations can run numerous standard reports on cost, space utilization, or portfolio mix and can select any combination of geography, asset class, and occupancy status or ownership type for comparison.

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

Anne-Marie Kleiss
Director Marketing Operations & Field Marketing Europe and 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.