Corporate Real Estate Alignment


  • Monique Arkesteijn TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



This dissertation aims to enhance CRE alignment by approaching alignment as a design and decision process as is explained in chapter 1. The current state of the art in CRE alignment modeling is summarized in paragraph 2.1. This sets the context of this research and will show that CRE alignment is complex and multidimensional. Thereafter, an assessment of CRE alignment models from a design and decision perspective is made in paragraph 2.2. Based on this perspective I identified the scientific gap of this PhD research. Most of the work in this chapter has been published before in the last 10 years. Figure 2.1 shows the timeline of the important publications related to the two topics that this chapter addresses:

1 State of the art of modelling CRE alignment processes;

2 Assessment of structure models of CRE alignment from a design and decision perspective.

As can be seen in the figure below, the different topics have evolved at the same time. I have chosen to structure the chapter around the two topics and not follow the order of publication. Because the topics have evolved over time this causes some redundancy in and between paragraph 2.1 and 2.2. In the last paragraph 2.3 conclusions, they are brought together.

But before showing the state of the art, CRE and CREM are defined. Corporate real estate is a specific type of real estate. CoreNet Global (2015) describes it as the real estate necessary to conduct business—the bricks and mortar of office buildings, manufacturing plants and distribution centres, retail stores, and similar facilities. It can include owned or leased space, buildings, and infrastructure, such as power plants or even airport runways. Corporate real estate is closely related to commercial real estate, however, there is a distinct difference in business objectives. In the commercial real estate world, the business is the real estate. The goal for commercial real estate is to provide a risk adjusted return to the investor; whereas, in corporate real estate real estate supports the business function. In other words, corporate real estate represents the demand side or user side of real estate, while commercial real estate focuses on the supply side to meet that need.

Corporate real estate is seen since 30 years by (Joroff, 1993) as the fifth resource of the business that needs to be managed besides capital, human resources, IT and communication. One of the big challenges in corporate real estate management is reducing the gap between the high speed of business and the slow speed of real estate, i.e. between the so-called dynamic real estate demand and the relatively static real estate supply. A decade later (Krumm et al., 2000, p. 32) described CREM as 

“The management of a corporation’s real estate portfolio by aligning the portfolio and services to the needs of the core business (processes), in order to obtain maximum added value for the business and to contribute optimally to the overall performance of the corporation”.

One could say that the authors position CRE alignment in this definition as the raison d’être of CREM. Other authors (Heywood & Arkesteijn, 2017) position CRE alignment as one of the activities that CREM needs to perform. In this research, CREM will be seen as a wide range of activities that must be performed by the corporate real estate manager, while the alignment of CRE with the business will be seen as one of CREM’s activities and is referred to as CRE alignment.


Author Biography

Monique Arkesteijn, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

In 1993 Monique was one of the first four graduate students of the Faculty of Architecture's Master track "Bouwmanagement & Vastgoedbeheer", the current department of Management in the Built Environment (MBE), at the Delft University of Technology. She graduated with distinction on ‘productivity and real estate, privacy and communication in offices’ at the "Rijksgebouwendienst" (Central Government Real Estate Agency). Her drive for real estate management lies in her focus on people and processes, which has guided her in her entire professional life.

She worked four years as consultant for Starke Diekstra / Arcadis and was involved in building projects in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles. From 1998 to 2000 Monique was senior real estate consultant and partner of Diephuis Stevens, where she worked on projects ranging from 20 to 1000 workplaces with investments up to 50 million euros. During this period she obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration degree at TSM Business School (1998 – 2000). After working in practice for seven years, Monique travelled the world, and spent years in India, Brasil and La Gomera, Spain.

Since 2003 Monique works as assistant professor Real Estate Management for the department of Management in the Built Environment (MBE). In the beginning she combined her work as assistant professor with freelance consultancy. From 2010 she focused full time on her work at university.

Monique is a passionate teacher and loves interactive teaching. She is responsible for the BSc (Bachelor) course on briefing (350+ students) and has coordinated the Real Estate Management MSc (Master) course for many years. Monique specializes in corporate real estate alignment and divides her work in three main areas: first and foremost her work is about a design and decision approach to CRE alignment.

Her aim is to enhance CRE alignment by combining heart and head, when designing corporate real estate solutions. Next to that, she worked amongst others with Chris Heywood from the University of Melbourne on a systematic comparison of CRE alignment models in theory. Together with colleagues and graduate students she studies how CRE alignment is done in practice.

From 2013 to 2018 she was head of the real estate management section at MBE. With professor Alexandra den Heijer, Monique leads the Campus Research Team. Next to her work on CRE alignment she has focused on alignment for municipal and educational real estate. During the last 10 years she coordinated and/or participated in the think tank ‘Envisioning the Faculty of the Future’ (2009), Campus vision 2030 TU Delft (2010), Ownership of museum real estate (2012), Campus NL (2016), Campus tools (2017 - ongoing), European campus (2019). Monique has published more than 30 journal papers and books and received an "Outstanding paper award" for the paper Designing a preference-based accommodation strategy: A pilot study at Delft University of Technology in 2016 from the Journal of Corporate Real Estate.

Besides TU Delft Monique regards CoreNet Global as her second work family. CoreNet Global is the world’s leading association for corporate real estate with more than 11.000 members. She served on the Global Board from 2015 to 2019 after being involved in the Benelux chapter board as member and chairwomen for many years. Recently, together with Jose Zwerink, Monique started the foundation We- Women-Cooperate (WWC), which strives for sustainable progress for Indian women. By connecting people, ideas & products, WWC brings affordable and sustainable energy to India, giving women room for economic development.