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Meeting real estate needs as the world turns.

"Think Globally, Aa Locally.. That might be a familiar saying to many, as it was displayed on a widely-distributed bumper sticker during last year's election season. And while the sponsoring organization was concerned with the environment, the message's meaning for business is becoming increasingly clear.

With the emergence of Europe as a single common market, and with likely passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the phrase "global economy" is no longer just a nice idea -- it is a new context in which business must be conducted that is rapidly becoming a new reality.

New technologies in telecommunications, the emergence of rapid transportation systems, changes in political and social structures around the world, and intensified economic competition from emerging nations, are all contributing to the creation of a unified global marketplace. In fact, to some extent, international business powerhouses can no longer be certain where one market ends, and another begins.

These changes in the way the world's economy works have fostered a new era of increased competition in the global real estate community as well. Firms that traditionally required certain locations to serve a particular market are now able to locate virtually anywhere in the world. And as new areas emerge as potential business centers, industrial and commercial firms are anxious to create new opportunities in these areas. Moreover, the lagging global recession has fostered a new era of cost consciousness, with businesses everywhere reevaluating their real estate costs, which often have serious implications for the bottom line.

As a result of these phenomena, real estate firms such as Williams Real Estate Company, Inc., have redefined the role they play in delivering services to corporate clients in need of real estate counsel. The breadth of services provided has never been greater, and the level of specialization of those providing the services has never been more intense.

The challenge for real estate firms is to match the level of expertise that American companies have come to expect with the knowledge of real estate opportunities in specific markets. To ward this end, several real estate firms have recently established joint ventures with specific firms in other market Some have even created networks through which one real estate firm can service client needs virtually anywhere in the world.

At Williams, we have implemented both of these measures. On a nationwide and international basis, we have created real estate networks that are geared toward service delivery and comparative property information--key element of doing business in the United States.

Our involvement in founding the International Commercial Realty Services (ICRS) network emanated from our commitment to be in partnership with real estate firms in other cities to best fill the needs of our clients. Today ICRS has grown into a well organized and efficient network with a base of operation in 24 major American cities ICRS controls some 75 million square feet of property across the country, and consummated more than $2.5 billion worth of transactions in 1991 alone.
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Title Annotation:Review & Forecast, Section V; real estate industry must conduct itself within the context of a global economy
Author:Roos, Andrew
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
Previous Article:Signs of awakening economy evident.
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