2017 State of Commercial Real Estate Operations Report Unveils Practices of High-Performing Commercial Assets

Nationwide Benchmarking Study from Building Engines Demonstrates How CRE Properties Drive Asset Value through Operations


Building Engines, leaders in commercial real estate (CRE) property management innovation, today announced the release of the inaugural State of CRE Operations Report.

This new research draws on a study of over 500 commercial property management organizations across the United States and Canada to identify best-in-class operational practices that drive meaningful asset value. The news comes at the opening of TRANSFORM 2017, the Building Engines Property Management Summit being held at the Revere Hotel in Boston.

“The transforming workplace has added immense complexity to the task facing property management teams,” said Building Engines’ Head of Research, Phil Mobley. “With this research, we set out to discover what high-performing properties do differently than their peers. What we found underscores the importance of CRE operations to create a sustainable competitive advantage. We’re proud to make this insight available to the broader CRE market to allow all property managers and owners to benchmark their own practices.”

Over 900 CRE professionals participated in this industry-wide study, which distinguished the industry’s highest performers based on occupancy and rental rates. The resulting report addresses best practices in 7 critical categories including: customer service and tenant satisfaction, financial efficiency, communications & marketing, maintenance, amenities, security & risk management, and certifications & awards. The research also details the current outlook of CRE professionals including perspectives about their roles and priorities.

Key findings include:

  1. High-performing CRE organizations are 1.6x more likely than their under-performing peers to track performance against lease service level agreements. This is the most consistently differentiating tenant service practice.
  2. Tenant Satisfaction is the top priority of CRE owners / asset managers and front-line operations staff. Property managers are especially attuned to satisfying tenants.
  3. Property staff at High Performing properties are more proactive, expect more change in their jobs, and have a less rigid prioritization of goals. They also have a more holistic view of their responsibilities than those at other (“Laggard”) properties.
  4. High Performers are 1.3x more likely to benchmark operating expenses to internal sources, and 1.7x more likely to benchmark to external sources.
  5. Counterintuitively, High Performers do not staff more generously than Laggards within the same property type and class, indicating their competitive advantage is not due to a larger workforce.
  6. High Performers are more likely to employ broadcast messaging systems, digital signs and screens, and traditional newsletters, using more channels to get information to tenants.
  7. High Performers use technology to digitize content like equipment images and manuals more frequently than Laggards.
  8. Amenities differentiate High Performers most clearly in the hyper-competitive Class A sector.
  9. ENERGY STAR? certification is table stakes in 2017 at the top of the commercial office market. Over 70% of Trophy assets and 51% of Class A properties in this study are ENERGY STAR? certified.


“CRE is in the midst of an operations revolution, with market forces adding new pressures to building management teams,” said Building Engines Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Scott Sidman. “As this report has shown, high-performing teams operate differently than the rest of the market. It’s a great privilege to support so many property management leaders at Building Engines, and we are dedicated to helping every property drive more value from their assets in their quest to become measurably better.”

To read the full report, visit:

About Building Engines

Building Engines is a cloud-based provider of property management software for progressive operations teams at commercial office, medical, retail and industrial real estate properties. Our web and mobile applications seamlessly connect property management teams with the activities, data and insights they need to improve operational efficiency, mitigate risk, improve tenant satisfaction and engagement and make more informed operational decisions. Clients of Building Engines include many of the leading public REITs, private owner/managers and third-party management firms in the United States and Canada. For more information about Building Engines, please visit:

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