An Office Real Estate Portfolio Is About More Than Just Location, Location, Location

Most CEOs I work with agree that finding and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges they face within their companies today. Often, company leaders will look to HR to attract and retain the kind of employees that exemplify their culture and brand. But there’s one hidden gem many often forget about: real estate. 

CEOs are essential to the success of their organization, as they represent the standards and practices that form their culture and brand. So are the spaces they occupy. Real estate is not just about bricks and sticks—it’s about culture, customer and employee retention, and branding, too. CEOs who engage in intentional real estate strengthen their business’ market position, internal dynamics, and market health.

Branding your office space allows you to define your workplace culture. Branding improves customer loyalty by creating consistency throughout your workspace. High-profile signage at your facility associates the location with your brand’s values and promises. Branding might be silent, but it’s loud when persuading your employees and clients that you are who you say you are. An impressive office in a desirable location can enhance a brand’s value.

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Arthur Greenstein
Douglas Elliman

Company branding and workplace design go hand-in-hand to build culture and attract the right talent. Great office design energizes and supports company culture, fostering a sense of community that makes your employees and customers feel valued. If the CEO is the head, then employees are the heart, making decisions for the company daily using culture as the guide. Providing a variety of spaces, furniture, and equipment can increase productivity, efficiency, and comfort. Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Southwest Airlines have done a great job with branding and culture, so much so that you can instantly imagine their real estate environment. 

Jason Randall wrote an article for Forbes in March of 2022 that said, “A strong company culture is the best retention strategy amid high turnover.” Many companies are now looking at the workforce when they make real estate-related decisions. A well-designed and comfortable office environment can positively impact employee satisfaction. Real estate that provides amenities, communal areas, flexible workspaces, and a positive atmosphere boosts employee retention rates. Work environments help not only retention but also attraction. Companies want to ensure that their office locations are strategically placed within a short drive from the biggest pool of current and future employees and near dining and entertainment destinations, walking trails, fitness centers, and more.

Building a workplace culture does not necessarily mean sacrificing your financials. CEOs can use real estate to reinforce their brand without significantly impacting their bottom line. How? Companies can achieve cost savings by strategically selecting cost-effective locations, negotiating favorable lease terms, or exploring options like shared workspaces. Smart designs and architecture can lower office utility costs by avoiding underutilized or excessive space. Well-designed spaces can also improve operational efficiency, optimize customer flow, and reduce staffing needs—businesses that adopt a collaborative and functional office layout enhance productivity, teamwork, and communication. 

The strategic choice and design of a company’s real estate influences every aspect of its operations and image, from branding—via the property’s location, appearance, and alignment with the company’s identity—to its company culture. Choosing the right space encourages collaboration and increases satisfaction among employees. The right real estate decisions can lead to significant cost savings through careful location choice and space optimization while providing amenities and an engaging environment critical for retaining employees and customers. As company leaders, it’s time to get smart with real estate.

Arthur Greenstein is a luxury real estate agent for Douglas Elliman. He also founded Y + A Real Estate and Asset Management, a full-service luxury real estate brokerage and lifestyle company.

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Arthur Greenstein

Arthur Greenstein

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