CBRE Group, the nation’s largest commercial real estate firm, has shifted its Los Angeles headquarters to Dallas.
The move — which was more symbolic than impactful — will not involve a significant transfer of jobs. The international property firm has more than 100,000 employees and 530 offices worldwide.
Lew Horne, president of advisory services for the company’s Pacific Southwest region, said the move “formalizes how the company has been operating for the past eight years.” He didn’t elaborate on details of the move.
“We have more than 5,000 employees in California and only an extremely small number of operations-related roles are expected to migrate over time to Dallas,” Horne said via email. “No client-facing roles will be affected, so California clients will continue to receive the same high level of service they expect from CBRE.”
CEO Robert Sulentic already has his office in Dallas, although he has been splitting his time between Dallas and the Los Angeles headquarters at 400 S. Hope St.
In a Thursday conference call with investors, Sulentic said real estate activity has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in contract delays.
“We have very big backlogs of opportunities — not only relative to this year, but relative to prior years,” he said. “But there is so much physical presence that’s needed to get these things done.”
Companies buying or leasing space need to see the space, he said, while also thinking about moving workers from one place to another and getting project managers on-site to get needed work done.
“All of that is hard to do in this environment,” he said. “This has inevitably slowed things down, and clients very directly tell us that. They tell us that they’re not in a decision-making mode.”
Sulentic predicts office space will be used differently once COVID-19 is in the rear-view mirror.
“Given what we’ve learned about the way space is likely to be used going forward, we think we’ll see greater flexibility,” he said. “We’ll see more satellite-type uses because of people working from home. Companies will be hesitant to put capital in because they’re not sure how they’re going to think about their space long-term, versus short-term.”
CBRE saw a 31% global decline in leasing contracts worldwide during the third quarter, and a 36% drop in the U.S. Property sales were off by 34% globally and 39% domestically, but the company still had $96 billion of assets under management during the third quarter — a 321% gain over the third quarter of 2010.
The Fortune 500 company manages more than 6.8 billion square feet of real estate throughout the world and handles more than $430 billion a year in global property transactions.
Source: Orange County Register