At Property Overview I teach people the basics of property, and how the industry, like any other, is in a constant state of change. In my consultancy work this topic is even more prominent, and I would say urgent.
Companies, CBRE included, act on the current and expected structural changes in the industry. It can be a fight for survival or an exciting opportunity to grasp growth in new areas. This is where the deal, announced in early July, for CBRE to buy Telford Homes through its wholly-owned development and investment division Trammell Crow, comes in. The announcement took many by surprise, me included.
Property consultancy is being impacted by dozens of trends at the same time, for example money flows, technology, disruption, ESG, demographics and cultural change to mention just some. CBRE, like others, are futureproofing their business by insulating weaker business areas and investing in growth areas. And by adding more services.
CBRE aims to dominate the market and add market coverage. Besides offering a one-stop shop – so there is no need for clients to go elsewhere for specific services – diversification in activities can help make the company more robust.
By adding in Telford Homes CBRE is probably hoping to strengthen its reach within the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector in the UK, a sector seeing strong growth from only tiny beginnings 5 years ago. CBRE doesn’t have a large estate agency and residential investment presence like some of its competitors. It could attempt to gain market share by adding a specialist brokerage or advice function or, in this case, by adding services on the delivery side.