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Brandon Hovinga

Central Michigan University



I have been interested in real estate for the last couple years now and have recently found

interest in a company called CBRE. This full-service real estate and investment company has

been a part of the Fortune 500 since 2008 and currently has over 75,000 employees. I would love

to become a part of this growing company as it continues to strive as a part of the Fortune 500.

My goal after college is to work for a credible real estate or investment company, and I believe

that CBRE is exactly what I am looking for. There are many different reasons why I think that

CBRE is perfect for me, starting with the fact that they are a part of the Fortune 500. When a

company achieves becoming a part of the Fortune 500, they are thought to be a very credible and

successful company, which is how I look at the company CBRE. The second reason that CBRE

is great for me is because their company values are some of the same things I value as a person.

These values include Respect, Service, Integrity, and Excellence which all lead towards

leadership which is why they are the leader in commercial real estate and investment as a

company. The third reason that CBRE is a great company for me is because they use the latest in

technology to perform all of their real estate and investment actions. This allows them to

successfully create client value and enable actionable strategies to further propel them forward as

a Fortune 500 company. Also, any company that can continue to improve as part of the Fortune

500 deserves to be given credit for its success. In conclusion, CBRE has developed into a very

credible and valued company over the last 5 years, being named one of Fortunes Most Admired

Companies. Throughout the last 16 years, CBRE has also been voted the industrys top brand by

the Lipsey Company. I believe that a company that has achieved so much success and that has

potential to continue to grow is the right company for me.


Table of Contents

i Abstract... 2
ii Introduction. 4
iii Background. 5
a History. 5
b Financials 6
i Figure 1... 6
c Employment 7
d Improvements. 8
iv Research 9
v References. 10


CBRE is the worlds largest commercial real estate services and investment firm and will

continue to lead the way for real estate with its ability to adapt to consumers needs and wants.

The company offers promising careers to its employees, providing them with efficient work

stations and access to the best software in the industry. Taking a look at CBREs stocks, financial

statements, and involvement within the industry will provide context to the companys projected

growth in the future. With multiple competitors in the commercial real estate and investing

market, such as Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle, and FirstService Corporation,

CBRE must continue to develop new technology and adapt to consumers desires in order to

maintain its position at the forefront. Along with developing prestigious software, CBRE has

comprised a set of four core values that have contributed to the companys success. These four

values are Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence all focusing on providing a better

experience for their customers. The company doesnt forget to focus on the environment as well,

implementing energy efficient materials to help cut-back on global warming. Monitoring the

income statements provided, it is possible to get a look at the development of CBREs revenue

from the past few year. The stock of CBRE provides us with a sense of how the company is

doing and allows us to predict where the company is headed in the future. Keeping customers

happy is key to long lasting relationships, and at CBRE customer satisfaction is a high priority

and many steps are taken to ensure customers stay within the company. Looking into the

different aspects of the company and reports done, such as case studies, will also provide a sense

of where the company is headed in the future.



CBRE has had a pretty eventful history, starting its journey as a company in San

Francisco, California in 1906. The company was first known as CB commercial and throughout

the 1940s moved its way up to being one of the largest commercial real estate services

companies in the western part of the United States. As the 1960s and 70s came along, the

company decided to go public, expanding both its services offered and the area in which they

operated. In 1989 the company was officially named CB commercial, due to a group of

employees and other significant people acquiring the operations. Throughout the 1990s, the

company began to become more of a powerhouse in the industry and started acquiring other

leading firms in areas such as investment management, mortgage banking, and property and

corporate facilities management. A big milestone in the history of the company occurred in 1998

with the acquisition of REI Limited which was started by Richard Ellis in London around the

mid-1770s. This large acquisition resulted in the company changing its name to CB Richard Ellis

or CBRE, and sparked the companys involvement in countries outside the United States.

Acquiring Insignia Financial Group in 2003, CBRE became the leading real estate services firm

in both London and New York. The year of 2004 was a great year for CBRE, marking the

beginning of Class A Common Stock being traded on the New York Stock Exchange, later being

added to the S&P 500 in 2006. After acquiring a well-known outsourcing company, CBRE

became the global leader in outsourcing services and has consistently been ranked the #1

provider of real estate outsourcing services by the International Association of Outsourcing

Professionals. In recent years, Forbes named CBRE Americas 15th best employer along with

Fortune declaring CBRE one of the most admired companies in the real estate industry for the

fourth year in a row.


As for the year of 2015, CBRE became the first firm in their sector to exceed $10 billion

in total revenue and $1.4 billion in normalized earnings before interest taxes depreciation and

amortization. Some other highlights from 2015 are, an increase in revenue by 20% to $10.9

billion, and adjusted earnings per share rising 22%. The purchase of Johnson Controls Global

Workplace Solutions (GWS) business, which was the companys largest acquisition in over a

decade, further strengthened CBREs Occupier Outsourcing business. The GWS acquisition

CBREs largest in nearly a decade helped to increase our global portfolio of managed

properties and facilities from 3.4 billion square feet to 5.2 billion square feet. CBRE now works

with more than 90 companies in the Fortune 100 (Sulentic, 2015, p. 4). While operating in over

60 countries, CBRE has established a foothold in the real estate market throughout the world and

continues to increase in size, acquiring more struggling companies every year. One company that

CBRE works closely with is Airbnb. Airbnb is a company that rents out things such as homes our

apartments and has begun to expand their market with CBRE closely monitoring their every

move to make sure it is the right one. Another company partnered with CBRE is Sprint. In a case

study done on sprint, Grosko (2014) says, With these foundations in place, Sprint now wanted

to move the CBRE relationship up the value chain, from one built on driving cost savings to one

focused on facilitating innovation, strategic growth and greater revenue for both partners (p. 1).


With over 70,000 employees, CBRE has one of the largest workforces of any commercial

real estate and investing company in the world. There is a reason behind the large number of

employees apart of CBREs staff. The reason behind this is because of the companys dedication

towards making sure their workers have a nice, efficient place to work. In the CBREs 2015

annual report, Sulentic (2015) says, We opened our 30th new state-of-the-art alternative

workplace office which we call Workplace360 providing our people with a collaborative and

innovative work environment (p. 2). Every year CBRE continues to generate plans to make

their buildings more energy efficient in hopes of eventually coming up with a master plan that

will allow them to make all of their buildings energy efficient.

Figure 1 above shows the consistency of CBRE employment.


In todays day and age, energy efficiency is the big thing that companies want to have for

their products. When a product is energy efficient, it is able to operate at an optimum level and at

the same time use less resources during the process. At CBRE, plans are always evolving into

what consumers need and want in modern society, helping the company create long lasting

relationships with its customers. In the article, Value of Professional Property Managers in

Residential Project Development, Yuen (2016) says, Today, buildings are much larger and more

complex than in previous years and can require more maintenance. The protection of the

environment and creating energy efficient buildings is becoming increasingly important. As the

years go by, energy efficiency continues to evolve to compliment the needs of humans in their

everyday lives (p. 56-57). Within the last decade, there has been a strong push for green

legislation to help eliminate the large effect buildings have on global warming and the

environment. In an article titled, Sustainability now in session, Rosenberg (2008) says,

According to the USGBC, in the United States, buildings account for 70 percent of all electric

use and 40 percent of all carbon emissions. But truly green buildings, those receiving LEED

certification, can save 36 percent in energy, reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent, reduce water

use by 40 percent and reduce the production of solid waste by 70 percent (p. 34-39). In another

article titled, Green buildings and productivity, Miller (2009) says, Without a healthy and

efficient work-place, modern technology isnt able to grow (p. 65-89).

Description of Proposed Research

The future of CBRE and its growth relies heavily upon consumers. Customer satisfaction

and established loyalty to the company with be a determining factor in CBREs continuing

success as the worlds leader in commercial real estate and investing services. A way to evaluate

customer satisfaction is to create a survey for current clients of CBRE, asking them a series of

questions pertaining to their experience with the company. The customers can be split up into

different groups, depending on the type of service that CBRE provided them with. The groups

will be separated into three main categories, Investing services, Occupier services, and

Specialties services. Separating CBREs clients into three different categories will allow them to

pinpoint which areas they are struggling in so they can fix any problems and better that area of

service. The questions will involve rating the company in a variety of different areas based on

personal experiences, including customer service, energy efficiency of building, satisfaction with

service offered, customer benefits, and overall impression of the company as a whole. Customers

will also be asked to rate what they believe is most important for the service that they were

provided with, why they went with CBRE, what they believe CBRE can improve on, and if they

will continue to use the services that CBRE offers. Upon evaluating the answers to these

questions, CBRE will be able to determine what areas of service that they need to improve on

and whether or not their customers are satisfied with the overall quality of the company. A way to

eliminate skewed data is to prohibit and customer directly affiliated with CBRE from taking the

survey, in hopes that the results will provide an accurate description of customers views.

List of References

Eyring, A. R. (2015). Health and well-being at CBRE. People & Strategy, 38(1), 60-62.

Grosko, M. (2014). Case study: sprint. In CBRE.

James, R. (2015). Case study: citygroup. In CBRE.


Miller, N., Pogue, D., Gough, Q., & Davis, S. (2009). Green buildings and productivity. Journal

of Sustainable Real Estate, 1(1), 65-89.

Rosenberg, J. (2008). Sustainability now in session: green legislation is on the rise, as discussed

by IREM Members. Journal of Property Management, 73(2), 34-39.

Sulentic, R. (2016, January 1). Building advantage. In Building advantage. Retrieved April 3,


Woolson, J. (2015). Case study: fairmont hotels and resorts. In CBRE.

Yuen, C. B., & Li, T. (2016). Value of Professional Property Managers in Residential Project

Development. Nang Yan Business Journal, 4(1), 56-67.