How mature is your property portfolio strategy?

Jon Spring


Asset optimisation maturity assessment survey findings

We assessed the maturity of over 50 organisations across five distinct but interdependent areas or ‘fundamentals’ to check how well their property portfolio strategy is aligned to their core business objectives. The results show that while some organisations, and some sectors, show good levels of maturity in one or more areas, few are achieving upper quartile performance across all five fundamentals.

A best-practice approach

A best-practice approach to asset optimisation requires maturity across all these five areas, and an overall strategy which links them all together:

  • Property portfolio management: develop and implement the right real estate strategy to give the organisation the space it needs
  • Capital investment planning: prioritise investment at portfolio, building and project level to align spend with corporate objectives
  • Facilities management: develop facilities management strategies and operating models to protect the portfolio and support the business
  • Lifecycle replacement: develop strategies to deal with lifecycle and backlog maintenance, with a focus on whole life value or total expenditure
  • Energy and sustainability: reduce energy use and carbon tax liabilities across the portfolio

The findings

Our research covered a representative cross-section of the UK property market. Where there were sufficient numbers of organisations in the same sector, we have reported for each of those sectors, namely professional services, the public sector, commercial developers and higher education. We asked senior representatives from each organisation to answer a series of questions, ranking their maturity on a scale of one to five, with five being the most mature.

The survey highlighted a generally good level of maturity across all five fundamentals for all respondents, with an overall average maturity of 3.3 out of 5. With variation across the five fundamentals for all sectors, professional services companies returned the highest average across all areas.

Key trends

Capital investment planning is an area of focus for respondents from all sectors and returned the highest average score. Conversely, lifecycle replacement ranks lowest and almost universally demonstrates an opportunity for improvement.

The results clearly demonstrate that organisations are taking a longer term view as they see more stability in the economy, with many organisations looking forward four years or more with their capital investment planning.

Looking at the UK as a whole, there were some specific areas where in general, the trend is towards maturity.

The highest rated areas related to corporate energy strategy (3.8) and long-term capital investment planning (3.7).

Many portfolio managers also felt that they had enough information for decision-making, with an average UK score of 3.6 out of 5 for maturity. A significant number of respondents felt that their corporate real estate strategy was aligned to organisational objectives, with the same average score.

However, the survey showed that organisations tended to be less mature in other areas, indicating that there are opportunities to extract more value and reduce risk by taking a more holistic view. The least mature areas were; having a clear plan for energy upgrades (2.3), aligning the lifecycle replacement strategy with the portfolio strategy (2.4), maximising the opportunity associated with alternative workplace strategies (2.4) and taking a whole life approach to lifecycle decisions (2.5).


Despite good levels of maturity in some areas, there are still significant opportunities for portfolio managers to deliver more value to their organisations. To do this requires a move away from the silo mentality where facilities management, capital projects, workspace planning and energy efficiency measures are all delivered independently to a position where these elements are all considered and managed together.