Chris Kane, a veteran FM who has worked in corporate real estate for over 30 years, is to publish a new book and says that the Covid-19 crisis is a chance for facilities managers to step up.
Kane who operated as the vice-president of International Corporate Real Estate for The Walt Disney Company before acting as head of corporate real estate at the BBC – where he was responsible for the creation of MediaCityUK in Salford – told Facilitate that FM is often seen as “the poor relation” in the real estate sector.
Kane, whose new book, Where is My Office? is published next month, said: “The nature of how people work is fundamentally changing and I wrote all this before Covid happened and I did make a few minor changes and a colleague of mine said your views were eerily prescient.”
He added: “I do analyse the convoluted fractured nature of the supply system, highlighting the fact that real estate and facilities are the only industry which really hasn't encountered any massive disruption so far.
“The reality is that in the real estate family facilities is the poor relation. Facilities have always been the area which I regarded – along with many others – as the Cinderella sector. I think the Cinderella is going to go to the ball this time around.”
Kane says the “entire demand for space is changing in front of our eyes” and "people are worrying about the nature of real estate and what lack of activity will do to cities and small traders and there's going to be fatalities in terms of businesses”.
But he says as a result of the pandemic “we're seeing evolution turning into revolution” and it is up to the FM sector to look at how it can not just help businesses survive but how it can support what is emerging as a new way of working.
In Where is My Office? Kane draws upon his extensive knowledge and experience in commercial property to investigate the new-found significance of innovative corporate real estate, using in-depth case studies from his career, while interviews with industry insiders such as Ronen Journo, SVP of WeWork and Mark Dixon, founder of Regus, provide insights into the strategies that are transforming the commercial property sector.