Architectural professionals, are you aware of the top trend facing your industry?
Change is inevitable, even in a stable industry such as yours. According to Architect Magazine, the architectural industry is shifting away from independent firms, and moving towards mergers and acquisitions (M&A). As your industry continues to evolve to favor a more integrated model, firms like yours must be able to respond quickly, be nimble, and embrace progression. How can an M&A affect your firm? It can:
1) result in a one-stop shop providing full-service design, building, and engineering services
2) give the ability to house more professionals providing diverse specialties and expertise
3) achieve diversity for firms by bringing together a mix of cultures and personalities
4) create a need for additional office/site locations
Whether your firm is privately held or publically traded, one of the keys to maximizing ownership and shareholder value is to evaluate your firm’s entire real estate portfolio. Since real estate is typically the second or third largest expense to a business, if a successful M&A occurs, real estate hugely impacts the outcome. The way real estate is handled before, during, and after an M&A is critical and can lead to the success or failure of your business.
Here are three steps to take if you are considering an M&A:
Before: Conduct due diligence to understand all the firm’s locations and the terms for each leased/owned asset.
During: Create a portfolio assessment and strategy to dispose of, consolidate, sublease, provide alternative location cost comparisons, and/or liquidate assets.
After: Integrate and implement the strategy, including realistic budgeting, financial forecasting, and communication with all business units.
Are you considering an M&A, or have you recently completed one? We would love to hear about your experience or concerns and are ready to work alongside you to ensure a smooth and successful plan is implemented.
I look forward to helping you and your firm in any way that I can, or to simply share advice as you consider how your firm will adapt to industry trends through its real estate strategy.