Commercial Real Estate
Real estate owners and managers face unprecedented challenges today. Grubb & Ellis forecasts the 2010 year-end office vacancy rate at between 18.5 percent and 19 percent–the highest on record since the firm began tracking the national market in 1986. The average lease term, the average lease size and total leasing activity all declined as tenants became more conservative in planning for their space needs. Major real estate owners, built by recent mergers and acquisitions, now jockey for market dominance in an altered economic landscape. Increased competition forces building owners to work hard to attract and retain tenants–often by offering concessions such as rent-free periods, higher tenant improvement allowances and better services.
In this context, tenant expectations for security services have increased. Tenants are more aware of safety and security issues at the workplace and expect building owners to maintain the presence of a professional and reliable security workforce. Officer duties have expanded beyond staffing lobby desks, monitoring entrances through CCTV, and patrolling buildings and parking structures. High-quality contractors may train staff in first aid/CPR, weaponless self-defense, and ways to handle confrontations without force. Officers act as the eyes and ears of a building, noting and responding to suspicious activity. Guards are expected to address theft, accidents and medical situations by reaching out to first responders, and assisting tenants and visitors. In high-rise buildings, security officers play a crucial role in safely evacuating tenants.
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