Latest Trends In Corporate Location Decisions


Latest Trends In Corporate Location Decisions

June 14, 2021

Research from the Site Selectors Guild shows how the location decision process is evolving in light of the pandemic and current events, from where site selection consultants are seeing corporate activity to the sectors placing increasing importance on DE&I and sustainability in site selection decisions.

The findings from the online survey and one-on-one interviews with Guild members, conducted in late May and early June 2021, are the fourth in a series of research conducted by the Guild in April, June and December 2020 to outline the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and current events on economic development and site selection trends.

Download or view more details below, and read more in our press release.

While hybrid remote work/in-office models are expected to become more commonplace, how those decisions impact real estate decisions are still unclear. Meanwhile, manufacturing location decisions continue to be especially active due to high demand for consumer goods and industrial durables.

Changes in office work environments and increased manufacturing output are resulting in two real estate implications: empty offices with potential as residential units or last-mile delivery hubs, and developers of industrial and warehouse space struggling to keep up with demand.

The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology, and communities must strategically leverage virtual platforms for meetings that don’t require being in-person, quality drone footage and other virtual reality methods to showcase their communities.

While initial interviews and data analysis may take place virtually, Guild members say companies will still push for in-person site visits and meetings prior to making a final location decision.

When asked how various industries are factoring diversity, equity & inclusion into the site selection process, Guild members reported the greatest increase in prevalence among large, multinational publicly traded companies and mid-to-large-sized IT companies, particularly those which are consumer facing.

Guild members added that as DE&I becomes more important for talent attraction and retention efforts, a growing number of companies are seeking out markets where a diverse workforce with tech talent exists.

Sustainability and green energy as a site selection factor is increasing among nearly all industries as companies strive for reduced carbon footprints and regulatory compliance, but the higher cost and perceived lower reliability of wind and solar energy remains an obstacle to its deployment.

Guild members add that migration patterns indicate demand for high-value locations and that a new generation of city dwellers will move to metropolitan environments.

Rising vaccination rates and decreased Covid-19 infections will spur a rebound in downtown recovery, tourism, and other industries centered on service and social interaction.