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[Herald Interview] C&W’s new facility management service aims to spur Korean growth

June 24, 2024 - 15:55 By Im Eun-byel
Ryan Lee, executive director of Global Occupier Service at Cushman & Wakefield Korea, poses for photos before an interview with The Korea Herald held at the company’s office in central Seoul, Thursday. (Cushman & Wakefield Korea)

Cushman & Wakefield Korea, the local arm of the global commercial real estate services firm, is launching a more integrated facility management service next month to better meet the growing demand from corporate clients.

The service, called Integrated Facilities Management or IFM, ranges from janitorial, cleaning and food management to disaster prevention and data centers.

“The IFM service was not available in Korea as many of our clients were foreign companies that were renting small-sized offices. But global clients are increasingly demanding a more integrated service, prompting us to launch the service in full swing,” said Ryan Lee, a C&W Korea executive who will lead the IFM business.

According to him, clients can save up to 15-20 percent on maintenance costs by outsourcing the IFM service as C&W capitalizes on an economy of scale. Currently, C&W is the only real estate consulting firm that offers such a service.

“Clients could hire professionals themselves or designate personnel to manage their properties. But it will take time and effort, furthermore unnecessary expenses. C&W, on the other hand, knows how to handle real estate management,” he said.

Nine global companies will be clients of the service when it launches in Korea. But for further growth, Lee stressed that C&W Korea will eventually have to expand its business to Korean companies as well.

“The primary target is big companies with overseas subsidiaries. When companies expand their operations to overseas markets, they have to search for properties in foreign countries, and further hire personnel to take care of the details,” he said.

Lee pinned high hopes on the new service launch, calling it a key growth driver in Korea where the company has expanded its presence over the past two decades.

"When C&W first launched in Korea, the concept of real estate brokerage consulting for corporate offices did not exist. But things have changed over the years. We aim to take giant steps with the IFM service,” he added.