The Underestimated Value of Security in Selecting Corporate Real Estate

Choosing office facilities involves far more than evaluating rent and location. In the current landscape of seemingly escalating workplace violence, prioritizing workplace safety has never been more important. Security teams play a pivotal role in shaping the work environment, strategically implementing security measures that align with the layout and available resources in each office location.

Amanda Mason is currently serving as the Vice President of Intelligence for Related Companies, the largest privately held real estate company in the US. She joins this episode to share why security plays such an influential role in real estate decisions. Mason’s role is to integrate information from various sources and bridge the gap between cyber threats, national security, local law enforcement, physical security, and business intelligence. She provides threat information and solutions to the various subsidiaries under Related Companies, which include Real Estate, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Hospitality, and International Finance. 

Key topics of Mason’s discussion with host Fred Burton include:

  • Her transition from serving in the National Guard into the private sector, and the skills honed during her military tenure that have been instrumental in her success.
  • The importance of learning how to ‘sell security’ and its role in shaping national security decisions.
  • Security’s role in influencing decisions around office locations.
  • Advice for corporate security teams when partnering with real estate or corporate leaders in managing and selecting office space.

Key takeaways:

14:00: Fred: How do you see securities’ role in influencing decisions around office locations?

14:11: Amanda Mason: There definitely is a very strong role for security operations regarding the selection of locations and office bases. Threats of Workplace violence weigh on people’s minds because nowadays companies are really being held responsible for the safety and security of their employees. Security really has a huge role in what the facility looks like and what are the security measures. Companies want to help minimize their risk and their exposure because the costs are very high for these types of criminal incidents to occur at or near their property.

15:34: Fred: Amanda what advice do you have for corporate security teams when partnering with real estate or corporate leaders in managing and selecting office space?

15:52 Amanda Mason: The first thing is — is there a security team there on hand, or do you need to bring in more resources? What are their resources and their procedures? Do you have an op center? How do you relay information back to the company as a tenant? How are you sharing information? What’s the relationship with the security team and the local police and local government?