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It seems everyone is looking for the Exit sign. We want a quick exit from our economic troubles; we want an easy exit from our military engagements against global threats of terror; we’d love a complete exit from the daily stresses of our jobs; and we continue to hope for a low-impact exit from bad corporate real estate decisions.

As a generation that has become used to instant gratification, the challenges we see before us are causing additional consternation because they are not a quick fix. The general mood is one of annoyance: “Can’t we just figure out a way past this?”, “This is getting old”, “I’m tired of all the doom and gloom, somebody’s got to do something!”

Part of the problem is our reaction to being hammered with the same message over and over. It tends to put us into the “Enough already!” camp. But there are ways to combat the mass exodus mentality and stick it out.

The first is simply to look at history. The recession of 1991 produced an amazing recovery. After the recession, the United States enjoyed a full decade of economic growth. The internet you are accessing via your notebook PC in order to read this article along with the tens of thousands of related innovations that came into being are a direct result of recovery from a recession that was called by some in 1991 the Vanishing of the American Dream.

The second is to look at the powder keg of sentiment behind AIG, Bernard Madoff, and other newsmakers. If American society can be compared to a rubber band, we seem to be at the point where we either snap or come back to a point of relative normality. I think the message has been delivered well enough that we will finally learn about the downside of hubris. In one of my recent articles, I wrote about bringing back common sense. I have faith that common sense is on its way back to the American way of life.

The third is to remember that running a corporation is a lot like flying an airplane. As long as you continue to keep the engines running, small adjustments to direction, altitude, velocity and pitch are necessary to keep flying. Anything else may have unintended consequences. If you are responsible for managing your company’s corporate real estate, now is not the time to make quick-fix decisions that have negative implications on your bottom line. Now is the time to talk to a strategic real estate planning expert. It is important right now to be thinking about your company’s total cost of occupancy, industry benchmarking, workplace efficiency, location effectiveness–ie: labor, demographics and saturation–and other factors that will allow you to make small adjustments to your business strategy. These small changes will position your firm for enjoying the decade or more of economic growth that will come when we pull back the stick and get the airplane of American commerce heading the right direction.

The egress is up…and into the wild blue.

Vik Bangia is vice president of National Accounts for CresaPartners, an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants/space users and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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