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The Power of Partnership in Corporate Real Estate

Lessons From H&R Block

In this episode of The Team Around the Table, we continue our conversation about the power of partnership—this time, with one of our own most enduring relationships: our 25-year partnership with H&R Block. Cushman & Wakefield’s Shannon Koenigsdorf is back, and she joins H&R Block’s Shawn Moore, to share their journey through the complexities of managing the 6,600 corporate locations within H&R Block’s vast real estate portfolio.

Shannon and Shawn explore how H&R Block navigates the unique challenges posed by their seasonal business model. They shed light on their approach to handling hundreds of remodels and renovations, and how they leverage data and predictive analytics to optimize their operational footprint.

Shawn offers rich insights into the symbiotic relationship between real estate strategy and delves into the pivotal role played by a dedicated Corporate Real Estate (CRE) team to ensure seamless operations and continuous improvement. 

This episode is a deep dive into the power of partnership, strategic thinking, and the importance of agility and flexibility in the ever-changing landscape of CRE.

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Five Key Lessons


  1. The Essence of the Partnership
    At the core of the enduring relationship between Cushman & Wakefield and H&R Block is a shared commitment to excellence, innovation, and strategic foresight. H&R Block's expansive portfolio boasts 6,600 corporate locations, more than 12 million square feet, and a substantial annual rent expenditure. Managing such a vast network requires meticulous planning and execution. The partnership's success lies in handling massive volumes of work orders, remodels and renovations, and demonstrating the capacity to manage large-scale operations effectively. This collaboration has enabled H&R Block to prioritize strategic initiatives, such as mergers, acquisitions, and technology enhancements, while ensuring their real estate is in capable hands. 

  2. Adaptability and Flexibility
    Adaptability is a key aspect of this partnership. Over the years, Cushman & Wakefield’s real estate team has scaled up or down—depending on H&R Block's business needs—moving from field real estate management to a more centralized approach when necessary and leveraging the global support of our Portfolio Services Center (PSC). This flexibility has proven invaluable, especially during high-activity periods like the annual tax season, when H&R Block renews a significant portion of its leases in a condensed timeframe.

  3. Innovative Solutions and Continuous Improvement
    Innovation and continuous improvement have been the cornerstones of this partnership, particularly in managing the unique seasonality of H&R Block’s business. With the use of data and predictive analytics, disruptions are minimized during tax season. Also, continued preparation and preventive maintenance enables H&R Block to ensure that they always have operational and client-ready facilities, even when their network goes dormant for several months each year. It’s a mindset of perpetual evolution and willingness to embrace change, as well as a commitment to ongoing process refinement, proactive management and a culture of perpetual growth and efficiency.

  4. Data-Driven Decisions
    H&R Block's real estate strategy is heavily informed by data analytics and modelling. By utilizing thousands of data points and predictive analytics, these tools not only guide lease renewals and relocations but also assist in making informed decisions about real estate portfolio management. This approach is critical for service-based businesses like H&R Block, where physical locations still play a vital role in client interaction and experience.

  5. A Shared Vision
    At the core of the H&R Block and Cushman & Wakefield partnership is a deep sense of mutual trust and collaboration. The relationship, characterized by strategic alignment and a shared vision for the future, exemplifies the potential for long-term partnerships to navigate the complexities of corporate real estate.

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About Global Occupier Services
We deliver comprehensive real estate solutions to the world’s largest occupiers. These solutions include workplace strategy, portfolio management, transaction management, project management, and integrated facilities management.
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Meet the Participants

shannon koenigsdorf (image)
Shannon Koenigsdorf

EMD, Account Management
St. Louis, United States


+1 (314) 813-9557

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