CBRE income falls nearly 10%

Large office tenants are putting leasing decisions on hold

Bob Sulentic (Getty, iStock)
Bob Sulentic (Getty, iStock)

CBRE’s income fell nearly 10 percent during the third quarter as the pandemic forced large office tenants to put their leasing decisions on hold.

Income for the world’s largest real estate services firm fell 9.2 percent from July through September compared to the same time last year to $245 million, the company reported Wednesday.

CEO Bob Sulentic said revenue was being pushed down as large corporate occupiers kicked the can down the road on major leases.

“Those decisions just aren’t being made,” he said on the company’s earnings call Thursday afternoon.

Company executives said CBRE has been able to blunt the impact of the pandemic with more stable revenue streams from lines of business such as property management, and by cutting expenses, including through staff reductions.

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Sulentic noted that CBRE has ample liquidity, including $1.4 billion in cash, and that the company is in a position to do mergers and acquisitions if the right opportunity comes up.

“We’re really focused on some areas of the business that are going to have nice, secular tailwinds,” he said.

CBRE is reportedly moving its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to Dallas, although it did not confirm or mention the move on Thursday’s call.

Sulentic, who headed the Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow Co. when it was acquired by CBRE in 2006, already has an office in the Texas city and splits his time between there and L.A.

CBRE isn’t expected, however, to move a significant number of jobs from L.A. to Dallas. The company employs around 100,000 people in more than 530 offices worldwide.