July 16, 2024

[Herald Interview] Property management to take new turn in Korea: C&W executive

PUBLISHED : June 24, 2024 - 17:04

UPDATED : June 24, 2024 - 17:04

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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, aims to enhance its provision for corporate clients, launching its integrated facilities management service in July here.

“The service, offered to offices, buildings, and other corporate real estate properties, encompasses a wide range of tasks and responsibilities aimed at ensuring the efficient operation and maintenance of physical spaces,” Ryan Lee, an executive director of C&W Korea’s Global Occupier Service, during a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

Lee, with over 25 years of professional expertise in the global real estate market, is to head the IFM service in Korea.

The service includes "soft services" from janitorial and cleaning and security to food service management, and "hard services," from the maintenance of heating and cooling systems to fire and disaster prevention systems and data centers.

The Korean launch of the service, in particular, comes as Standard Chartered Bank has named C&W to lead its push for workplace transformation in Asian operations.

“The IFM service was not available in Korea as many of C&W Korea’s clients were foreign companies that were renting small-sized offices. With Standard Chartered Bank being our key client, we are to launch the service in full swing in Korea,” Lee said.

According to Lee, 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. But more importantly, he stressed that the company’s more than 100-year-old legacy and global network across 70 countries can play its part.

“Clients could hire professionals themselves 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 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. But C&W can step in place, regardless of the borders, as it is a global company,” Lee said.

“After big companies experience the benefit of C&W’s IFM service in their foreign operations, others are likely to follow suit,” he said.

C&W has expanded its presence in Korea since its first office was set up in Seoul back in 1999. With the new service launch, Lee said the company could seek a bigger footing here.

"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 and C&W Korea is taking giant steps, instead of baby steps. The IFM service could bolster unprecedented growth," he said.

By Im Eun-byel (

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