The added value of corporate real estate and facilities management has gained a lot of attention during the past years. However, the actual value creation has received less attention. In this paper the aim is to increase the understanding of value creation in real estate business and reflect the current approach against lean theory. Design/methodology/approach ñ Due to the descriptive nature of the research, a FM case of energy management service was selected to illustrate the value creation. Findings ñ The value creation process and the underlying practices illustrate how the value is currently created for the end-customer in the case. The results indicate that the service process is not built around the value creation, but for example to control the work of others or to follow the service contract. The service process is also interrupted for several reasons such as poor resource allocation, overload of work, and lack of knowledge to maintain information. To overcome the challenges, more attention should be aimed on value creation and its improvement. Research limitations ñ More case studies applying the same research context as used in this paper should be conducted to increase the validity of the results. Practical implications ñ The techniques, methods and elements of value creation theory can be used by organisations in real estate business to gain better understanding on their own value creation processes. Originality/value ñ This paper offers a first insight into the value creation theories of lean in real estate business.