In times of crisis, where there is great uncertainty in many markets and the confidence in economy decreases, the need for information and control becomes evident. Management Control Systems can be used as instruments to satisfy this need. Controlling as an operational function is already common in nearly all big real estate companies, but the understanding of controlling and its range of functions as well as the integration into the organizational structure of the company is highly varying. In practice, people with the title of controller have functions that are at one extreme, little more than bookkeeping and, at the other extreme, de facto general management. Robert N. Anthony already noticed this fact in the year 1965 and since then it has not changed significantly. Especially in the field of real estate controlling there is no consistent and accepted theory. Therefore it might happen in practice that controlling fulfills the position of a stopgap, which means that functions that are not covered by any other organizational unit are assigned to it. As a consequence a lot of isolated applications are developed so that the bureaucracy is increasing and meanwhile the flexibility of the company is decreasing.This paper analyses the concept of real estate controlling, especially in the German-speaking context. It investigates if controlling is a suitable instrument for an international real estate management company. The article first reviews the general real estate literature and summarizes the special requirements and problems of the real estate sector. After discussing and delineating the concept of controlling in general, it shows the limits and potentials of controlling in the context of real estate. Finally the existing concepts of real estate controlling are compared and it is analyzed where the theory should be adjusted to the special needs of the real estate industry.