Purpose – Strategic thinking is a continuous process, alternating between thinking, planning and evaluating. Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM) needs to align their strategy and activities to corporate strategy during this entire process that the organisation goes through. Along the way, many different issues need to be considered and tools used to help make the right decisions. This paper aims to provide an overview of the strategic thinking process, and identify important steps to take and possible tools to take them.Design/methodology/approach – First strategic thinking is discussed and where CREM should start alignment. Then CREM literature on activities of CRE managers and possible tools is assigned to the different steps of the alignment process. Last, an overview is created for CREM in practice to improve strategic thinking and alignment.Findings – CREM research has identified and created many tools for CREM practitioners to work towards alignment. However, an overview of how to proceed with alignment during the entire strategic thinking process was lacking. This paper contains a first attempt to make such an overview.Implications – This overview of steps and tools to reach alignment can be used by CREM practitioners to discuss alignment with general management. Hopefully, this helps with receiving more strategic attention and the promotion of CREM departments towards strategists in the CREM evolution.Originality value – Studies on alignment of CREM with corporate strategy tend to focus on one phase of the alignment (either initial alignment or performance management). This paper extends the alignment strategy from initial alignment towards implementation and evaluation, covering the whole process cycle. Also, it provides an overview of existing tools and methods to use.