Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM) has been intensively discussed in research and practice since the 1990s. Nevertheless, empirical studies show that it has remained a buzzword rather than a concept to this day. In particular, questions about the theoretical background have not yet been answered unequivocally. Neither is there a complete model of the impact relationships of CREM nor a uniform concept for the organization of real estate management tasks in non-property companies. As a first step, two different CREM concepts of the TU Delft and the TU Darmstadt will be classified in their development according to their respective purpose and derived conceptually. The very different concepts are then compared using a catalogue of criteria.   

The findings show that there are similarities and dissimilarities between the two concepts. Both concepts highlight that there is a user that needs real estate as an operational asset, i.e. the demand side, and a supplier of real estate and related services, i.e. the supply side. The differences between the two concepts are mainly in the emphases of the different parts. For example, the concept of TU Delft pays attention to the physical and technical dimension of real estate, whereas the concept of TU Darmstadt emphasises the role of the financial resource in the conception of a match between corporate real estate demand and supply.

The paper provides an in-depth analysis of the two CREM concepts, contributing a way to see and discuss the similarities and differences of these two concepts. The value is not to nominate a best concept, but to provide an analysis that helps researchers and practitioners find an interpretation that fits their purpose. The comparison of two CREM concepts contributes to the theoretical foundation of operational real estate management. CREM is thus taken a step further on its way from a buzzword to a concept.