The real property value of the German government enfolds 800 billions of Euros. Considering the pattern of utilisation, school buildings and their associated sports facilities represent the biggest part in municipal real estate portfolios, often followed by the buildings for day-care centres and administrative buildings.

Although there is a great interest from politicians and the general public in excellent education, since it is supposed to have a positive effect on the economic power of modern economies, school buildings are often neglected and measures are taken in case of immediate need only.

Often, there is lack of anticipatory strategic planning such as by means of forecasts. Generally, only short-term operational measures are initiated and carried out without considering the life cycle of the real estate and the corresponding sub-portfolio in the overall context. 

In particular, the strategic perspective for determining the space and cost requirements for school buildings as a base for decision-making should, however, be given a higher priority.

Therefore this article addresses the following questions: 

  • What is the current situation of municipal real estate management in Germany? Which strategies, structures and systems are used for real estate management? Are there differences in the planning of school buildings?
  • What are the current decision-making processes in municipal real estate management using the example of school buildings? Who are the stakeholder/ agents in the decision-making process in municipal real estate management? According to which criteria are the responsibilities allocated?
  • What are the strategic management approaches that could be useful for municipal real estate management? How do they consider future developments?
  • What key factors are needed to forecast public real estate management? How do the respective factors influence each other and which factors may hinder each other out?
  • Which future influencing factors are there? To what extent do they play a role in the municipal real estate portfolio?

Design/methodology/approach: To identify fundamentals  of decision making for municipal Real Estates and develop a theoretical background for strategic management in public real estate management, an intense literature review is conducted. Responsibilities of municipalities are surveyed in form of a standardised web-based questionnaire with different types of questions such as multiple-choice or also open-ended.

Findings: Research findings will lead to recommendations for activities that support sustainable strategic management of municipalities that enable systematic strategies that address issues in local public real estate management. By providing checklists and explanations of applicable tools this research will ideally support, decision makers in the municipal level to develop a responsible planning of real estate management for school buildings, by providing them with different scenarios.