As I head to San Diego for the Spring 2012 CoreNet Global real estate summit, I reflect on the past 5 years of the roller coaster ride in commercial real estate. As JLL’s Ed Noha points out in a recent blog, cost saving have been the charge to CRE officials in the crisis of the past cycle. With real estate being typically the second largest cost this is no great surprise. However, as the old management saw says you can’t cut your way to prosperity.

I’m excited about the Summit. CoreNet has appropriately entitled the event Reorient, Reignite, Reinvent. They even have a mobile app  - available for the first time – to help participants orient around the Summit functions.

It will be interesting to poll the leaders in commercial real estate and see where they are headed. I always want to know the trends and the latest direction of our industry. There is no better place to get a gage on things than a CoreNet conference.

I’ll be posting a series of shorter “cupcake” blogs with snipits of information. If you are in San Diego I welcome your debate on what I hear and say in this space. Heck, if you are at the South Pole you can debate me on the trends I report.

One thing I know for sure, real estate leaders can’t continue to report to the CFO that we are cutting costs. The pressure to reduce expenditures will never go away, but most CRE professionals know that the market is recovering quickly and therefore we must shift to controlling escalation of real estate cost in the next couple of years.

Most of all, we need to focus on reinventing commercial real estate portfolios to support talent in ways previously not imagined. I bet that the coming war for high-end talent will stretch real estate directors and service providers like never before.

Lets face it, in a down economy its easy to look like the hero on the cost cutting front. Now, we’ve got to get creative and add value in new ways during the recovery.

So, I have my pen and paper (or iPad) at the ready. Bring it, CoreNet!