Corporate real estate (CRE) is one of the largest items on the balance sheet, but one that often receives scant attention from the CFO. After all, this asset is typically managed by the company's various operating units or by a separate real estate function. And unlike the supply chain or sales operations, its ability to change quickly and influence a company's strategic goals is not always immediately apparent (an exception being retailers, who have long been aware of CRE's importance). Yet for most companies, CRE--which we define as the real estate a company uses to operate its business, excluding property held as a speculative investment--is a vast expense, trailing only salaries and the procurement of direct materials. Indeed, our survey of senior finance executives at large companies indicates that for 66 percent of companies, CRE is among the top four expenses.