Developing an expansion strategy for a commercial real estate industry association


  • Plural’s client is a leading global membership organisation for the commercial real estate industry
  • The association plays a vital role in promoting the industry, facilitating networking, providing research to members and supporting talent development
  • It has a substantial and loyal membership base and generates most of its revenues through a portfolio of successful and profitable events
  • The company conducted a wide-ranging strategic review to determine how it should strengthen and extend its role within the industry, and how it can grow its membership and product offering
  • To accelerate these growth initiatives, the organisation employed Plural to conduct a market mapping study

Strategic market mapping

Plural helped the commercial real estate industry association to:

  • Define and size and addressable product/market segments 
  • Assess the demand dynamics and fit with members’ current and future needs 
  • Map the competitive landscape and dynamics per segment 
  • Identify strategically relevant partners in attractive adjacencies and assess the potential value
  • Develop an actionable M&A framework to identify and prioritise potential acquisition targets


  • Plural laid out four potential M&A routes that could drive the growth of the organisation either through attracting new members or by better serving current members’ needs
  • Strategic routes included commercial real estate marketplaces, news and research platforms, market intelligence and alternative format events
  • For each of the four strategic M&A routes, Plural agreed on parameters to be used to assess the most attractive asset types
  • Following a workshop, 13 asset types were prioritized across the four strategic routes in line with the prioritisation parameters
  • Working with the client, nine assets were shortlisted based on the strength of capabilities, synergies and feasibility
  • The prioritised assets support clear strategic outcomes for the client, all of which have a direct impact on the advancement of the organisation’s goals