The changes in society and the church, as well as the declining number of church members and pastoral staff, pose challenges for the church. It is to be expected that these developments will be further intensified by the consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic. In addition, social trends such as demographic development and digitalisation are changing the environment with increasing speed. Nevertheless, the voice of the church is still in demand in public debates, and the church should continue to be perceived as a relevant social factor. This results in the need to actively shape an overarching process of change and to develop an overall strategy for the institutions associated with it. Against this background, a strategy process for realignment is currently taking place in many church organisations.
This reorientation has an enormous impact on the real estate portfolio. This is very heterogeneous, in parts in need of major renovation and owned by different legal entities. Within the framework of the strategy process, it is important to analyse to what extent the current real estate portfolio and its use contribute to the defined goals of the future overall strategy and in which areas there is a need for adjustment. In doing so, it is important to move from a local case-by-case decision to a functional overall concept. This is a particular challenge, as each individual user is convinced of the future viability of "their property" and there are strong emotional ties. Which buildings are strategically relevant and can be financed sustainably? A structured and transparent system is required to identify the strategically relevant buildings. For this purpose, it is necessary to define the criteria relevant for the future orientation. This increases the comprehensibility of decisions and relieves the decision-makers. For the development of relevant criteria and a systematic, the questions and goals/opportunities shown in the following graphic can help.
Chart (in German only)
In order to anticipate decisions on individual cases, a proactive approach should be taken. In addition, due to the large scope of real estate, it makes sense to test the approach in a "pilot region" and then extend it to the entire area.
Suitable business intelligence solutions help to implement the portfolio analysis in a more efficient and user-friendly way. This also increases the acceptance and comprehensibility of the results.
Chart (in German only)
The transparent presentation of the criteria and focal points provides the user or owner with information on how to optimise their properties (e.g. multiple use of rooms).
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