Home / Operational Real Estate: unlocking value in real estate

Operational Real Estate: unlocking value in real estate

Operational Real Estate (OpRE) is a rapidly evolving component of the real estate market, as investors seek innovative ways to maximise value, mitigate risk and hedge against inflation.  

OpRE has emerged as a strategic investment option. This is especially relevant in today's dynamic landscape, where shifting consumer demands and expectations are reshaping the real estate industry.

OpRE can offers several advantages, including increased cashflows and the potential to generate positive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes. However navigating the European OpRe landscape can be challenging due to the absence of clear guidelines and established market practices.  

This page serves as central hub for all things OpRE. Here you will find all our resources, including:

  • A definition: to gain a clear understanding of what Operational Real Estate entails 
  • Insights and guidance: to increase your understanding and navigate the complex OpRE landscape
  • Training and events: to stay informed on the latest developments with expert industry insights 

Show more


Explaining operational real estate 2023

Launched in October 2023, this paper will familiarise market participants with OpRE, to better incorporate these strategies into their institutional vehicle structures and investment governance. Read this paper to learn about OpRE merits, working models, the risk/return profile and tax and regulatory considerations. Key highlights include:

  • OpRE investments can provide higher cashflow distributions and business value, but entail a unique risk return profile, which may require greater time commitment and some level of critical mass to reach efficiency; 

  • OpRE results in the investor having control over different elements of the asset’s utilisation, which can potentially be used to generate non-financial benefits, such as positive ESG outcomes; 

  • To effectively navigate the complexities of OpRe, there is a need for market transparency and best practice guidance.


Operational hotel

Operational Real Estate – Real Asset or Real Economy?

The first INREV OpRE paper, from October 2020, shows an increasing appetite for investment into operational real estate. This is driven by the change in investment approach from providing space as a product to embracing space as a service; and the long-term structural trends, stemming from accelerated economic and social megatrends.  

This paper explores the risk characteristics of OpRe and their implications for investment approach in terms of objectives, structure, and resource requirements. The analysis is based on 22 bespoke interviews with investors and investment managers between June and August 2020.  Highlights include:

  • Allocations to operational real estate and residential have expanded faster than to traditional sectors
  • OpRE represents a diverse range of market segments that have a large dispersion of risk 
  • Understanding implications for required expertise, knowledge and the overall scale of resources is important 



What the industry experts say


Mike Bessell, Invesco Real Estate Europe

‘It is clear that almost all segments of the real estate market are becoming increasingly operational; as investors we need to be ahead of this evolution.’ 


Simone Pozzato, Hines

‘Real estate and services are increasingly offered together and could provide an attractive income return. It is crucial for investors to understand how to drive performance and navigate risks.’


Nicole Mitchell, Macfarlanes LLP 

‘The diversity of the emergent European operational real estate landscape, in terms of operators, sectors and investment structures, combined with the lack of industry guidance and transparency to date, means that there is presently no ‘one size fits all’ approach.’


Thomas Kallenbrunnen, GARBE

‘Operational real estate is entering the real estate fund landscape at full speed. This creates new challenges for governance, fee structures and the management of conflicts of interest within institutional investment vehicles.
That is what we are working on at INREV: guidelines, best practices and market screening. The new paper is a fantastic primer and starting point for this effort in the next few years.’


Austin Mitchell, Lendlease 

‘INREV has designed this course to create a foundation for investors and managers investing in operational real estate, brought to life through real world, sector-specific examples from housing, life sciences and self-storage.’




What exactly is OpRE?

To bring more clarity in this field and to promote market transparency, the new Operational Real Estate Committee has developed a definition of Operational Real Estate as follows:

‘An investment in a real estate asset structured so as to create a strong correlation between returns to the asset owner and the underlying operational performance of the operator or occupant.  

Operational real estate investments typically entail a different risk-return profile (operational, financial, or both) when compared to non-operational investments.
Such investments may be accessed via a variety of structures, including, but not limited to, operational services agreements, joint venture arrangements or taking equity stakes in an operating business.’

Operational Real Estate Committee

The Operational Real Estate committee was established in January 2023, to reflect the importance and relevance of OpRE in the real estate investment industry. Learn more about the committee’s goals, its members and what projects are in the pipeline.  


Related Downloads

Insights Into Operational Real Estate Seminar 2020  

Last updated on 17 Sep 2020

Do you have questions?

Please don't hesitate to contact us.