All-day long, we are busy deliberating, thinking, deciding and acting. How important is it to pause and connect in the middle of our daily business? At Holland Property Plaza, we know the answer. Very important! So there we went. On the road through the Netherlands with our orange HPP seat. Visiting the decision-makers in our network. On the lookout for a connection. A real one.
We place our orange chairs at the Greystar office with a view of the city. It is time for a new connection, namely between Mark Kuijpers (Managing Director, Greystar) and Hans Vermeeren (Head of Asset Management Netherlands, Patrizia). Both decision-makers are responsible for an impressive portfolio of projects, either developed or invested in. What do they have in common, what can they learn from each other and how can they strengthen each other?
The men are critical of the direction being taken by the property sector, both on the private and the public side. Mark: “At the moment, we focus very much on incidents, while as a sector we need to guard the long lines. Particularly because the challenges we face, such as climate change and demographic development, also require a long-term vision”. Hans: “Yes, the focus really needs to be on the long-term ambition and that requires a joint agenda and approach. What is the dot on the horizon and how are we going to organise ourselves as a sector to get there?”
Diversity in housing types
The decision-makers also see the need for more diversity in the sector. Mark: “We must dare to create more diversity in housing types. The bulk of what we develop as a sector is rows and corner houses in the district or flats in the city. Everything in between is the exception rather than the rule. I think it would be good to create a more diverse range, especially since you see an increase in the number of one-person households among young people, small families and the elderly. There is hardly any new housing supply for them now”. Hans: “Yes, also because the traditional image of living, working and recreation is increasingly mixed. Corona has of course been a catalyst in this. It is important that this changing way of life is reflected in the projects we produce. We have to facilitate this with real estate”.
Diversity in the sector
Besides diversity in the end product, they also see the importance of diversity in the profession. Mark: “We should look more actively at more women, different nationalities and cultural backgrounds in our sector”. Hans: “And bringing in influences from outside the industry”. Mark: “Absolutely, more diversity in the sector will ultimately also help to create more diversity in our product range”.
Doing a lot together
The last question on the table is an interesting one: how could the two decision-makers strengthen each other? Hans: “I think we have similar ambitions in business, but also as people. A good step would be to seek each other out more, gather like-minded people around us and ensure that we can do a lot together. For example, in communication with the government, but also in our sustainability ambitions or in making our projects more inclusive”. Mark: “I think that’s a very good one. It’s a bit of a property thing to be very involved in your own projects, while the struggles I face are exactly the same as yours and those of our colleagues”.
Great intentions, then, and HPP is happy to be the platform that facilitates this connection.
Holland Property Plaza is the network for decision-makers in real estate. Would you like to know more?