19 July, Rotterdam,
Within Van der Vorm Vastgoed, several generations work together on a daily basis to develop and lease valuable real estate throughout the Netherlands and Europe. Earlier in this series we interviewed Mrs. Van der Vorm, who has been very actively involved in the organisation since the foundation of the family business in 1919. This time an interview with one of our employees from the younger generation: Brian Martens.
Brian joined our project development team last summer as Junior Project Manager. Real estate, as we will see later in this interview, is a thread that runs through the life of this ambitious and energetic millenial.
Internship for study Real Estate & Brokerage
During his internship and subsequent job at Ravestein Bouwmanagement, Brian was already involved in a number of projects by Van der Vorm Vastgoed. He worked for the Harvest, Haag & Goes housing complexes on Oude Haagweg in The Hague, the De Hoven shopping centre and residential towers in Delft and the Westpolder shopping centre in Papendrecht. All this in addition to his studies in Real Estate & Brokerage at the Hogeschool in Rotterdam.
For the latter study, he was looking for a new internship placement, which he found here with us.
Brian is currently in the final year of his studies, an exciting period in which he is full of enthusiasm and confidence. He enjoys dual education a lot, four days of work and one day back to school: 'in this way you become part of the company where you do your internship and the dual aspect links theory to practice'. And that pays off: Brian has recently been promoted at Van der Vorm Vastgoed; within a year he has grown to the position of Project Manager.
"Cool international work'.
Van der Vorm Vastgoed is an international player. Brian finds the market exploration in areas where our organization is not yet a player, and the question why we invest in certain areas very cool to do. These are new markets for everyone within the organisation. How do you enter such a market and how do you understand it in a way that suits this Rotterdam family business? He gets the confidence within the organization to find out.
Within Van der Vorm Vastgoed, Brian's projects include Hoboken in Rhoon, a transformation of a former office building into 44 new rental apartments, and 29 tiny houses in The Hague. These houses will be made in two parts, completely prefabricated, in a factory. In the morning, when the residents of Harvest go to work, there is nothing yet and at the end of the day, there is a new house with new neighbors.
Are tiny houses the future of living? Brian certainly thinks there is a future in the microliving concept: 'People don't necessarily want to own anymore. The new generation, especially at our age, thinks more about freedom; going wherever you want. You only use the living space you need instead of an excessive home. Tiny houses fit perfectly into this lifestyle. Also micro living (a complete household, with all luxury, possibly shared facilities in a small space) has, in his opinion, a future perspective. And that vision is supported internally. Together with Margreet, I am going to further develop and shape this concept in the near future.
Tenant satisfaction is of paramount importance to Van der Vorm Vastgoed. For Brian, this means that tenants feel safe and comfortable in their own homes. We listen to the wishes of our tenants and our tenants can expect more from us in terms of facilities, luxury, comfort, experience but certainly also service than is the case elsewhere.
'The door to the boardroom is always open'.
Brian himself has felt that from the start of his career at Van der Vorm Vastgoed he really belonged to the group within only a few weeks. You may well notice that the portfolio is very large, but it is a family business. You feel at home very quickly and receive a warm welcome. The door to the boardroom is always open.
Rotterdam mentality 'don’t blab on, just clean'.
If we ask you to describe Van der Vorm Vastgoed with 3 to 5 words. Brian's first response is: 'warm, enterprising, familial', there is a pleasant atmosphere, there is a Rotterdam mentality (don’t blab on, just clean), if you seize opportunities, you can do a lot, regardless of your age and who you are'.
It's a nice club and more and more young people are joining. They are open to young talent and it is great that very experienced colleagues are there to support and transfer their knowledge to you. What Brian really appreciates is that he meets with our managing director, Sico van Ammers, once every 3 weeks to discuss the projects.
My own real estate portfolio when I'm old and wise enough
Brian's having a great time and he's not done learning for the time being. His ultimate goal is to further expand his own portfolio. 'When I'm old and wise enough, but for now this is the right place for me.'