No Hello Zuidas Living Edition would be complete without an interview with the Residential Investment Team at Savills. Meet Bas Wilberts, Ronald Koemans, Fabian Penninkhof and Nisreen Awad, a team of passionate professionals who advise investors and developers in the acquisition and sale of residential property portfolios, including care homes and student housing.
At the head of Savills’ Residential Investment Team in the Netherlands since 2015 is Bas Wilberts. With a background in appraisals, agency and investments, Bas is an all-round real estate professional with broad experience in real estate consultancy. And he’s in his element in Zuidas: ‘When I started out here we were surrounded by pastures with pigs. Now there are residential blocks shooting up all over. This is a unique place where ideas are born. As a real estate consultant, you spend your days thinking about interesting possibilities for real estate developers and investors. For instance, what could be done differently here? What opportunities are there to be tapped? The unique thing about Zuidas is that you run into people you can bounce ideas off of all the time, even just on the street during your lunch break.’
ADVICE THAT PAYS OFF
Ronald Koemans nods in agreement. ‘Zuidas offers this unique combination of living and working in a geographically small area. The next few years will see the addition of some 5,000 new homes. Not only penthouses, but also subsidized rental housing. The municipality of Amsterdam aims to create a diverse environment here. That brings some challenges. Land and construction costs are high, so how do you make that pay off? As a team, we’re closely involved in this process. For every municipal tender in Zuidas, we advise developers on target group definition and completion level.’
LARGEST RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TRANSACTION THIS YEAR
The Residential Investment Team isn’t just active in Zuidas, but throughout the country. In April 2020, Savills advised PATRIZIA in the largest residential property portfolio transaction so far this year in the Netherlands, in which PATRIZIA sold over 2,000 dwellings spread out across the Netherlands to Swedish property investor Heimstaden AB. What are the team’s strengths in a transaction on this scale? Fabian Penninkhof explains, ‘We’re very good at pinpointing where the wins are. Picking up on things competitors overlook, that’s the part of my job I like best. Also, we give clients the best of both worlds: the experience and international network of a global real estate advisor combined with the undivided focus of a small, local team. We are very approachable and agile. The team you see during the pitch phase is the same team you work with throughout the whole course of a project and we can effortlessly adapt how we work to fit our clients’ wishes.’
Thorough groundwork is another hallmark of the Residential Investment Team, notes Nisreen Awad. As a transaction and process consultant, she supports Bas, Ronald and Fabian in residential property acquisitions and sales. ‘Everything we do is well-prepared and worked out to the smallest detail. Our sales material is a good example. An investment memorandum is so much more than just a glossy brochure – there’s extensive research that goes into it. We want to contribute real value. We enjoy our work, but we also take it very seriously – and that shows.’