Not just 'looking after the shop for a bit'
Seeing new opportunities, even in a challenging real estate market. When talking with OVG real estate, you can feel that the courage to have a different perspective comes naturally here. Boudewijn Ruitenburg (Director Special Situations) and Vincent Steijn (Asset Manager) of OVG have their own fresh take on real estate management.
Traditionally, project development is the main business for OVG. With new business opportunities in its visor, OVG now also focuses on buying and increasing the sustainability of existing office real estate in top locations. Now the lessee is the central focus, rather than the building. ‘As a developer, we have to distinguish ourselves by being service-minded with an optimal customer focus. The lessee should feel comfortable in the office building. For our partners, this means that the lessees must be able to rely on them for 100%. And in turn, we want to be able to rely on that for 100%.’
From risks to opportunities
OVG bought a portfolio of 8 existing office buildings. The technical due diligence survey is based on a 15-year horizon. Ruitenburg explains that price, reliability, integrity, experience, and speed are naturally the key prerequisites: ‘We were looking to collaborate with a party that fulfils those specific factors. Eventually, SGS Search conducted the technical inspections. The key factor was that they offered more than we asked. Not just an integral inspection of the risks, but also an insight into the improvement potential and opportunities of the real estate from a sustainability perspective, which is important to us.’
No culture of mediocrity
The office real estate was bought with the intention of achieving a long-term increase in value. OVG tendered the technical and financial management of the buildings acquired. Vincent Steijn: ‘Eventually, we awarded the technical management to SGS Search. They are dedicated to technical fields as an inspection firm. Boudewijn Ruitenburg adds: ‘Real estate management in the Netherlands has received an average score of 5.6 on a scale of 10 for many years. We are not prepared to accept this mediocre standard. We prefer to consider how we can achieve a 10.’
‘As far as we are concerned, managing real estate necessarily goes beyond ‘looking after the shop for a bit’. This is about being proactive. Not just maintaining the asset, improving it, and increasing its sustainability.’ Steijn gives an example: ‘If a lessee has a complaint or a wish, we can act adequately. Also based on SGS Search’s expertise, we have extensive in-house knowledge and do not depend on external advisors or service providers. This accelerates our service, increases the quality, and even saves money in the long run.’