Ten Questions With Steven Ouwerkerk, Director of Bedrijfspand.com

August 5, 2021
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No real estate sector has been changed over the last 18 months more than the commercial property sector. This week we spoke to Steven Ouwerkerk of Dutch commercial property specialist portal Bedrijfspand.com to find out how they've been dealing with the changing supply and demand during the pandemic and get to know a bit more about the company...

 

What is the problem that Bedrijfspand.com solves?

Bedrijfspand.com is an online marketplace for commercial property in The Netherlands. Since 2001, the website has provided users with an overview of buildings available to rent or purchase. Adding a listing is open to everyone, whether you want to market one property or fifty. The service generates real direct leads in a cost-effective way.

 

What is Bedrijfspand.com’s business model?

Bedrijfspand.com is primarily a marketing platform, but as we became part of the leading commercial real estate research organisation in The Netherlands in 2018, the data surrounding the availability of commercial space provides valuable insight for our researchers into the supply and demand dynamics.

 

Steven Ouwerkerk

Steven Ouwerkerk, Director of Bedrijfspand.com

 

What is Bedrijfspand.com’s USP?

Bedrijfspand.com actively curates the live listings on its platform with an in-house team, thereby reducing the chance for duplicates or old listings. Additionally, the website groups space available by building, so users get a better overview of which agents are marketing which competing floors of a specific building.

 

What is Bedrijfspand.com’s biggest challenge?

Bedrijfspand.com is the second largest website of its kind in The Netherlands, and its biggest challenge is to keep up with the largest player in the market, which has a larger market share but who also has a slightly different business model as it is controlled by an association of real estate brokers.

 

How many employees does Bedrijfspand.com have?

The team of Bedrijfspand.com currently comprises five professionals. All software development is done in-house.

 

How has Covid-19 changed the landscape for Bedrijfspand.com?

During the first weeks of the pandemic, enquiries for space have dropped significantly, but are now back at pre-Covid levels. As prospective tenants have been unable to set up viewings, we experienced a strong increase in website traffic as it has become a good alternative for offline viewings.

 

What is one thing our readers might not know about but would probably find interesting about the commercial property sector in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has one of the highest investment volumes of commercial real estate per capita in the world. Last year over EUR 18 billion of Dutch investment deals were done while 1 in 5 deals was sold as part of a portfolio, which shows how liquid and efficient the market is.

 

What is Bedrijfspand.com currently working on?

We are making significant progress in adding additional search functionality on the website. Our current goal is working towards 10,000 individual listings, which means that we need to sign up more brokers to our service.

 

What is the most common request from clients?

Smaller advertisers would like us to help them with their asking price. Because of our scale and research capacity, we are able to give a specific range for their property type and location. 

 

How do you see the market evolving and what will you be doing to be ahead of the curve?

We believe that there can be enormous benefits by providing online marketing solutions to make the property market more efficient. Digital visits, improved data availability, and improved matchmaking between owner and tenant will reduce the time required to reach a deal.

August 5, 2021
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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