Sustainability, well-being and flexibility are Bastiaan's top keywords in empowering him to help his clients prepare for the future of the office.
How long have you been in the real estate industry, and how did you come to join Colliers?
I have been in the real estate industry for more than ten years now. My journey in this industry started when I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Studies in the Netherlands, where I am from, and during that time, I did an internship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After returning to Europe, I felt I wanted to come back out to Asia again and obtained a Master's degree in International Real Estate studies in Scotland, with a particular focus on Asia. Following that, I landed a temporary assignment in Singapore and never looked back since.
"It is fulfilling to help clients save costs, and at the same time, improve their workplace."
Over the last ten years, I have worked predominantly in Singapore but also spent time in Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, and lived for three years in Seoul, Korea.
I joined Colliers in the beginning of 2019 – I found the size of the company and its entrepreneurial spirit really attractive. There is freedom for good ideas, and everyone is collaborating to guarantee our clients’ success. We have a great group of individuals who are making significant differences in their respective real estate markets.
Tell us about your current role with Colliers. What do you find most fulfilling about it?
I am part of the Occupier Services business, and I advise clients on predominantly their office space in and around Asia. That includes workplace services / occupancy planning, tenant representation and project management.
"Being a partner in a project and ensuring all strategies and angles are objectively reviewed, guarantees the best outcome for the future – for the company, the employee and the planet."
Currently, we are very busy looking at the future of the office. The last 6 to 9 months have significantly accelerated some of the trajectories we were already on, and clients want to make sure their offices are reflective of this. It is fulfilling to help clients save costs, and at the same time, improve their workplace.
'Sustainability' and 'well-being' are not just current buzzwords; they are key words. Being a partner in a project and ensuring all strategies and angles are objectively reviewed, guarantees the best outcome for the future – for the company, the employee and the planet.
Based on your experience and the daily conversations you have with clients, is it the right time to rationalise their real estate portfolio? What are some of the options that occupiers can consider?
Every client is currently questioning themselves how their office should look, moving forward. A Hub and Spoke model? Decentralised reliance on third party providers? One main central hub with a greater focus on collaboration, and more days working from home?
"Flexibility is one of the keywords... Clients need to ensure their short-term decisions also create flexibility and agility in the long-term."
The consensus amongst the majority of our clients is that working from home is here to stay. But the main questions are – what is the right balance? Which teams outperform? How do I make sure my colleagues feel safe coming back to the office? And how can I reduce my office footprint as well as carbon footprint, whilst making sure that I retain and attract talent and keep our corporate identity alive?
Flexibility is one of the keywords, and clients need to ensure their short-term decisions also create flexibility and agility in the long-term.
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