As published in VG Visie on 29 May

“One Team”. That characterises Hollis. “We have more slogans,” says Katherine Beisler, Director of ESG consulting, laughing. ‘All together different at Hollis’. “This emphasises that we are a diverse team of different experts who share the passion for sustainable real estate development.” Roland Verniers, Director of Hollis for the Benelux: “Our way of working together is the foundation for technical, integrated real estate advice.” 

Hollis is an independent real estate consultancy with headquarters in London, 19 offices in the UK and 5 European offices in Ireland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Although Hollis is spread across different countries, the offices work closely together. Many international, institutional investors seek cooperation with Hollis because the organisation is familiar with the national laws and regulations of each European country.  

In addition, investors are familiar with Hollis’ working method. Roland: “Standardisation in the field of transactions is key. This means that we are a reliable partner for our clients who can respond quickly. Hollis also speaks the language of the various partners, including business brokers and lawyers, which ensures that transactions and projects run smoothly.” 

One stop shop 

Roland: “Our company is Employee Owned. This fits with our ideas and culture. Every expert within the organisation is more of an entrepreneur than an employee, thanks to their personal talents, expertise, experience and room for initiative. Our multidisciplinary team is like a “one stop shop”.  

Our collaboration is our strength and our USP as a client is able to talk to specialists from different teams. We work together, and each guides the client based on their own expertise to the next phase of the project, so that we jointly create added value to the assets. Our integrated approach means that we are also available during the operational phase of an asset.” 

ESG objectives 

Katherine: “I have been working at Hollis for over four years now, and I’m responsible for our ESG department. This is where my personal passion lies; I am involved in making the built environment more sustainable according to ESG performance. I enjoy working closely with our clients to achieve their long-term ESG objectives.  

I do this with our expert team of technical-commercial specialists, who advise our clients during the acquisition, development or operational phase of an asset. We recently made the transition internally to a more regional structure, which allows us to better implement ESG with our clients and within our own international organisation.” 

Positive impact 

Roland was able to open the office in the Netherlands eight years ago. “I started with project management and transaction work at the time; I assisted clients in the purchase and sale of assets and in carrying out projects. We still do this as well as support our clients with operational assets when they have questions in the field of technology.  

ESG is a nice bridge here; in the last three years, we have seen that sustainability has taken off. Real estate owners rightly realise that sustainability is an important component that positively affects the value of their real estate. We expect that landlords and tenants will increasingly seek each other out to work together to find cost-cutting solutions.” 

Sustainable development 

We ask about Roland’s personal passion. “I think you should give something back to the environment in which the building is located, as it must serve the environment and the people in it – this is the most sustainable way possible. We’re working on the repositioning of an office building in Rotterdam, and the municipality is strongly greening this part of the city. I believe that as the owner of a building you should ensure that you continue that green line and significantly improve the environment for visitors and local residents.  

I think that’s giving back, and we also find this aspect in the S of ESG. Moreover, you add value to your own building and of course, there must be a balance between the investment and the environment. Ultimately it is about increasing value, and the investors and developers we work with also view the community in this way. At Hollis, we all genuinely enjoy realising such projects.” 

Open dialogue 

“Through an open dialogue with our client, we are interested in the question behind the question of our relationship, which allows us to use our expertise effectively,” Roland concludes. “We approach every transaction in a thorough manner, with a local twist, and therefore keep a close eye on what is happening locally.” 

Katherine: “Our customers trust us because we know the local market. We make the translation.” 

Find the Dutch version of the article here.