Meet the RichPorters: BT Makelaars
The BT Makelaars (Real Estate Agents) Team consists out of 6 people, brokers and assistance, and have been around since 1997. They focus solely on the lease, purchase and selling of commercial office spaces in Schiphol and the surrounding area. ‘Last April 1st we celebrated our 24th anniversary’, Marijke Toenbreker, co-founder and owner of BT Makelaars says. ‘6 years ago, we located our office at RichPort. For us it’s ideal to lease a space in a building that is assigned to our portfolio. Another reason to choose Schiphol-Rijk over for instance Hoofddorp is the accessibility by car and parking availability for our clients. Since the beginning we have been fans of the park. It’s the whole package; the location, nature, underground parking and the healthy mix of tenants. Today we see a lot of positive developments around us. A much healthier mix of larger and smaller tenants from all markets. An upgrade of the public traffic connection with Hoofddorp and Schiphol. And of course the rebranding of the park to RichPort and initiation of community management.’
Nowadays, management is in the hands of Marijke and her colleague (and daughter) Dionne Toenbreker and they have recently moved to another building at RichPort. Dionne explains why: ‘We realized a new space and surrounding would bring us new energy and insights. But it was also the general facilities on the ground floor at Vision Plaza that pulled us in. Different to h our former office and many other “general” buildings, where you enter the elevator, go to your own space and close the door. Here we have a spacious atrium with a coffee bar, lounge seating, a restaurant, meeting rooms and access to a terrace and garden. Now we find ourselves in much better connection with the downstairs shared facilities and other tenants. Our clients love coming here, which makes our job a lot easier and… fun.’
What do you like about the park?
‘I remember the park being mostly pastures. A genius move at the layout stages was starting off with landscaping, such as the ponds and even duck decoys. These formed the outlines that create space and distance between the buildings to this day. I love how the roads are arranged and guide the visitor intuitively to their goal, aided by the well-designed wayfinding. Park Management has really stepped up their game as well. If a flag is torn o other damages occur, it typically gets repaired right away. These are relatively little things, but it makes the difference. The Christmas trees at the junctions for instance. A new wind is blowing. Property Owners see the benefits of sharing facilities in their buildings with tenants from neighbouring property. Bringing the tenants together in one community creates fun, a buzz and makes it easier to organize events that create loyalty and further builds on the positive image of the park.’
What would you love to see at the park?
‘Without doubt: a supermarket-to-go that will go great with our new HOV (High end Public Transport) station. But also more sporting facilities. If we can tie in sports with food, well-being and lifestyle, we might be onto something. That way we can get more structure and result from for instance the bootcamp classes. Sports have the power to connect people. Especially sports that are more exotic and less practiced, like boxing and crossfit. Or even ice skating on a frozen pond in Winter time with warm coco and Glühwein! It’s of course more difficult due to the corona situation, but that will pass.’
Do you believe in the added value of the community?
Dionne is clear in her response: ‘Absolutely. Despite the fact that the Dutch are not quite as ready like for example the Americans.. We are just not used to functioning in a community and the only way to break that cycle is by simply doing it. That is the main job of the Community Manager. The first step is to reach every single person at the park. For that we need the help of the contacts we have in the park. They (you reading this) need to share all incoming communication (invitations, updates, surveys) with theis co-workers. Also Social media will play a key role here. People need to know who you are and recognize you. That’s what it’s all about. That’s how we will become a thriving community.’