Founder check-in Christiaan Huijg
Campus Offices (re)develops urban locations with shared facilities for hospitality, technology, coffee, lunch, meetings, events, sports, and “outside”. Locations that most of all enable working, with a custom workspace for every type of user made up of 100% flexible design elements and ditto lease agreements. Both start-ups and corporates feel at home at Campus.
I really liked the first founder story, because I enjoy sharing what I do on a daily basis. It was also quite special for me, I come from a corporate environment. I worked at WTC for years, but now I’m more active as an entrepreneur, and I think it’s exciting to share that! That’s why I got many positive reactions to the first founder stories!
Time for a professionalization step!
During W5 2022 we said that we want to put more focus on the organization itself this year. We are connecting the dots and focusing a little less on growing the portfolio. Three years ago, I started Campus Offices on my own and Knoed did the administration, that was about it! But the portfolio grew quite quickly, and I still wonder about it today. Currently, the portfolio is almost 50,000 square meters while three years ago we only had a property of 7,000 square meters. This means that the portfolio has increased sevenfold. It was therefore important to straighten out the organization and not acquire new properties. The team has grown, there are now twelve of us! We now focus on the organization so that processes, procedures, and responsibilities go to the right people. We also have dedicated roles for everything which makes this possible. In short, the past six months have been the next steps in our professionalization!
The strength of Campus Offices is in the combination of a young team with a mix of some senior ones who bring a lot of experience with them!
I mentioned it in the previous founder stories, but I am very happy with our young and solid team! Many of the team have been involved from the beginning through different angles. I may be the oldest, but I think it’s awesome to interact with the younger generation who look at things differently, such as TikTok! I also get a lot of appreciation from them for all the knowledge I can share. The strength of Campus Offices is in the combination of our young team with some senior ones who bring a lot of experience with them!
Flexibility is the future
Many meeting rooms and event spaces are partially empty throughout the week. We are therefore now also busy investigating how we can rent these spaces to third parties. This has many angles: for meeting rooms for externals, flex spaces, or events. It may also be that we make arrangements with larger companies so that their employees throughout the country can easily work at our locations at any time. We notice that the flexibility of where, when, and with whom you want to work is on the rise.We are not planning to buy new properties this year. Unless something comes our way, of course, we did acquire a new building in 2022 located at the Egbert Gorterstraat, but that is still an afterthought from the end of 2021. We completed this in January 2022 and delivered in April 2022. But next year we are planning to open a new Campus location! We are currently busy improving our organization with Campus Dreesz in Almelo and Campus Hambaken in Den Bosch. Ricoh Netherlands is going to move in around February/March with 3,100 square meters at Campus Hambaken, and Qredits is also going to move in around that time in Campus Dreesz with 2,400 square meters. These projects require a lot of attention.
Learning to divide responsibilities and tasks
Over the past six months, I have realized that I still do too many things by myself. The team is now in place and many things I do now could be left to the team. The nature of the beast is that I find it difficult to hand things over, but that is just the right thing to do. I think now I am not spending enough time managing the team.
One year from now, I hope I will be more on the management side and thus have taken some more tasks and responsibilities off my shoulders. Other than that, not an incredibly significant amount will have changed. I hope we have a super cool project with it, and I also hope we can say that Hambaken and all other ongoing projects are completed successfully. Campus Delta was fully occupied within a year, and we even have a waiting list for certain spaces. That is a great target for the coming year for Campus Hambaken and Campus Dreesz!
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