IWG director recognised as rising star in real estate

IWG director recognised as rising star in real estate

Annelou de Groot, IWG's Development Director in the Netherlands, has been named one of the top ten Dutch Real Estate Networkers

It’s not every day that you’re named one of the best in your field nationally. But that’s exactly what has happened to Annelou de Groot, IWG’s Network Development Director in the Netherlands. Recently, the Top Hundred Dutch Real Estate Networkers were announced, and De Groot placed within the top ten.

“When I started at IWG almost two years ago, one of my main goals was to put our company on the map,” says De Groot. “Being recognised as a top ten national networker emphasises what we already know, namely that we’re top of mind!”

It’s a fantastic achievement, and a testament to how De Groot has steered IWG’s growth in the Netherlands. What drives her to succeed? “I always set the bar high, I never cut corners, and I’m strongly committed to my work,” she says.

“Success for me is about making a difference and being able to make an exceptional contribution to our company’s results. However, there’s more to life than just work and, in the end, seeing my two kids of three and five being happy is what makes me feel best.”

De Groot’s career in real estate kicked off when, as part of her final thesis at university, she wrote a model for a real estate valuation model that was centred on the user experience. After graduating, she worked for Deloitte, a national broker, and various real estate companies before embarking on her role with IWG.

As a network development director for IWG, De Groot is tasked with overseeing IWG’s portfolio in the Netherlands and finding opportunities for each of its flexible workspace brands to expand.

“The Dutch real estate market is hot, and competition is fierce,” she says. “At the moment we’re expanding many of our centres, as the demand for our product is increasing every day. These are exciting times as the momentum for flexible workplace has really picked up. Last year, we signed 32 new leases and ten expansions, and this year, we will add franchise growth to our operations.”

Amsterdam has the highest density of flexible office space in Europe. And, according to IWG’s Global Workspace Survey, 75% of the Dutch businesses surveyed had a flexible working policy in place – making it one of the most mature ‘flex-countries’ in the world. In fact, the first ever Spaces location was opened in the Netherlands.

What is it about Dutch culture that’s making flexible working thrive? “The Dutch are open-minded, entrepreneurial and innovative,” says De Groot. “The Spaces brand totally reflects this, as its locations are inhabited by communities of forward thinkers, innovators and game changers. The Dutch have traditionally been merchants and done business in every corner of the world – community building is in our DNA.”

 Find out how flexible working is making waves in the Netherlands and other markets around the world