March/April Member spotlight : Westplan Investors
What is your business industry category or specialty?
We do Real estate investment and development. We own and develop apartments in the Southeastern part of the US for primarily Dutch investors.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
I am the Founder and CEO. My main focus is the strategy, the financial health and inspiration of the team. In addition I am responsible for a couple of key clients.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
In the US we compete with local apartment developers such as Pollack Shores, Wood Partners and Worthing Southeast. In the Netherlands we do not have many competitors (left) that fund money for US projects, however, we do compete with companies that fund money for German investments.
How was the business started?
I started the business in 1991 in Leiden as a one man rental agency, renting houses to expatriates in a very small office located in a student house.
How many employees does the business have?
Westplan Investors currently has 23 employees.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
A girl. If you meet her you will understand why. We moved back in 2002 with the family after I started doing business in the US in 1994. The business had grown to a point that I could not handle it from the NL anymore.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
My goal is to start 4 new developments; two in Atlanta, 1 in Athens and 1 in Ponte Vedra.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch?
Things work different around here. Do not make the mistake that although we speak the language (fairly) well that our cultures are the same; however you can make that into a strength as well. I love doing business in the US.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
I have two older children (17 and 21). I love to go out with my lovely and friends, and to compensate for that I work out quite a bit. As part of my midlife crisis I started to DJ.
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