A dynamic family-owned business
If you were to indicate with push pins on the map of Tilburg where Van der Weegen put its mark, the city districts de Reeshof, het Laar, the city centre and Noord would all be marked green. Not surprisingly, since this dynamic family-owned business has been around for more than 150 (!) years. It was grandpa Wim van der Weegen who made it into a flourishing business and now the baton has been passed to cousins Stijn and Paul van der Weegen.
The same passion as the previous generations
It should be clear that construction and real estate is in Stijn and Paul’s DNA as well. “However, being born with the surname Van der Weegen does not mean that you must work at the company”, says Paul. Both gentlemen followed their heart, which turned out to be in the same place as that of the previous generations. Currently, Stijn is responsible for the realisation of all the projects and Paul is Head of Property Management.
Follow the market
In Wim van der Weegen’s time, the company had 300 employees, but nowadays there are only 50 employees. Stijn: “You have to be flexible in our industry and follow the market. In my grandfather’s time, we were much more of a construction company so you need a bigger staff. A great deal of work was done during the postwar reconstruction. During the time that our fathers joined the business, we added real estate development. At the time, that was something new.” Stijn and Paul look back on these developments in the company with a great deal of pride. Paul: “All this has been the work of our family, which is very special.” These days, Van der Weegen serves the entire housing cycle. From acquisition to exploitation. This entire process gives Paul and Stijn a lot of energy.
Paul: “It is beautiful to see projects grow gradually. Especially the long-term projects give us a lot of energy; you can really be instrumental to the client.”
In 10 years’ time, they would like to be the real estate specialist of Midden-Brabant. Paul: “By then, the building assignment will be different again. It will be more complex. The focus has shifted to the inner city and more stakeholders are involved. This requires more creative solutions.” Both men stay sharp. Stijn: “The company is like a speedboat. We have to be very fast and agile to seize the opportunities. Therefore, slow and cumbersome decision-making does not fit in with how we run our business. A personal approach does. Paul: “It is an advantage that we know the regional market well. This is where our network is located. Our staff is also from the region. In that respect, we are very localised, but it also gives us opportunities that others don’t get. The excellent relationship that we have with the municipality definitely plays a part in this.”
The product can be seen as part of the exhibition 'Tilburg and its makers' at Hotel Mercure, Heuvelpoort 300, Tilburg.