EDITORIAL | REAL ESTATE MARKET
With FRIS celebrating its centennial this year, the third generation has already been at the helm of this family business for a number of decades. Hans Peter Fris, latest in the family line, has played a significant role in the company’s dramatic development. However, one thing has always remained the same – personal attention. To employees and customers. ‘The greatest value of our organisation lies in people’
Happiness – at home and at work. The societal relevance of FRIS Real People was at the core of managing director Hans Peter Fris’s welcome address in Lisbon to FRIS employees and their partners. And this gathering in the Portuguese capital was by no means incidental – it was a celebration! This year, FRIS celebrates its Centenary. Established in 1923, the family business has grown to become a full-service provider of residential and real estate agency services, residential and commercial property management, research & consultancy, valuations, and insurance.
Founded on insurance
Hans Peter Fris provided a brief overview of a century of FRIS achievement. Wouter Fris, grandfather of current managing director Hans Peter Fris, founded the business in Zaandam. ‘Initially he focused on insurance, but he was soon also active as a real estate agency. Before World War II he had already seen real estate agency opportunities in Amsterdam.’
Surviving the real estate crisis
After the war, Hans Peter’s father and uncle continued to expand the business into, among other areas, property development and property management. ‘The massive housing market collapse in the late 1970s/early 1980s threw a spanner in the works. Despite this FRIS just managed to survive – unlike many other companies in the sector. Piet Fris and Wouter Fris Jr. did, however, thereafter limit the business to regular, residential real estate agency activities, and to maintaining its property management organisation.’
“An organisation of giants, built by giants”
During this period, Hans Peter Fris studied commerce and economics. He then accumulated years of experience, including a period in which he worked at Zadelhoff. In 1995, Hans Peter Fris entered the family business. ‘At the time, FRIS employed about 10 people.’
Taking the helm
A true entrepreneur, he took the helm and, stimulated by the favourable economy of the late 1990s, developed FRIS into what it is today. ‘I started by setting up commercial and investment real estate agencies. Later, the Project Management and Valuations departments were added. The Valuations department appraised both residential and commercial properties, servicing virtually the whole of the Netherlands. I then acquired B&F Property Management BV, among other businesses, which added commercial property management to our range of services.’
Investing in knowledge
Under the new name of FRIS Investment Care, in addition to managing around 6,500 residential properties, the company now had some 4 million square metres of commercial property under management in the Netherlands. Furthermore, FRIS expanded internationally, while investing primarily in knowledge. Hans Peter founded FRIS Research & Consultancy as early as 2004, to independently collect and interpret real estate data and to provide advice to both market parties and authorities.