Ocean Group: from one apartment to a professional real estate organization in 10 years

Establish a successful real estate company in 10 years. It succeeded Deniz Yilmaz, CEO of Ocean Group. Yilmaz started in the middle of the real estate crisis and now, ten years later, there is a professional organization that is increasingly focused on developing residential real estate.

Deniz Yilmaz’s roots are not in real estate. “I studied business administration at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, did several masters and later trained as a chartered accountant. I found that not challenging enough and therefore in 2011 I made the switch to real estate. It started with one apartment, but pretty soon it became two, three and so on,” says the CEO. The portfolio kept growing and Ocean grew with it.

Raising the bar higher and higher

The CEO never had the specific goal of creating a professional organization in 10 years. “With real estate, you’re constantly being stimulated by new opportunities. But I have always tried to maintain focus and look ahead every 2 to 3 years. We have set the bar higher and higher and so, within 10 years, Ocean Group has become a mature organization with its own development and management branch. We now also have a long-term vision for further growth,” says the CEO.

Steering by three points and quality

Yilmaz did notice that as his organization grew, it needed to be more structured. “We steer on three points, many of which are interrelated and are extensions of each other: key performance indicators (KPIs), risks and financials,” says the CEO. “By focusing on these three points, we not only gain clear insight into how our portfolio has developed and is performing now, but we can also quickly and efficiently generate our forecasts for the future. This really helps us to keep the quality of our portfolio high and to be able to guarantee our level of service. In addition, we have everything “in-house. The only thing we currently outsource is the rental. We leave that to brokers. This way of working suits us well. We are finding that we are doing things better and more efficiently, and therefore completing our projects faster and with the desired high level of quality,” says the CEO.

Data and DNA

“After a while we realized that we had grown so large that we needed an ERP System. We spent a lot of time and energy looking for the most suitable software. Because of my background as a chartered accountant, we put a lot of emphasis on the financial functionalities and actually being able to automate periodically recurring processes. If you do that, you work in a structured way and you automatically get better data. And that is the ultimate goal, because with structured data you can easily define your KPIs and adjust them if necessary. Ultimately, we chose Bloxs because it stood out from the others on these points. With hindsight, we can also say that the DNA of the people who work for Bloxs matches that of our organization. Hands on, helpful and focused on quality and success. That is also how we work”, says Yilmaz.

The future

For now, Ocean has not yet grown out. “I think we have shown a nice development over the past ten years. Initially our focus was on the regions of The Hague and Rotterdam. But now we are looking at opportunities throughout the Randstad and even beyond. We are working more and more with municipalities in the area of inner-city developments. We are also looking at other types of real estate. We are very strong in residential real estate, but logistics real estate has now also caught our attention. I do not know what the future will bring us, but we assume that it will be a good one”, Yilmaz proudly concludes.

About Ocean

Ocean Group is a real estate organization with a focus on inner-city (re)developments, where the user of the property is central. Ocean Group is strong in residential real estate and develops, invests and manages primarily for the benefit of its own rental portfolio.

About Bloxs

Within Bloxs Software B.V., innovative software is developed for Real Estate Investment and Property Management Organizations. The products, including a complete SaaS (Software as a Service) based ERP solution, automate real estate processes, generate insight and are easy to use.

This article previously appeared on Vastgoedjournaal.nl

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