The most valuable lesson of Cor van Zadelhoff
by Eduard Schaepman, on 27 Jun 2019
Some people have done a lot for you and have meant a lot to you in life, and there are times at which you really want to thank them for that. One of those people for me is Cor van Zadelhoff, and a few months ago I had such a moment, when Tribes got a new member. I’m sure that he’ll laugh when he reads this, but only after I saw the signature on paper, well, actually only after I saw the employees sitting behind their desks, I dared to say it out loud: Heineken is member at Tribes! And that’s the perfect moment to thank Cor.
To understand that, I'll have to explain something. In 2004 I met Cor van Zadelhoff for the first time. ‘Eddy', a family member of an employee at the time, introduced me to him on the Mipim. It was the beginning of an important relationship, in which he acted as a mentor. I was new to the real estate world, and he took me with him, taught me all sorts of things.
Eduard & Corr at the MIPIM 2013
Where to pay attention to when it comes to new buildings, how do you deal with building owners, how do you approach prospects and how do you create a meaningful network?
The most important lesson I got from Cor came in 2006. Heineken, a beautiful party and a great name to have as a tenant, was looking for space. And I, as a 'newcomer', felt very proud to be the one they would rent office space with, because the deal was almost done, except for the signature... Don’t forget, I was 'new' to the world... At one of his events, a polo competition on his polo fields, I heard that Heineken had just signed with Cór...! When I ask him what happened, he laughingly said to me: 'Ed, it's a lot harder to get certain customers if you don't have a polo field in your backyard'. In other words: doing business is all about relationships, and you increase them through events, among other things. Not long after that was the first edition of 'my' Mussel Gala (which I was allowed to hold at his Polo Club in Vreeland), and he showed his approval by spontaneously dropping by with six silver mussel clamps, and of course he was immediately a regular juror in the Mussel Panel (we chose the Best Real Estate Man or -Woman of the year). Over the years I have built up my own network, and gave a party more than once, and in the end, I managed to bring in the 'beautiful names'. And this year Heineken was again looking for space, and since Cor didn't had any square meters available, they came to me... So, the circle is complete, just like my lessons...
Cor has meant a lot to me, and I am very grateful. But how do you show that to a man who already has everything? On 13 June, at the auction of WomenXWomen for charity, organized in collaboration with Movement on the Ground, I found the gift. Among the auction items, photos taken by female photographers all over the world, was one of his most beautiful Friesian stallions, Tjebbe 500. It was made by Marthe Visser, and it is such a beautiful image that it looks like a painting. ‘A picture of his own horse?', I hear you think, but that image is of course a symbol for the most valuable lesson I had from him on the polo fields in 2006!