Expat Essentials

Corporate Housing Solutions: Saving Eindhoven expats from housing headaches in a tight market

Like a boomerang, Denny Janssen has returned to High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Janssen has worked with internationals most of his career – including a stint on Campus – so when Corporate Housing Solutions and Expat Mortgages South were looking to set up a new office in Eindhoven, Janssen knew HTCE was the place to be.

Denny Janssen

As co-owner of Corporate Housing Solutions and Expat Mortgages South, Denny Janssen manages two businesses whose goal is to arrange housing and ease the transition of new employees from abroad.

The decision to move abroad is tough, but many times it’s not the hardest part: Finding suitable – or any – housing once you’ve accepted a position in the Netherlands sometimes seems impossible. Limited housing has created a highly competitive market for renting and buying, and navigating this process in a foreign country is downright daunting.

This is where Corporate Housing Solutions steps in. Corporations hire the CHS team to help their new international employees find housing and to arrange a soft landing. It’s a one-stop shop for short-term or long-term accommodations, settling-in services and house-buying services.

From employee to entrepreneur

In the recruitment and hiring process, these are services companies can offer as a benefit to prospective employees to ease the transition and make a more competitive offer. It makes the new employee’s transition to the Netherlands as frictionless as possible. From helping with a temporary place upon arrival to finding a long-term rental to registering at the municipality or finding a school, Corporate Housing Solutions has got it all covered.

As the former Director of International Clients South for ABN AMRO, Janssen was well aware of this struggle. He previously led a team that specialized in financial advice for expats and he opened ABN AMRO’s first office on HTCE. While working with expats, he constantly heard questions like, “Do you have any housing tips?” and “How can I find a rental home?”

After leaving ABN AMRO, Janssen became an entrepreneur and connected with his business partner, Jessy Couwenberg, who had founded two expat-focused housing companies that owned more than 100 short-stay apartments. He became the commercial director just months before the pandemic, which caused expats to leave the country and business to plummet.

In this do-or-die moment, Janssen and Couwenberg got creative.

In seven weeks, the duo turned a 17-percent occupancy rate into 80 percent through non-traditional rentals of their usually all-expat-rented apartments. They survived the pandemic and spent
some time strategizing the future.

Taking clients from renters to homeowners

“We realized, that although there were a lot of service providers in the market, there was not one company that could help internationals in every phase of their housing search in the Netherlands. It inspired us to create a true one-stop shop and to rebrand our two companies into one: Corporate Housing Solutions,” says Janssen. “Nowadays we can help internationals in every phase of their housing journey in the Netherlands. For corporates it means they don’t have to contact numerous different service providers to arrange a short- stay accommodation, a rental home, and guidance in the relocation process.”

In most cases, corporations hire Corporate Housing Solutions for their new employees, but the company also advises individuals privately to secure housing. Sometimes this is very organic, with incoming employees using them first to find rentals and then later, coming back for help with buying a house.

“Almost half of the people we help with finding a rental home later express an interest in buying a home. And we consider it the biggest compliment every time a former short-stay guest or rental client turns to us for assistance in their home-buying process.

“They trust us to help with one of the biggest steps in life,” says Janssen.

Expansion phase

In late 2022, they expanded their services to also include mortgage advice by joining forces
with the established company Expat Mortgages. The creation of an expat-focused mortgage service was a logical one, since buying clients were always asking for a good mortgage advisor specialized in helping internationals.

Coming from a mortgages background, Janssen knew the service level, energy and customer orientation of Expat Mortgages matched his. “So, we approached the owners to discuss a collaboration,” says Janssen.

From encountering severe challenges during the pandemic to becoming a one-stop shop for
expat housing solutions, the company is poised to take on more. Their portfolio of short-stay accommodation has expanded to 200 apartments during Janssen’s tenure, and they now have opened an office on HTCE to offer more convenience for the large population of expats working here.

Eindhoven-based corporations are recruiting new international employees as fast as they can, but relocating an employee from abroad has many factors and employment is just one. Denny Janssen and
the teams at Corporate Housing Solutions and Expat Mortgages South want to help expats land in the Netherlands without the stress that so many internationals experience when it comes to finding housing.

Corporate Housing Solutions is planning its first home buying event at the AI Conference Center in HTC5 on 18 December 4:30 p.m.

You can register here.

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You can read more about housing here in Dispatches’ archives.

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