Working at VanWonen as a Sales Manager
“From the very first moment - when we start thinking about what we are going to make and for whom - I am involved. I am therefore also involved in the selection of the contractor and architect, through to the development of the plans. And in involving customers at an early stage, so that they can contribute ideas about the home and the residential environment. With the aim that they can buy their dream home within the project,” says Francis van der Schoot, visibly proud. The role of Sales Manager fits her like a glove. A peek into her work and the challenges she encounters on her path.
Francis helps developing the dream homes of her customers by working with them and listening to what they are looking for in a home. “In the role of Sales Manager, I am involved in the process from the beginning. You can call me the ‘spider in the web’, because I work with so many people. With the project developer, the development manager, and with parties such as the municipality, the contractor and the architect. And especially with (future) customers: they need to be involved in the process at an early stage. That’s important to me and that’s how we work at VanWonen. So that we can respond to the customer’s needs and preferences in the various phases of the customer journey. I take their input into account in the project, so that the homes match what people are looking for. Together with our team, which is made up of a sales manager, project developer and development manager, we work on this every day.”
A versatile role! Is this why you like your job so much?
“Yes, indeed! My role as a Sales Manager is multifaceted and has different focuses all the time. One moment you are involved in the design of the house, the next moment you are setting the price or are in a meeting with customers. That’s because I am involved in a project from its first development until its completion. The project developer and I are jointly responsible: this keeps me alert at all times.”
What are the challenges in your work?
“Because I am involved in all phases, there are always challenges. You deal with changing legislation, which sometimes makes my job complicated. But the requirements of collaboration partners can also change. The challenge is to align the customer’s needs with the requirements of the different parties in such a way that the customer experience is 9+ (excellent). These challenges make every day different and ensure that I keep learning.”
Why do you think it is important to keep learning?
“You are never too old to learn and to stay innovative: This gives me energy and is why I look forward to getting to work every day. I also like to inspire new talent, which I recently did at the Provada real estate fair. During a Meet & Greet, students were invited to learn about our area of work and the challenges it presents. Each day I find myself in different situations. That’s why I’m proud of my work at VanWonen.”
And what are you particularly proud of?
“When I’m involved in a completely new housing development, where people will start a new life,” Francis says without any hesitation. “It starts with a patch of grass and is turned into a completely new neighbourhood in which the home buyers will continue their lives. I find it very special that I can actively contribute to this. I am happy when the buyer is happy. That’s my goal, every day, to give our customers a wonderful home.”