"Satisfied tenants are our most important goal!"

Interview with Gordon Gattermann, Managing Director of Beermann Immobilienverwaltung GmbH & Co. KG

Beermann Immobilienverwaltung Anniversary

For several decades, Beermann Immobilienverwaltung GmbH & Co. KG has focused its business activities on the leasing of retail properties of every kind and size. In the interview with Wirtschaftsforum, Managing Director Gordon Gattermann elaborated on how the strong growth in the e-commerce segment will have relevant impacts on the business model and what role sustainability now plays in the company's daily operations.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Gattermann, today, Beermann Immobilienverwaltung GmbH & Co. KG owns an extensive real estate portfolio, mainly consisting of retail buildings. How did this focus come about?

Gordon Gattermann: The original founder and owner of our company specialized early in his long career as an architect and building contractor in the construction of supermarkets and other retail outlets, which he soon wanted to not only execute for his clients, but also hold in his own portfolio. To professionally develop this real estate wealth, our company was founded, which still wants to responsibly carry out this task many years after his death. Retail properties, from stand-alone discounters to supermarkets to specialty market centers, continue to make up the majority of our properties, while we have additionally expanded our portfolio in recent years to include daycare centers, nursing homes, and facilities for assisted living.

Beermann 25 Years

Wirtschaftsforum: The focus continues to be on maintaining value, or rather, achieving long-term value appreciation. How exactly do you pursue this approach?

Gordon Gattermann: Some of our existing properties are now over 30 years old and still occupied by the same tenants as right after their construction – this certainly illustrates the long-term, prospective view we want to take in our established partnerships, for instance, to consistently further develop the relevant properties structurally and adapt them to changing requirements: This might involve minor expansion measures to integrate deposit return schemes into the market environment, but also fundamental overhauls of the actual store concept, to allow for a modern design with welcoming lighting and a pleasant clarity.

Beermann Property Management Company Headquarters
The goal of Beermann Property Management GmbH is the long-term preservation of the value of its own portfolio

Wirtschaftsforum: What role do sustainability and energy efficiency play in it?

Gordon Gattermann: This concerns both our individual objects as well as our company as a whole: We recently participated in a workshop by Ökoprofit Lippe to adjust to the requirements of tomorrow today. After all, it can be assumed that relevant ESG criteria will gain significantly in importance for refinancing and insurance issues in the future. We want to consistently utilize any potential for optimization already now.

Wirtschaftsforum: What measures are you currently implementing in the properties you manage?

Gordon Gattermann: That varies quite a bit in practice – as no two properties are the same. A relatively frequently requested option is the installation of photovoltaic systems on the roofs, which we, of course, like to implement when the static conditions allow it.

Gordon Gattermann, Managing Director of Beermann Real Estate Management GmbH & Co. KG
Gordon Gattermann, Managing Director of Beermann Real Estate Management GmbH & Co. KG

In many objects, numerous other possibilities for energy renovation also open up. Likewise, the unshakeable goal for all new buildings constructed by us is, of course, to design them sensibly in terms of their ecological balance as well.

Beermann Real Estate Management EDEKA Market
There are still no viable e-commerce alternatives to the food retail trade
Beermann Real Estate Management REWE Market
Full-range retailers are part of the company's standard repertoire
Beermann Real Estate Management Takko Market
The energy renovation of existing properties and ecologically sustainable newly constructed buildings have now become a central objective of the company

Wirtschaftsforum: During the coronavirus pandemic, the pressure on retail from the e-commerce segment has significantly increased once again. Does this also pose a long-term challenge for your company?

Gordon Gattermann: Of course, brick-and-mortar retail is currently undergoing a profound transformation. However, full-range retailers or discounters are far less affected than, for example, fashion stores in once busy pedestrian zones. We have never been fully engaged in this market segment, though. Nevertheless, there are still no truly sensible e-commerce alternatives to drugstores and discounters that would make brick-and-mortar retail obsolete, so we can continue to build on a solid foundation with our concept. We will also maintain our long-term perspective in the future: because our primary goal is and remains satisfied tenants.