Roger Lips first found his passion for real estate investment during his final years as a student at the University of Tilburg. His master’s program required each enrollee to complete an internship at a company in the community -- and for Roger, the opportunity turned out to be his first experience working in a real estate development company. The field’s appeal quickly became apparent as Roger realized how pervasive and vital real estate is in modern society. He recognized that while the sector’s role in creating spaces for people to live, work, and relax is important, it isn’t the only high-impact part real estate plays in society. For most people, the sector also represents the financial heart of our lives and futures, given that most pension funds and retirement assets root at least partly in real estate. When developers open a building, they contribute in a way that can positively impact the economic and social futures of generations to come. For Roger Lips, the opportunity to take part in the sector seemed near-impossible to pass up.
The nature of the business appealed to Roger as well, albeit for a different reason. From a task perspective, real estate is remarkably complex; like an enormous machine, it has countless parts that need to move in complete harmony to function. Real estate investment has a legal component, marketing aspects, construction needs, and direction mandates, among others; it’s a high-knowledge industry in a way that others simply are not. When built and operated correctly, a real estate investment firm is a machine with thousands of unique ideological and practical cogs, each working in perfect unison. Roger saw the sheer complexity of the sector as a challenge, and to this day finds it incredibly rewarding to see the disparate pieces of his projects working well together.
Despite his newfound appreciation for the industry, however, Roger Lips began to chafe under the restrictions of his corporate desk job. After college, he had continued to work with the company that had hosted his internship -- and while he valued the opportunity to learn and gather professional experience in the field, he soon found that he had little interest in climbing the managerial ladder; he preferred following intriguing ideas to chasing down direct reports. Eventually, he realized that working as a cog in the corporate machine did not suit him -- he would much prefer to be the engineer behind an entirely new ideological construction.
However, Roger Lips’ forays into entrepreneurship would not occur for several years. After finishing with his first job out of college, Roger took a position with a large bank where he could focus on real estate investments. Soon, the same feeling of restriction began to press in -- until he received some advice that would prove to be pivotal in his early career. In that first year, a colleague told Roger that while he wasn’t suited to life at a corporate desk, he would gain the industry skills he needed to thrive in the risky environment of independent investment projects if he could only remain for another year or two.
The colleague was right. After three years of working in corporate finance, Roger Lips packed up his desk and set out on his own. He soon found that the skills and practical knowledge he had developed during his time in the private sector were invaluable in his endeavors as an independent investor. He engaged in several productive collaborations, bought his first investment assets, and began to thrive. His first major development project centered around the former office of a municipality: the concrete building was all but unusable as an office space, was ideally-located for much-needed shops and residential accommodations. Under Roger’s direction, developers partially demolished the building, then rebuilt it into a shopping center and apartments.
After the success of his first major project, Roger Lips began to engage with countless projects across retail, office, and residential sectors. In the decades since then, he has executed projects in markets across Europe and the Middle East.
Currently, Roger lives and works in Dubai, where he serves as an experienced real estate developer and investor in the UAE’s high-potential real estate sector. Outside of work, he enjoys boating, golfing, and spending time with his wife and their children.
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