1888 was known as The Year of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserjahr); it was also the year in which a young businessman from Aachen, Hubertus Quadflieg (master barrel-maker and vinegar manufacturer), concluded his first property management agreement for a collection of six buildings in Burtscheid, Aachen. Our first management agreement remained valid until 15 August 1938. This was how Aachen’s first estate agent, the great-grandfather of the current company owner, laid the very first foundations for one of the oldest and most successful real estate companies in Germany. He continued to expand the business over the course of the next 40 years. At first alone and then later with his son-in-law, Josef Hamacher (II), who joined the company in 1928.
The world economic crisis left its mark and the Hamacher couple invested their entire private fortune into keeping their staff employed. Their efforts were appreciated by the clients. Already in 1935 the first Hamacher couple turned over 3 million reichsmarks annually (this corresponds to approximately 55 million Swiss francs). In the 1930s Josef Hamacher (II) was renowned as the grand seigneur of the industry. At the end of 1944, approximately six months before the end of the war, because of our efforts on behalf of his Jewish clientele, Josef Hamacher was denounced, arrested in Antwerp and deported. After being liberated by the Allies he returned to Aachen in mid 1945, seriously wounded – both physically and mentally.
Josef Hamacher (II) became a founding member of the RDM (Ring Deutscher Makler, a group of German real estate agents and today called the IVD) in 1948. In 1949, the year of the currency reform, Josef and Katharina Hamacher had to start from scratch again. Real estate was now comprised of ruins and land because the German cities had been 80-90 % destroyed. Hubert Hamacher-Schwieren (III) joined his parent’s company as the third generation in 1951. Hubert Hamacher-Schwieren was publicly appointed and sworn in as the first appraiser in the administrative district of Cologne in 1958 and two years later was awarded approval for the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH). The client list in the years following the war reads like a Who's Who of the German economy: Allianz, Barmenia, Deutscher Herold, Kaufhof, Karstadt, Bertelsmann, Philipps, Vegla, Woolworth, Commerzbank, Westboden Kredit, the Jewish community in Aachen and Cologne, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Archdiocese of Paderborn and over 5,000 private individuals. At that time the current company owner was playing in the sandpit with the grandchildren of our first clients.
In the 50s and 60s the Hamachers made a significant contribution to the development of the inner city of Aachen. “The Hamachers have left their stamp on the history of the city.” (Mayor Jürgen Linden, 2004). The takeover of the two second and third largest competitors – the Heinrich Krumphorn KG company (founded 1935) and the Immobilien Horst List company (founded 1934) in 1969 – transformed the Hamacher Real Estate Group into the market leader in the EUREGIO (NL, BE, D).
After concluding his studies at the universities of Bonn, Freiburg and Geneva (real estate economics and law), Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren (IV) spent a decade abroad (Japan, Hong Kong, USA, Switzerland), before returning to Aachen in 1988 for the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the family business. Almost every third house in the inner city of Aachen had been looked after by the family at least once or more often during this 100 year period. After this he stayed for four years in Switzerland, where Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren (IV) was involved in the field of Swiss business development for the Government in Bern, before the fourth generation finally entered the company in Aachen.To his own great surprise, the German real estate industry elected son Bernd (IV) as vice-president of FIABCI Germany (The International Real Estate Federation) in 1994. From 1996 onwards he also served on several committees as a member of the world executive board of FIABCI (Fédération Internationale des Administrateurs de Biens Conseils Immobiliers) in Paris.
Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren (IV) took on responsibility as a partner for important business segments of the Hamacher real estate group from his father and his stepmother in 1997. From this time on, Hubert Hamacher-Schwieren (III) and his wife only had to look after property management (Hamacher Immobilien GmbH).
Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren became a member of the research association for real estate, mortgages and building law,registered association, nd brought out his first publication. Hamacher-Schwieren GbR evaluated and designed all kinds of real estate from pump-storage hydroelectricity plants to solar factories, high-rise buildings, housing estates, biomass plants, wind parks, hotels, sport stadiums through to hospitals, for clients such as Hochtief, Philipps, Siemens and large hedge funds.
The Hamacher real estate group, together with 32 employees, now managed client assets of over 500 million DM. Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren (IV) continued to drive the globalisation of the company forward in large steps. After establishing a branch in Cape Town (1998) he now brokered holiday homes throughout the world via the global network of the RE/MAX®*Organisation. By the turn of the millennium the company was tackling mercantile project management for the first time, as well as classic real estate business and valuation/project management for the real estate industry. In 2004 the valuation volume of Mr and Mrs Hamacher-Schwieren (IV) Jr. exceeded the 3 billion euro p.a. barrier. This is equivalent to approximately 500 buildings; 1.0 million m² of office floor space and 5,000 secured rental contracts.
Hubert Hamacher-Schwieren (III) was made an honorary member of the RDM and received the German Federal Cross of Merit from the Federal President Horst Köhler for his contribution to the real estate industry. It was only in 2007 – at the age of 82 – that Hamacher-Schwieren retired from the active management of daily business.
Bernd Hamacher-Schwieren relocated the headquarters of Hamacher-Schwieren GbR from Aachen to the financial centre of Zurich, answering the call of his clientele. From there the company not only looked after projects in Central and Eastern Europe but also in Asia. Only the property management area remained at the original office in Aachen under the leadership of the widow Christa Hamacher-Schwieren (III).
"Marching towards the forefront of innovation
whilst maintaining the tried-and-tested."
* RE/MAX is an international network of independently owned and operated offices offering a variety of real estate and relocation services.