Two thousand and fourteen was another outstanding year for RE/MAX Malta. In 2014 we superseded our targets at every level, registering a 10th consecutive year of growth. The company registered an increase of twenty eight per cent in Konvenji (promises of sales) signed, which when broken down into a per capita statistic, confirms that our sales associates, on average, sold 1.5 properties more than they did last year, resultant in a 24% increase in productivity. This increase in productivity in 2014 can be attributed to a number of factors. This includes our continuous investment in market research, our focus on associate training and office mentoring, our increase in market share as well as our successful Exclusive Listing Programme.
Another important factor that contributed towards this success is our business model which has helped to attract the best associates, managers and franchise owners to our company. Last year we commissioned four different market surveys, we clocked up over 750 hours of training and our Exclusive Listing Programme sold properties on average in 52 days. We also increased our associate count by 22%, we were nominated for International region of the year and we were awarded three out of twelve awards at the RE/MAX European Convention that was held in Barcelona.
As part of our three-year growth plan we also opened three more offices. These new offices are located in Bay Street Holiday Complex, Portomaso and in Ta’L-Ibragg, thus strengthening our footprint in the central eastern part of Malta.
Out of the several highlights of 2014, one of the most memorable was launching the RE/MAX & Friends foundation at our 10th anniversary party held at Fort Manoel and presided by Her Excellency, the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca. The RE/MAX & Friends Foundation is significant because it came to fruition thanks to the generosity of our great team of staff, associates, managers and franchise owners who all play their own part in donating a percentage of their earnings to the Foundation from every transaction that is concluded.
The outlook for 2015 for the real estate market looks positive. The First Time Buyer subsidy, which had a considerable affect of over 3000 promises of sales (in Malta & Gozo) in 2014, has been extended till end of June 2015. On the other side of the spectrum, we see that the Residence Programmes and the Citizenship by Investment (IIP) programme will come more into play this year and will garner substantial foreign investment into the property market. These programmes have resulted in being excellent strategies, which are attracting affluent investors that are investing in different high end properties in Malta and Gozo. From a rental perspective, RE/MAX Lettings had an exceptional year and 2015 is promising to be even better.
According to a report, the Maltese iGaming Industry, which employs over 4000 foreign nationals, registered a 25% increase in the number of companies in 2014. Similar investments are expected in industries such as Informational Technology, Finance and Energy not to mention investors that are relocating and will contribute to a steady growth in the rental market in 2015.
Foreign investment, the 93% Maltese citizens that believe in homeownership (established through a recent survey), new Government schemes as well as the knock-on affect that has been created from the buoyant rental market gives us good reasons to predict an excellent year to invest in the real estate market.
As part of our growth plan, in 2015 we will be opening another four new offices, where they will be located in Naxxar, Mosta, St. Julian’s and Valletta.