In the exception, the rule.

  • 02.June 2009
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It is said that after prostitution, realty (Real Estate) is the oldest existing profession. Many are convinced that by using the services of either, one stands to get screwed.


We at RE/MAX are striving to erase this false concept regarding our business.


RE/MAX Tigne franchise is owned by Mike Bonello. Mike’s first experience in business was actually in catering, which is what his family had been doing for years. When his father decided to close shop and retire nine years ago, Mike wasn’t exactly sure what would happen to his business career. As chance would have it, Mike’s mother was interested in selling off her Sliema property for development. He was only 22 years old then, but that experience helped him grasp an initial understanding of how it all works. By coincidence, he found himself marketing a property as well as dealing with contractors, developers and prospective buyers. Mike was then recruited as a property associate/consultant in the letting department of an estate agency, where he worked for the two years that followed. After learning the ropes, he was quickly recruited by Kevin Buttigieg, regional director of RE/MAX Malta as their first sales associate/consultant. This was the time when there was hardly any listing on their database compared to today where they have thirty thousand plus properties.  During the next three years, Mike won the accolade of top sales associate/consultant for RE/MAX Malta.


Mike always dreamt of owning and running his own office. At RE/MAX everyone works in an atmosphere that allows such dreams to come true. When he came across the opportunity to take over an office that was going to open in Tigne – a location which seemed very interested in, he grabbed it. A prime location isn’t enough to guarantee the quality of a business outlet. On the contrary, it is likely for any operator that relies on passing trade, to discount the need of providing an outstanding service.  A real estate agency located right in the best part of Tigne, Sliema is almost comparable to a tourist-oriented trattoria in the heart of Rome, being so ideal that one can hardly expect much quality.  There are exceptions and Mike Bonello’s concept was one of them. His motivational qualities, sensitivity to good quality service, drive and willingness to succeed, helped no end in achieving success.



Finding a team of 14 associates/consultants was no easy task. Very often, people attracted to this profession would have already dabbled in other types of business. This happens for various reasons, but mainly because when you work within a self-employed structure you get used to earning high enough amounts in accordance to your capabilities. When one gets accustomed to this system, it is understandable that fitting in a steady-wage-structure in employment is difficult. Many people who would have been formerly involved in business find the prospect of joining an estate agency quite attractive. RE/MAX Tigne has been lucky enough to come across people who have contacts, experience, are thick-skinned, resourceful and possess a host of skills and capabilities. All efforts were made to make sure to balance out the team with a minority of associates/consultants that are new to the industry. This melange of resources works out well because while there is a lot to learn from the senior associates/consultants, the “younger” ones rub off new energy, creativity and freshness on the rest of the team.  Staff turnover is negligible here and the team is very happy and motivated. With regards to training, an American system is used and this has worked out well so far. Foreign trainers are frequently brought over, while local ones keep educating the team throughout the year. The branch managers make sure they value the team, recognise their efforts and, of course and reward them for good results. Hefty targets were set on the associates/consultants when Tigne office opened, and these are raised accordingly every consecutive year. This has kept the team progressing and working harder.


It might be true that even when you have strict recruitment policies, you cannot always guarantee that you will never be let down. From our end, there was never one incident in which our customers were fooled, and it can hardly ever happen. The branch managers are always present in negotiations. They are physically there with associates/consultants for all second viewings. This not only shows the associates/consultants that they care to help them out, but it keeps the office fully informed of the goings-on of every single deal, in a hands-on way.


Each associate/consultant is asked to focus on one of three sectors – first time buyers, second home buyers or up-market investors. The latter is of course extremely lucrative. The office has been blessed with a location surrounded by very lucrative properties at Tigne Point, Portomaso and Fort Cambridge among others. That said, although the reward-per-sale ratio is significantly high with high end properties, one cannot expect to sell one every day. Lower priced properties expose us to greater quantities. Low priced sales keep the ball rolling simply because we make more of them, more often.


The future looks good, even though the world economies are presently in such a bad state. Having employed some of the best associates/consultants, RE/MAX Tigne is a very successful one.  RE/MAX Malta, on the other hand, is rapidly becoming one of the largest and best selling real estate agencies in Malta. Internationally, RE/MAX is the largest, having 6,500 offices in 72 countries – and employing over 95, 000 associates/consultants. Every property in Malta is listed and featured in a common international database, with every consultant having access to it.  It is virtually impossible to have this type of exposure if you list your property with other estate agencies in Malta.


The office will continue doing it’s best to keep the associates/consultants happy, motivated and on the ball. It will also make sure that customer satisfaction is continuously maintained. This will guarantee that the office will keep its place as one of the best RE/MAX offices locally, aiming to secure as large a portion as possible of the national property market.



Written by:

Paul Sammut,

Branch Manager @ RE/MAX Tigne,



52/1, Tigne Seafront,



Office: +356 2265 0000

Mobile: +356 79730023

Email: [email protected] 

website: office page