From impressions garnered via bits and pieces in the press and other street talk, I thought that the malta property business had stalled, having joined the looming casualties of this dreaded global recession. I certainly thought that I was not alone in assuming that prices are plummeting, people are posting back their keys through their lenders’ doors and real estate agencies are on the wane.
However, after talking to Mr James Busuttil, Franchise owner and branch manager at RE/MAX Central, whose office is in Triq Dun Karm, Birkirkara, I stand to be corrected. This gentleman of 20-years-plus standing in the industry, doesn’t allow you to stray too much outside the peripheries of what his Office is meant to achieve. And contrary to what I was given to understand regarding the downturn turn of the Maltese property market, last year, Mr Busuttil’s Office amply delivered on the projected Sales targets, while everything points to a repeat performance in the current year.
Quite early in our conversation Mr Busuttil was easily emerging as an open book, the not so common kind of what-you-see- you-get person, and not the silver-tongued suave talker I had always associated with the more successful agents in the industry.
In order to properly focus however, one needs the know-how, and I was surprised at the sheer amount of knowledge needed if one is to seriously pursue an Malta real estate-agency education. Besides the agency’s principles, there are those aspects of law, construction, design, architecture, insurance, sales and marketing one should be familiar with, if one wants to pitch successfully for the business.
In fact all the licensed RE/MAX Malta real estate agents are eligible to enter a special online site entitled Main Street, mentored by the RE/MAX USA mother-company, which serves as a veritable university on every subject pertaining to the malta property market in General. Moreover, Mr Busuttil and his nine man band, take time off the nitty-gritty, four times in the year, in order to hold seminars connected with their work.
All the carefully chosen staff of this RE/MAX branch are self-employed and Mr Busuttil ensures that each and every decision affecting the set-up, is taken by the whole team, thus enabling the office to function smoothly and in unison.
When pressed to define the secret of this particular RE/MAX Malta’s success, at a time when the industry was far from flourishing, Mr Busuttil unhesitatingly whispered the magic word: Trust!
Whether the client is a first-time buyer in Malta, an older couple seeking somewhere smaller, or a foreigner seeking to relocate to these islands, trust is the vital ingredient which ensures a successful property purchase. And the many a complex operation involved in obtaining the desired results have been honed to perfection by the Birkirkara team, in order to project this most vital quality.
Buyers and sellers are first asked a few pertinent qualifying questions before proceeding to on site meetings where ‘realistic prices’ and other crucial items are discussed. These include tips by professional designers as to how the property could be made more viable and attractive. (It is incredible how most people spend more time checking nutritional values on supermarket packaging rather than investing attention on their principal capital asset.)
I have to admit that before meeting James Busuttil my knowledge of the malta property business was rather negligible. Valuations, appreciations, price-comparisons, purveyors and other buzzwords were best left to the business insiders with whom I held no truck. However, with the likes of Mr Busuttil as your advisor, you become wonderfully adept at dodging all the frustrating obstacles, and reaching your desired goal. I suppose the fact that James is an ex sportsman, having played both basketball and waterpolo in the not so distant past, would help one with scoring one’s desired goals.
Having left James Busuttil’s office feeling somewhat infected by the adrenalin rush that permeates the premises, I was struck by an early 60’s movie entitled: ‘The Singer Not the Song’. I can not but agree!
For recruitment opportunities and property sales contact Mr. James Busutill on +356 79997444 or email @ [email protected]
Written by Tony Cassar Darien