The more I hear people’s views about RE/MAX the more pleasantly surprised I am. Initially I thought it was just the core people I met connected to RE/MAX who had a passion for the brand surpassing the usual feeling people have for a brand they are associated with. When I met Faye Bonnici, marketing executive at RE/MAX, I realised there is even more passion than I had thought possible in this brand.
This is not Faye’s story—hopefully I’ll tell that too some day. It’s her boyfriend’s. But how he got into RE/MAX and became a successful agent and spokesman of the brand is all thanks to Faye and her own love of the brand.
Before Andrew Bugeja joined RE/MAX he had a good job with one of Malta’s leading firms. He had graduated in industrial design, worked in industrial sign-writing for a few years, then ended up marketing and maximising sales for the company in outlets such as supermarkets.
He also had a small, but efficient, company which produced t-shirts. He worked hard, earned a decent amount but he wasn’t exactly buzzing with passion for what he did. Faye knew he had it in him not just to sell but to sell very well and she believed RE/MAX fitted him like the proverbial glove.
Faye told him to try attending one of the RE/MAX seminars where the brand is explained and the techniques of sales and professionalism are expounded to those thinking of joining the company. He was amazed at the energy but what truly clinched it for him was one of the social gatherings RE/MAX organises regularly.
He joined Faye at the do—as the dutiful partner. And what he saw made him realise that the passion the RE/MAX gurus talk about—and which Faye talked constantly about in their time together—is true, is palpable, is all around.
What clinched it for him isn’t that they were all having fun, which he had also seen in other office dos. This had vibrancy and a camaraderie that went beyond just employees’ remit. People were confident and carried themselves well. The place, as Andrew says, “dripped sophistication”.
The body language of the people at the social occasion, more than the talk, the fun and the great cars people arrived in, was what convinced him. No grumbling regarding salary, conditions, colleagues. At RE/MAX it was all positive with no talk of being stuck in a rut. That was exactly what he wanted and with a bit more enthusiastic persuasion from his true love and also from others in the trade he went for it.
He left his job after giving the company a longer-than-necessary notice period, as he felt very obliged to them and was only moving on to go for growth. He also sold his t-shirt company. He joined RE/MAX, slogged, learnt the ropes, found the area that appealed to him most and farmed it.
The farming is that mainly he does villas in predominately villa areas. The way to go about it, according to Andrew, is knowing all about the properties available and the ones in the know. People then turn to you for your specialisation—be it for advice, selling or buying.
Andrew is a great talker—but he talks straight and does not build up any wild and unattainable stories for clients. He is also a most pleasant person who exudes the sophistication which struck him at that first RE/MAX do. However, he definitely does not flaunt his success. He has great goals which don’t seem over-ambitious at RE/MAX. He loves meeting people and getting to know what they like and need.
He concludes our conversation with a great smile when I ask what RE/MAX is. “To me RE/MAX is passion. It is also what gave me a great life. And I owe it all to Faye.”