Get to know Maryse!
It is our pleasure to interview the inimitable Maryse Attard Montalto this week who is a senior property sales consultant at the Sliema branch. Maryse gained some considerable marketing and managerial experience in the tourism industry prior to joining Frank Salt Real Estate. She is not new to our readers, as she was featured in the “Leading Women in Real Estate” interview last year, where she shared some of insights with us… but this time around we go deeper and more personal!
We wanted to know about her fun side, what she loves and hates and above all, where she finds her inspiration and energy from. On top of a busy career in real estate, she is an avid walker, loves swimming and for her there is nothing better than curling up with a good book when she has the time. This is what she had to say…
Maryse, share with us in under a 100 words who you are and what you're about...
A hotel summer job (which I loved!) led to my career in tourism, so I have always enjoyed my work, even when it meant working weekend shifts and long hours. I am a calm and patient person who at the time enjoyed training and mentoring many younger colleagues. Discovering and learning something new every day keeps me moving forward and I now have more flexibility and free time as a real estate agent. I am confident that this was an ideal career change for me, as I have more time available to spend with my elderly mum, husband and friends.
What can you tell us about your younger years growing up and about your family?
I was an only child with just a few close friends. We led a simple life back then with idyllic summers spent by the sea and although I was sheltered as a child, I was never spoilt by my parents and I was a happy, yet shy girl who simply loved reading. On the other hand I was also a bit of a tomboy who preferred climbing trees to playing with dolls!
Are you artistic or creative in any way and if so, what do you love to make or create?
I’m unfortunately not artistic at all – I really admire creative people because I couldn’t draw anything if my life depended on it! J
Tell us about your past experience as a manager in the tourism industry?
My 20 years as sales and marketing manager for a group of hotels was a wonderful experience. I travelled to tourism fairs, went on sales trips and juggled various responsibilities, constantly learning along the way and became a lot more self-confident as a result.
What have your past dealings with people brought to the table in your position as a real estate agent?
Working in a hotel front office and sales department teaches you that everyone is different. It hones your customer-care skills in a way few other jobs would, particularly since I met so many people from different countries with dissimilar cultures.
What attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
I was always attracted to the property market and since I had already used the services of Frank Salt Real Estate to buy and sell personal property over the years, Frank Salt was my first choice when I decided to have a change of career. I admired their high level of professionalism and the fact that it is still a local family-run company.
What do you enjoy the most about your position at Frank Salt Real Estate?
The flexibility in my work days and the possibility of unlimited income is an excellent incentive… as well as the fact that I am constantly meeting people. There’s never a dull moment!
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become an estate agent?
If you enjoy seeing different properties, meeting people, being part of a great, supportive team and do not want to be stuck in a boring desk job – go for it!
We heard that you like a good walk and swimming as a form of exercise…give us the where and when…
Walking relaxes me, especially when I am in the countryside or by the sea. In summer I love swimming off the rocks in the clear blue sea.
Are you obsessed or fascinated with anything that we should know about?
In my younger days I loved sci-fi books and movies and I have remained interested in space travel, UFOs, ancient aliens etc… – we are surely not alone in the universe!
Let’s say you are the latest Euro Millions winner…what will the future hold for you?
Travelling around the world in luxury with my husband and friends and having a personal chef to cook tasty, healthy meals as well as donating to our favourite charities.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
A little birdy told us you like a good book. What are you currently reading and tell us about your all-time favourite!
I loved Bill Bryson’s ‘A short history of nearly everything’ and I am currently reading ‘Origin’ by Dan Brown.
Amongst your friends, what are you best known for?
Joking around and keeping them amused with stories of my daily adventures!
Is there anything that you have a fear of?
Cockroaches and rats!
If you had a warning label, what would it say?
“I am very patient, but don’t test my limits…”
Is there anything you dislike doing and if so, why?
Housework. It seems so pointless because it needs to be repeated constantly, so I’d rather pay someone else to do it.
Any funny stories or incidents you would like to share that happened at work, past or present that you will never forget?
Too many to list – there was a time when I viewed a house which was originally used as a pet shop, so I had to deal with iguanas, snakes, parrots and a pack of dogs licking my toes!
What is your take on global warming and what can we do as normal, ordinary people to help the planet?
I believe global warming is getting worse, much faster than predicted: the sea in Malta has never been this warm in early July. We can do our best to recycle and use alternative energy, but it’s the governments of this world who need to reconsider their energy policies.
What would you like to know more about, but haven’t had the time to look into it?
I am interested in ancient civilizations like the Mayans, Aztecs and Egyptians and would like to have time to study them more in depth.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Finding the perfect property for a client and seeing a happy owner when their property is sold are my greatest motivators.
Would you relive your days in school if you could?
Not too sure… I did well at school, but it was a convent school which didn’t encourage individualism and on top of it I was too shy and reserved when I was a child.
What is your favourite song and if you have one, have you ever given it a bash at karaoke?
I enjoy listening to random music, especially when driving – but I would never attempt to sing as I am always hopelessly out of tune.
Name two things you cannot live without and tell us why!
I would hate to live anywhere without sun and sea… I would find it very depressing. Secondly living without my car would also be stressful!
Let’s say you are at a party…are you sitting in a corner people-watching, or are you the one tearing up the dance floor?
Definitely people-watching… I am very clumsy on a dance floor!
We heard that you like to travel…where have you been to recently and which places are on your bucket list?
I’ve just returned from the beautiful mountain region of Slovenia and I was in Belgium in March. I would like to travel to the Far East and Asia in the near future.
Name your favourite dish to eat and do you make it yourself?
I love sushi and pasta in all its various forms, which I like to experiment with myself.
How will you cope if we confiscated your mobile phone for a whole weekend?
It wouldn’t worry me for work reasons, but I would panic if my 92-year old mum could not call me if she needed anything!
What do you consider as essentials that should always be in your fridge?
Cheese and wine for sure.
Some fun facts about Maryse we'd like to share
Water, wine or a gin & tonic.
I hate waking up too early – I need time to slowly come to my senses in the morning.
Spring and summer, because I love flowers and the sea.
‘2001 – A Space Odyssey’ Because it impressed me so much as a young girl.
A quiet dinner with my husband and friends at a good restaurant.
Go 500 years in to the future to see if humanity has survived and how it evolved.
I wish I had travelled more in my younger care-free days – then my travel bucket list would be shorter!
Ideally natural beauty spots like lakes and mountains, but I enjoy short city breaks too.
Meryl Streep in ‘You only live once’.
Maryse Attard Montalto
Property Consultant - Sliema Branch
Maryse is a property consultant at Frank Salt Real Estate Sliema Branch.