This week, with an eye on Valentine’s Day coming up in a week or two we decided on a “Meet the Team” first: a DOUBLE interview with husband and wife team Mazen and Alexia Hathout! Both work at Frank Salt Real Estate and Mazen is the branch manager at Ibrag while Alexia is a letting agent of long standing at the Sliema Branch.
Mazen and Alexia operate like clockwork and are of the same thought at times, while at other times complete opposites, that rare combination in couples that truly complement one another perfectly. They’re goal-driven, keep to schedules and daily routines and have their eye on the finishing line each day to get as much done as possible. Don’t think there’s no time for relaxing and having fun in their lives… but to find out more, you will have no choice but to read on…
“Make sure you have plenty of self-motivation before you take the plunge"
Can you tell us how you met?
Alexia: We met in the romantic country of Saudi Arabia LOL!! Mazen was working for his family business and I worked as a personal trainer for the royal family.
Fill us in on your backgrounds respectively….what did you do before joining Frank Salt Real Estate?
Mazen: I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and went to a French school. I graduated from the Lebanese American University with an MBA and went on to occupy several sales and management roles in multinational companies both in Malta and abroad.
Alexia: Prior to Frank Salt Real Estate I worked for 20 years in the fitness industry!
Alexia, we believe you start your day early! Tell us more…
My day starts at 4:45am with outdoor training at the Obstacle Course Academy OCA, then home to attend to chores around the house and my son. I have to get him ready for school, organize the house and get myself ready for work!
Mazen, are you also an active person with a set daily routine or are you more easy-going?
I am an early riser, except that by the time Lex is back from her training, I would have had 3 coffees, 2 cigarettes, walked the dog and read half the world’s news (Arabic and European)! Not exactly the same energy levels!
Do you believe in arranging your life around the unpredictable world of property, or is it the other way around?
Alexia: My priority is first a mother, then a housewife and then work (in that order).
Mazen: Work, work work!
What attracted you respectively to join the Frank Salt Team and when did you start your careers at the company?
Alexia: At the time I decided to stop working in the fitness world my brother and husband were both working at Frank Salt Real Estate and they both encouraged me to give it a try. At present I have been there for 4 years!
Mazen: I have always wanted to get into the property world and when the opportunity arose, I did not hesitate to take it. At first I did 4 years, then two years off and now I have been back for almost 1 year. I originally started in 2015 with the company.
As a property power couple with children/a child, how do you complement one another in taking care of the responsibilities this bring in everyday life?
Mazen: Alexia does most of the juggling if I had to be honest… whenever she is stuck, naturally she would ask for help. Having a flexible job means we can always fit the responsibilities of everyday life within our schedule
Mazen, Alexia said we must ask you about her OCD. Can you explain to our readers what exactly she is referring to?
Imagine a perfect picture of a house; everything is in its place, spotless and intact. Now put in a kid, a dog and a guy and play squid games! Get my vibe?! (Laughs)
Alexia, you have an incredible busy schedule as a mother and real estate professional. Can you share the secret of how you make this all work?
Being extremely well organized!
Alexia, tell us more about the volunteer work you do?
I help out with the food bank in Valletta and with SAMOC at Mater Dei oncology serving tea and coffee to patients doing chemo or radio therapy. Once a year I go to the Pilgrimage in Lourdes with the Knights of Malta. Unfortunately this has been cancelled for the past 2 years due to COVID.
Alexia, we heard you are not shy of conventional chores such as cooking, ironing and even polishing shoes! How do you find the time? Is it something you find therapeutic or just something unavoidable?
I have OCD, I can’t help it! I like everything to be clean, colour-coded and in order.
Can you respectively tell us what the biggest challenges have been working for the same company, if any?
We are not allowed to talk about work at home, unless it’s a juicy deal going on (Laugh)
What do you enjoy the most about your careers?
Meeting people… every day is a different day, as well as the flexibility it offers.
Tell us what hobbies – if any – you have that don’t include or cover obvious things like the gym or walking…
Alexia: Going to the Obstacle Course Academy and I am an avid tennis fan of Nadal!
Mazen: I love anything that has to do with the sea, scuba diving, fishing, and I used to play water polo in my younger days.
What would the two of you do if had enough money and did not need to ever work again?
Mazen: Buy a boat and live on it, I just love the sea!
Alexia: Do more volunteer work and exercise more.
Alexia and Mazen, tell us respectively about your best childhood memories…
Mazen: Meeting the whole family every Saturday for lunch…it was similar to Christmas in Malta but every weekend! It was amazing.
Alexia: Remembering the excitement of going on a plane with my father for the first time when I was just 5 years old… I accompanied him on a business trip.
Do you have a favourite TV show you watch together or do you do your own thing?
We watch many series together, some of our favourites are ‘Suits’, ‘Queen of the South’, ‘Manifest’, ‘The Good Wife’ and so many others… We each also have our own series which we watch separately of course!
Imagine you are a duo at karaoke night. What song will you be singing and why the specific song?
Alexia: I won’t be singing, there is no discussion about that! Mazen will think he’s Bon Jovi after a couple of drinks… God help us all!
Do either of you have preferences for any strange or exotic food?
Mazen: Lambs brains, a delicatessen in Lebanon which not many people find appealing!
Alexia: Nothing really, I am not adventurous when it comes to food.
Is there anything about the other that annoys you like leaving the cap off the toothpaste, clothes on the floor or….?
Alexia: Where shall i start??!
Mazen: Airing the whole house at 6:00 AM when it’s FREEZING outside?
Are you competitive individually or do you always work together as a couple? If one of you came first competing in the same race, would you as the winner be a good sport or if you came second would you be a sore loser? What do your friends think?
Mazen: I am a very bad loser, I try and always win!
Alexia: I will always compete but I am not a bad loser!
What is the best advice will you both can give to someone who wants to become involved in real estate as a career?
Make sure you have plenty of self-motivation before you take the plunge.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Two words: Italy… skiing!
If each If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?
We labelled each other already… Mazen: Hard headed, Alexia: Tough!
Do you still find time to let your hair down and have a good party?
Alexia: Yes of course, Mazen loves a good party, and I love a good chat and drinking just water !!! TRUE STORY
Let’s pretend you go away for the weekend. Can you both survive without your smart phones for 48 hours?
Alexia: Of course I will… (Although Mazen seriously doubts it!)
Mazen: Definitely not!
Mazen and Alexia, pretend we are your genie…what would you wish for?
For people to respect each other! Especially in this crazy fast world we are living in.
What era would you visit if you had access to a time machine and why? The future? The past? None?
Definitely the past! technology has ruined the world!
Some interesting facts about Mazen & alexia we’d like to share
What is your star sign?
Are you a morning person or
We are both morning persons.
Favourite month of the year?
Alexia: May…not too hot or too cold.
What age would you choose…. if you could be that age forever and why?
Definitely the 20’s as you have no care in the world!
Name one thing that you regret not having done.
Alexia: To watch Nadal compete in a grand slam live!
Mazen: Visit the United States.
What is your idea as a couple of a fantastic night out?
Dinner with a group of close friends.
Do you prefer having a meal sitting down in a restaurant, a delivery or takeout?
Mazen: I enjoy restaurants while Alexia prefers
having meals at home.