This week we are featuring James Paris from the Sliema Letting Branch. James has sports in his genes, as is clearly obvious from this interview. His father was a famous Maltese water polo player. He honed his background in the i-Gaming industry before joining Frank Salt Real Estate and all we can say is that the strategic and quick thinking he picked up from those days have stood him well in the property letting sphere. We had to employ some strategic manoeuvres ourselves in order to pin him down for this interview as his motto is ‘work comes first’! We realised that for James, being a step ahead from competition plays a huge role in his daily life and so does his love for sport!
"people are scared about not having a guaranteed income but then again, what is life without risks?"
Who is James in 100 words?
I would classify myself as a hardworking, ambitious person whose aim is to live the best life possible: I certainly want to make the most of each and every day! I consider myself extremely focused and want to make every second count. On the other hand, when I switch off from work, I am one who does so completely and immerse myself in my leisure time. I am a black and white man, with little room for shades of grey. I do not believe in half-measures.
What can you tell us about your background and your family?
I have lovely parents who instilled some very good values in me as a person. Make no mistake, I didn’t always listen when I was younger, far from it… but all the beliefs they taught me have stuck with me to this day. One thing I cherish highly is their sayings “We want you to do better than we did. Never compare yourself to anyone else and always strive to do more”.
My surname is not typically Maltese and growing up it was always associated with water polo since my father had a fantastic career as a competitive water polo player.
Do you have any hobbies or pursuits you like to do or follow in your time off?
The older I get, the more I enjoy spending time at home. I love watching all kinds of sports, with my favourites being football, tennis, basketball, golf and darts. I enjoy spending time walking my dog in Pembroke or along the beach. My girlfriend and him are the two beings I love the most…anything I do with them, I enjoy! Besides loving the occasional night out with friends, I really enjoy travelling.
What attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
The office I currently work in is right opposite to where I used to live and where my parents still live. It’s the only real estate company I ever thought of having a career with, as they are known for being professional and reliable…so it was an obvious choice. Coincidentally these keywords are also how I like to classify myself as an agent.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. There are many different versions of the book, but it’s very good! It is an unpretentious read and sometimes we forget about the important, simple things in life… such as listening to others and sincerely taking an interest in what other people have to say.
Word-of-mouth referrals mean a lot in your professional life. Tell us why?
It means that you are doing an excellent job and people like how you go about your work. For people to go out of their way and recommend you to others means a lot to me. It is also the best measure of trust from their end and your reputation in the field.
If you could have supper with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
There are so many people I wish I could do that with! Lately, since his tragic passing, I have been watching videos of Koby Bryant, the legendary American basketball player who worked so hard to achieve his goals in life. Another basketball player would be Michael Jordan for his stories; on and off the basketball court. I would also love to have dinner with my paternal grandfather. He was always insightful and would definitely make an engaging conversation party.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The fact that there are no limits. You can earn as much as you want to. You set your own targets. It’s flexible and you can work at any hour of the day. It’s also fast-paced and it’s a thrill trying to rent out a place before it gets rented by someone else!
Which film have you seen over and over again and enjoyed every time?
The iconic British series “Faulty Towers”. No matter how many times I watch it, it always makes me laugh.
What would you do if had enough money and did not need to work?
I would still want to work! I do it for the money of course, but there is so much more to it.
If I really had to , then I would get back into sport, using it to help young athletes to progress and develop, not only physically but mentally as well. For sure I am not one who will ever say: “I wish I had enough money to stop working”. I live in the present and enjoy what I have.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
For me Netflix weekend is a thing. The last series I watched was “This is Us”. An all timer would be “Fresh Prince of Belair” with Will Smith… brilliant!
Imagine you are at karaoke night. What song will you be singing?
I will probably stand on the side, have a few pints and watch. But if I really had to sing, it would probably be the anthem of Liverpool: “You will Never Walk Alone”. I’ll get one my best mates, David, to sing along as he is a bigger Liverpool fan than I am!
Have you ever eaten something strange or unusual? If so, what?
Nothing super unusual… but when I am on holiday I will try anything local which is considered safe to eat.
Is there anything you hate doing and if so, why?
Strangely, I hate making plans! I much rather prefer doing what I feel like on the spur of the moment. Everything is more enjoyable that way!
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become a rental agent?
Just start! It is a career that has provided me with a lot of job satisfaction over the past 3 years and it is enjoyable… far more so than any other job I’ve had. You are your own boss and you decide how much you want to earn! People are scared about not having a guaranteed income but then again, what is life without risks?
What would you like to know more about, but haven’t had the time to look into it?
I want to get involved in sports in the future but I am not sure if it will be from a coaching side or the business side of things. When I find I have more time in future and financially settled, it will most likely be the next step.
Do you believe in horoscopes?
Not really, no. Sometimes I find similarities but I highly doubt that it is due to my horoscope! (laughs)
What is your best advice to younger people starting out in life?
Save money and spend it wisely. It’s something I did not do when I was younger but you learn as you get older. If you take care of your finances when you are younger, it will allow you to become independent earlier in life.
If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?
Please message and do not call.
Would you like to be a space tourist?
What are the ingredients for a good party?
Good music – this is a MUST…and people that have only good vibes. Also: a small crowd is much better than a big one!
Can you get along without your mobile phone for a weekend?…. and whatever the answer, elaborate?
Absolutely not! My phone recently broke the very day I went on holiday and it was a nightmare. In real estate being on the ball ALL of the time makes a huge difference. As you cannot really choose the days on which you work, you need to be contactable all of the time.
What is your favourite pasta dish in the whole world?
A nice creamy Carbonara cannot be beaten.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you that you will never forget?
Stories are best told in person (chuckles)
What would be your superpower?
When it comes to work and property, I am a fantastic multitasker. On the other hand I am hopeless at multitasking outside of work! Very ironic.
What will you do if you had a time machine?
I will visit the future and speak to people about what to do in my life. Then I will go back and ensure that what I am preaching is the exact way I live my life!
Give us some examples of good manners you still practice.
In general, I always practice good manners. I treat everyone the right way and show appreciation to those that do good things for one. For example, I try to thank my girlfriend daily for all she does for me as she has taken over the role of my mother! Professionally, I believe in always being honest with both landlords and tenants and to provide feedback at all times, especially when they put in so much effort to be helpful.
What age would you choose if you could be that age forever?
26 – that was the age I believe I started to mature and one also becomes financially independent around that age.
Some interesting facts about Arianna we’d like to share
What do you prefer:
coffee, tea, a milkshake, water or….: 1 coffee in the morning is a MUST! But afterwards it’s only water for the rest of the day.
Morning person or a night owl: When I wake up early, I always have a great day and it is my secret to a having good day, personally: always wake up and start getting things done early. So I am a morning person for sure.
March – when the weather starts getting better. But then I also enjoy October when the rain starts coming. Complete opposites but I enjoy change after a while.
Favourite all-time movie or book: All-time book: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. Movie: “Pursuit of Happiness”… there was another but I am struggling to remember the name!
I love winter snuggling…. especially when it’s raining and there are thunderstorms outside. But I also love summer nights.
Idea of a night out:
Any time spent with friends, having a laugh and dancing…. And ending the night at a Mc Donald’s drive-through or the like.
Restaurant sit-down meal or delivery/takeout:
Both – it all depends on the mood.