This week we are interviewing Neil Gatt Coleiro who joined the Frank Salt Real Estate Letting Division back in 2012. As the winner of several awards such as “Highest Number of Rental Listings by an Agent” and “Highest Total Revenue by a Rental Agent” over the period of a year in the entire group, we needed to know the secret to his recipe for success: Neil is a big supporter of pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Thales’ principle of “a sound body in a sound mind” and we agree: in these post-Covid times we can certainly all do with a bit more exercise! As a consummate professional, Neil’s pro-active style of delivering the goods has garnered him a slew of fans, from expats to locals alike and testimony to this is there for all to read on his bio page on the Frank Salt Real Estate website. We wanted to know more about Neil the person and this is what he shared with us:
"...Take a leap of faith: approach it and invest in yourself long-term and you will eventually reap the rewards of whatever you are putting in today."
Who is Neil in 100 words?
to help, a good team player, patient and reliable. I am also a perfectionist at
times, particularly when it comes to work as I have a strong work ethic which
is fuelled by rewards. Socially, I’ll have to admit that I am never on time
(never my fault!), (laughs), but I make up for that with uncompromising loyalty
and a great sense of humour.
What can you tell us about your background and your family?
I am recently married; I am 37 years of age and the third
eldest of six siblings: five boys and one girl. Despite being such a large
family, we have always been extremely close and growing up in such a busy
household was always a treat! There was always a lot going on and I was never
short of company.
Tell us about your past work experience?
I had quite a few part-time summer jobs in the hospitality
industry when I was younger, but before joining Frank Salt almost ten years ago
I worked for a currency and security materials press for nine years.
I like going on holiday, watching football, eating good food, and staying fit. I’ll also try my hand at any sort of maintenance at home as I find it very de-stressing and I usually do a very decent job!
What attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
Once I decided on pursuing a career in property, I only ever
considered working for Frank Salt Real Estate. This was due to the fact that
they have been the longest established real estate agency on the islands and
have maintained high and consistent levels of professionalism. This, together
with their reputation for integrity, really appealed to me. With the benefit of
hindsight, I feel that the company’s core values and principles match up with
mine perfectly! I will never represent something that I did not believe
reflected my values as a person equally.
What was the last book you read?
I’m not big on books, but it was probably Roy Keane’s
autobiography which I read a very long time ago!
We heard that you are very fond of the gym and running. Does
staying active help you with work, and if so in what way?
Most definitely! I played competitive amateur football for
around twenty years up until a few years ago, so training Monday to Friday
became routine to me. I firmly believe that I function and perform far better
when my work-life balance is just right and that sort of activity contributes
to maintaining the balance greatly.
If you could have supper with anyone, past or present, who
would it be and why?
It would have to be someone that’s prepared for some
light-hearted conversation… I’ve heard Paul Gascoigne can share very funny
stories from his days as a football player, so maybe him!
What do you think about climate change and global warming?
It is a major concern and a huge problem! We have left it on
the back burner for far too long; it seems as though we are only reacting now
because we are starting to experience the real side effects.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I primarily enjoy it because I like assisting people in
finding their dream home, especially when they are new to Malta. Their first
home serves as the basis for everything else required in building a life here
plus we also get to showcase our beautiful islands. But from a day-to-day
perspective, the fact that every day is so different is just great; the job is
anything but repetitive or routine!
Which film have you seen over and over again and enjoyed
Both of the original two “Home Alone” movies are a must
every year at Christmas! They bring back such great memories.
What would you do if had enough money and did not need to work?
A lot more travelling… for longer stretches of time and definitely far-reaching places!
What is your best childhood memory?
Heading home after school and returning straight back to the school grounds an hour later to play football with my brothers!
What was the last show you binge-watched?
“Schitt’s Creek”, it’s hilarious!
Is there a favourite toy from your childhood that you wish
The “He-Man and Masters of the Galaxy” castle which I
co-owned with my gang of siblings!
Is there anything you hate doing and if so, why?
I think cleaning and ironing are the worst for me. It is
repetitive, monotonous and rewardless.
Are you a sore loser?
Let’s rather say I am competitive ;-). I hate losing but I
am also very fair!
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become a
Just take a leap of faith: approach it and invest in
yourself long-term and you will eventually reap the rewards of whatever you are
putting in today. Make sure that you join a professional supportive team, get
the right training and tools which will enable you to perform at the best of your
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you that you
will never forget?
Staging and pretending a drive-by kidnapping of a friend…
only to be reported to the police by a terrified elderly British couple who
were here on holiday! The story made it into a local newspaper.
What would you like to know more about, but haven’t had the
time to look into?
Modern-day investment platforms.
If you did not live in Malta, where would you see yourself?
I can see myself living in any European capital city, but I will still need my dose of tropical holidaying somewhere every year.
What is your best advice to younger people starting out in life?
To live a full life… live each stage of your life at a time without growing up too quickly as that time will come soon enough.
Would you relive your days in high school if you could?
Where do I sign up?!
If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?
“Warning! Does not overreact to much!”
What are the ingredients for a good party?
Good music, great company, and a few drinks.
Can you get along without your mobile phone for a weekend?…. and whatever the answer, elaborate?
Work-related commitments aside, most definitely. I am quite capable of pushing aside and forgetting anything that can wait till later.
What is your favourite pasta dish in the whole world?
Cacio Pepe every time! My wife and I eat at our favourite trattoria in Valletta at least once a month and menus are never required!
What would be your superpower?
What will you do if you had a time machine?
I am not one to dwell on the past too much but I would probably head back to relive the greatest days of my past life.
In these days of gender equality, are you still a gentleman that will say “Ladies first”, open a car door etc., or are those days long gone? What’s your opinion?
We are living in an ever-changing world, so generally I would say it is out-dated… you never know how these gestures may be received by different people nowadays. But there is nothing wrong with a bit of chivalry and etiquette!
What do you regard as the biggest mystery that still needs to be unravelled? The pyramids, UFO’s, life on other planets? You tell us?
I’d say life on other planets, but UFO’s probably tie into that as well. Just consider this: we are living on one of eight planets forming part of a solar system that is just one of two trillion galaxies! It leaves a lot to still be explored.
Some interesting facts about Neil we’d like to share
What is your star sign:
What is your favourite beverage: Cider.
Morning person or a night owl: Generally, I would say night owl, though the older I get the easier early mornings become.
Easily April… it is my birthday month and the start of spring and of course longer, sunny days.
Spring and winter ….the latter purely because of Christmas.
What age would you choose…. if you could be that age forever? The careless age of 16! That’s when you are old enough not to be considered a child any longer but you are young enough not to be considered an adult either.
Favourite all-time movie or book:
The “Butterfly Effect”.
Idea of a night out:
Starting off with a large table of friends out for lunch, followed by drinks and then rolling into a long night of good company, lots of antics and laughing.
Name one thing that you regret not having done:
Learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar or drums
Restaurant sit-down meal or delivery/takeout:
A bit of both… depending on my energy levels and the weather of course