Philippa is the National Letting Manager for the Frank Salt Real Estate Group and one busy individual. We had to chase her a couple of times just to get her to sit down and tell us about herself and what she loves (and dislikes). Upon meeting her anyone will be invigorated by her feisty nature as she takes no prisoners and has a wicked, brilliant sense of humour. We also picked up on a bit of spicy adjectives when she gets into a passionate discussion but this is something we like very much! In a way she reminds us of ‘The Flash’, as she is always on the go and busy getting things organized and done, a lot like her penchant for “hinching” when she is at home…read on and you will discover exactly what this is! We sat down and asked her some pertinent (and funny) questions:
“work towards being financially independent: Make things happen for yourself without having to rely on anyone it's super satisfying and a characteristic that will take you far in life."
Who is Philippa in 100 words?
I am not easy. Seriously, I am hardworking, loyal and very much task-oriented. Lists are my thing. Outside of work I can really let my hair down and I love entertaining: being surrounded by friends, family, and my pooch Louie but basically, I enjoy a good laugh. I have loads of acquaintances, but only my closest friends know me well. I can come across as being reserved or aloof but its only until you get to know me.
What can you tell us about your background and your family?
I am the middle child in my family (laughs). Family is a big focal point in my life…my parents both come from big families and I grew up surrounded by cousins, chaos and fun. I love that crazy buzz of chatter and making memories. I am very sure it’s the reason I love entertaining and having everyone around the table.
Do you have any hobbies or pursuits you like to do or follow in your time off?
I love to travel, but I am quite keen on traveling to new places… in fact, to anywhere that is different. I am a keen organiser, I am a hincher – people may think I am mad but I actually do love organising, cleaning and DIY projects. I am always inventing stuff to do around the house. I love to read- a good book outweighs a good movie in my opinion but I don’t have a lot of free time so I switched to audio books and listen to them when I take my dog out for walks. I used to be a keen puzzler: the harder the better (I had a competition going with friends during lock down!) and I also bake – I find it very relaxing.
Tell us about your past work experience…
I have been with the company for 14 years, I was a child when I started! But I did work as a PA right out of university and I learned a lot from my then boss. Diane Izzo was my first, and sadly enough only female boss. She was also young when she started out in business and while I worked for her she was still growing her brand. I learned an immense amount from her. The industry was retail but it’s all about customer care at the end of the day. I also worked as an English language teacher and as a hostess at TGI Friday’s in my University days… both served as great work experiences.
What attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
It was a random decision as I was showing a property belonging to my boss to a friend of mine Ira who worked at Frank Salt. She just said: “You should do this! You will be great at it”. With that comment she planted a seed and I was immediately interested in finding out more. I then met George Vassallo and he sold me the job there and then….and the rest is history!
I love interior design and renovations so I love seeing new properties and the ideas people come up with as for example landlords have become really creative. I also like meeting people: it’s fun and social so you are never really stuck at your desk for very long stretches of time.
What was the last book you read?
Listened to (laughs) ‘A Life in Parts’ by Bryan Cranston – biography of the famous actor Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad’.
We hear baking is a passion of yours. Can you tell us what you bake and about any favourites?
I bake cakes and biscuits, meringues, figolli. In fact, I will try to bake anything! My favourite has to be figolli because I get to decorate them and my niece is now old enough to help me and together with my mum, we always have a great laugh doing so. Also: figolli is my favourite for a completely other reason completely… if you know, you know (laughs)
If you could have supper with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one! I would probably choose my grandparents from both sides of the family. My maternal grandfather died when my mother was still a child, so I never knew him. I heard a lot about him so it would be interesting to meet him! Both my father’s parents passed away when I was quite young and I remember them a little but I would love to hear about all the mischief my dad used to get up to first-hand. I would have to include my mother’s mum Nanna Dida as well. I knew her the best and she lived up to a few weeks shy of her 99th birthday. I still miss her to this day, so I have to include her at this dinner… she wouldn’t have it any other way! (laughs)
Which film have you seen over and over again and enjoyed every time?
Totally 90’s! (laughs) It has to be “10 things I Hate About You”. It’s the modern version of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”. But don’t let that fool you – it’s a total 90’s teen movie – it came out when I was still in school- but I can watch it over and over and still love it!
What would you do if, you had enough money and did not need to work?
Spend more time with my puppy Louie and travel more. I can’t imagine not doing anything productive, as I need to be busy. I always thought I would have a tiny café and have my cakes and snacks of the day for sale and that would be it, but I think after getting a sneak peek into the catering industry I might just skip that idea! (laughs)
What was the last show you binge-watched?
I am still binge watching “Below Deck – Mediterranean”.
Imagine you are at karaoke night. What song will you be singing? ?
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey!
Have you ever eaten something strange or unusual? If so, what?
Do you believe in ghosts?
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become a rental agent?
Take your time, take in as much as you can, as it’s an investment in yourself. It’s a learning curve and not everyone’s is the same. Keep at it and put in the time and effort and the results will come.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you that you will never forget?
My friends and I decided to book a spur-of-the-moment 5-day trip to New York. Basically everything that could go wrong did, BUT it was one of the best holidays of my life!
Here’s what went down:
• My Luggage arrived on day 4, theirs on day 2 and 3 and thank God I had an extra change of clothes in my hand luggage.
• We shared and mismatched clothes for 3 days.
• We washed our underwear as we refused to buy unnecessary clothes as all of the time we were convinced our luggage would arrive “any minute now”.
• We did the whole changing room montage in ‘Forever 21’, trying to find a cheap but decent outfit to wear for a super dinner at Tao that we planned.
• On day 5 we got an email saying our flight was cancelled (I thought it was an April fool’s joke) and we had to fly back immediately so we completely missed a day.
It was an exhausting holiday where everything that could go wrong did, but it was one of the funniest holidays of my life!
Do you believe in horoscopes?
I believe in star signs and personality traits, but not in monthly/daily predictions.
What is your best advice to younger people starting out in life?
Travel and take in as much as you can as there is so much more beyond this little island of ours. Work towards being financially independent: make things happen for yourself without having to rely on anyone it’s super satisfying and a characteristic that will take you far in life.
Would you relive your days in high school if you could?
Totally! I loved school and my school friends are still my best friends today. .
Would you like to be a space tourist?
Not for me… I make myself car sick.
What are the ingredients for a good party?
Alcohol, music and good company.
Can you get along without your mobile phone for a weekend?…. and whatever the answer, elaborate?
I had to one time while I was abroad, so I can if I have to… and it was a nice break! But no, I can’t I be separated too long from my phone. I have my puppy cam app to check on my Louie, my lights are app-controlled because who wants to get out of bed to switch off the lights when you have just found the perfect temperature, my camera because I take an insane amount of photos and I always think I will go through one day but this never happens. My WhatsApp is crucial – I need to be in constant contact with my friends and family. I am not too stressed about Facebook or Instagram though. Email is important but I learned how to slow down thanks to Covid.
What is your favourite pasta dish in the whole world?
Spaghetti Carbonara (or cacio pepe).
What would be your superpower?
I definitely will choose the power to freeze time!
What will you do if you had a time machine?
Probably just go back in time to observe. I wouldn’t want to go into the future…it’s not fun and will spoil the surprise!
We hear you are a fan of hinching? Tell us more…
I always liked having things organised… some call it OCD, but hinching has more of a cleaning element to it. I have my Dyson, my cloths and Minky’s my home-made air freshener and more… I’ll go room-by-room clearing and cleaning. Then there is wardrobe and cupboard organising and deep-cleaning that I do every now and then. I think my ‘obsession’ peaked in lockdown but I love it!! There is nothing like walking into a clean house and having everything smelling fresh!! mmmmm
If you could unravel a secret or mystery and get to know all the facts behind it, what would it be.
“The Daphne Caruana Galizia bombing” – there seem to be so many twists and turns.
What age would you choose if you could be that age forever?
I don’t know…every age has its benefits!
Some interesting facts about Philippa we’d like to share
What do you prefer:
coffee, tea, a milkshake, water
Morning person or a night owl: Both! I have very long days.
Favourite all-time movie or book:
Bella Mafia by Lynda La
Plante and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I love winter snuggling…. especially when
it’s raining and there are thunderstorms outside. But I also love summer
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
Name one thing that you regret not having done:
Restaurant sit-down meal or delivery/takeout:
It depends on my mood.