Frank Salt Real Estate director Douglas Salt talks through the company’s latest achievements, while underlining the company values on which its success has been built.
Malta’s real estate industry may be booming but, make no mistake: this isn’t an easy industry. In fact, it is as cutthroat as they come, with complex challenges and a plethora of potential threats.
With this in mind, it may seem tempting to take the easy road; to make dodgy deals, to hide truths from buyers, short-change owners and to pull the wool over our colleagues’ eyes in the hope of making a little more money.
But we don’t. In fact, if there is one thing that I am truly proud of, it is that our entire team here at Frank Salt Real Estate strives to maintain the values on which our company was founded. In fact, our strong ethical approach sits at the very centre of everything we do and, while a lot has changed within the company over the decades, our ethics have always held true.
Looking at our position today, I would like to think that this principled approach has helped us to really secure our reputation as Malta’s most trusted real estate agency. I am honoured to say that we have achieved a lot; I don’t think there’s a single industry-related idea out there that wasn’t initiated by Frank Salt – from mobile offices and the use of a real estate magazine, to branch offices and aggressively pushing Malta overseas. When it came to innovation we never shy away from change and I truly believe that change is an integral part to business; if you stand still, you die. Even when things have been going well, we found time to look for new ways of doing things and to push the boundaries even further.
As a result of this we have grown very sustainably, and that growth has certainly been a highlight among our achievements so far. Frank Salt Real Estate has doubled our number of branches in the last 10 years and we will be opening a number of new branches in the coming months, in Mosta, Cospicua, Fgura and Ibragg. The San Gwann and Sliema branches are also expanding and doubling in size, to better cater for demand.
Having been operational since 1969, we also thought the time was now right to rebrand, and our marketing team has worked hard to modernise the company’s appearance. This fresh visual direction is currently being rolled out – from our new logo, to the uniform look being given to our branches. So, while preserving the heritage and professional nature of Frank Salt, we have embraced a more modern and linear approach, and one that I believe is a genuine reflection of where we are today.
It is also our team that sets us apart, and I am very proud of our people because they really are a cut above the rest. I consider this is, in part, thanks to the very rigorous training that they are given before they actually join the Frank Salt workforce. As stated above, we make our ethical standpoint very clear: it’s absolutely not acceptable to mislead clients for the sake of closing a sale. Honesty is vital in ensuring that our clients – whether buyers or sellers – know that they can trust us. This strong reputation for a trustworthy and professional service places us a far cut above the rest. As directors we also work with our team on a daily basis and are very much involved in the running of the businesses; this means that, if something isn’t being done right, we can correct it right away.
Today, property values are so high that I believe our high standards do have an affect on our success. Both buyers and sellers are choosing to use real estate agents more and more, largely because we can help to make the most of their time. Clients want help from someone who knows the intricacies of the market and can deal with it professionally, and at Frank Salt we do exactly that.
Now, we’re excitedly looking towards the future of the company and believe the best is yet to come. The opening of the new branches and the investment in an ever-growing team of highly trained sales and letting property consultants will further help to consolidate our leading position within the market. We also have a team dedicated to looking for opportunities beyond our shores, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of this venture too.
For the sector it is a case of watching this space, as the best real estate pleasures are yet to come. We will see huge opportunities created for those interested in the sector in the next few years; the whole of the St George’s Bay area is set to be transformed, while many commercial projects will also be coming onto the market. The registered growth in the Three Cities is remarkable, an area that I believe has huge potential for investment, especially when it comes to buy-to-let.
As a company, we are now three years into a five-year plan that we put in place in 2014. We are pleased to have already achieved much of what we set out to, although there are still many opportunities that we have our eyes on. 2016 is set to pose several challenges to the real estate industry, especially in line with the new legislation covering estate agents that is coming into force. But we are very well positioned to bring our systems in line with this, and we are looking forward to this new stage of market professionalism on the island – it is something we have wanted for a long time and which we will be embracing. It is with good reason, that I, in the capacity of President of the Federation of Estate Agents, have been heavily involved in the drafting of the governing white paper.
To me, 2016 will present the first step towards a new phase in Malta’s real estate future, and one which I believe will continue to put the island on the map as an excellent choice for international residents and investors. In line with this, I hope and believe that Frank Salt Real Estate will continue to be Malta’s most trusted choice for guidance and results in the industry – in essence the market leader.