We kick of the year with a bang featuring Daniele Lignola who is a sales consultant from the Sliema branch. Hailing originally from Tuscany, Daniele has brought a good measure of La Dolce Vita with him and applies it in his daily dealings with colleagues, clients and friends. Upon meeting Daniele you cannot help but be inspired by his irrepressible zest for the good life, good food and the fact that he appreciates every single day as if it is his last.
Daniele loves selling property, exercising, cooking, dancing and reading a book when he has time off… and he says his favourite fictional character is James Bond. We are convinced he is here on a mission to show us all how to live life to the full! To Daniele, good family values, kindness and fairness is everything…and he does not take kindly to anyone getting mistreated in any way. Our interview with him not only left us inspired and invigorated but also with a wide grin on our faces. Want to know why? Then read on…
Daniele, what can you share with us that sums you up as a person in around a 100 words ?
Well first of all under a grey sky there is always a sun, so I’m a very positive person that loves life to the full! I tackle issues without fuss and I’ve been living outside my home country for many years and love every minute of it. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from many different nationalities, I speak four languages, I love to try different food and I think if everybody could do something similar that the world would be a much better place!
Tell us about your past, about your family and early life and what was it like living in Tuscany?
I come from a true Catholic family: I have five brothers and one sister and it was always great to be around a table with the nine of us together… it was like having a feast all the time! Living in Tuscany gave me a chance to live harmoniously along with nature: we were always surrounded by fields of vineyards and olive trees and we went swimming in the local rivers…it was truly a fantastic childhood!
Tell us a bit about your past work experience selling villas in Italy.
I was the first one to fall in love with the properties that I registered. Selling villas in Tuscany was amazing: to see all the wonderful buildings surrounded by large gardens and pools! The most amazing experience was having all the foreign buyers that came from big cities who truly appreciated the beauty of Tuscany and encountering La Dolce Vita!
When did you settle in Malta and what attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
About seven years ago I realised the property market was growing in Malta and I wanted a new challenge… but I did not want to join just any estate agency! I did some research on the local property market and saw that Frank Salt was still run by a family… and as you know… for us Italians “la Famiglia” is “la Famiglia!”
What is the most important thing to you when it comes to selling real estate?
For me it is listening to my buyers and sellers and helping them to find the best solution… along with honesty and trust, these are primary operating pricples. If you can finish the day’s work and you are satisfied with what you have done and achieved, you did a good job!
Name something you’ve done as an agent that goes beyond the call of duty.
Many times I will go and visit clients after they settle into a new property. But I will for instance bring them a good bottle of wine to enjoy and I believe in building and maintaining a good relation that goes on long after the conclusion of a sale.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Like we all do, I go to the toilet! I will then wash my face and have a nice espresso to get the day going!
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
Every day is a new challenge but I love meeting new people, seeing and learning about new properties, going to the office and having a laugh with my colleagues. I have to say, closing a sale and seeing a smile on a client’s face is the ultimate!
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become an estate agent in Malta?
You need to work hard and no day is the same. Be positive, talk to every person you meet in any given and day tell them what you do… don’t be shy, listen to clients and if you ever fall, simply get up and get going!!!
What is it like working at one of the busiest branches in the entire group?
Absolutely fantastic! I have great colleagues, a very good manager, a sea view and excellent coffee… what more can one want?
What is the best general advice you have ever received?
When someone told me that I have a born talent for this job and that nothing is impossible!
What item will you never leave the house without and why?
My mobile phone! Simply because you can get a good client calling you at any minute!
Italian food is famous the world over… are you a pasta or pizza supporter? Or both?
I love every single pizza and pasta dish… its part of my culture!
On that note…we hear that you like cooking yourself! What is your favourite dish to prepare?
I love cooking some nice pasta dishes with vongole and fish…and San Pietro al forno with cozze e gamberi!
Do you have any bad habits or is there anything in others that you detest?
What I loathe more than bad habits I would say are addictions of any kind… for instance smoking cigarettes!
How will your life change if you won the Euromillions jackpot and what would you do?
Well first of all I will donate an amount to children in need, then a present to each of my brothers…the rest I will invest in property and I will buy a decent car…oh, and a bar on the beach where we can drink, eat and dance!
What instantly improves the quality of your day?
Waking up, looking outside and saying: “Thank you God for the beauty of life!”
What music do you like to listen to and do you have a favourite artist?
I like the calssics like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and of course Latin and dance music!
Where is your favourite place to go and dance?
I used to love going to Bar Barcelona in St Julian’s.
Is there anything you loathe doing and if so, why?
Ironing…I just loathe doing it.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Putting a spoon directly in the Nutella jar!
What would you like to know more about, but haven’t had the time to look into it?
How to play classic guitar.
Do you have a favourite quote or one-liner?
It is better to have one day of being a lion that having a hundred days of being a sheep!
Do you have any possession that you treasure? If so what is it and what does it mean to you?
The memories of my parents…they were fantastic!
If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?
“Beware… risk of smiling if you are next to me!”
How important is your mobile phone in your life?
Very… it keeps us in touch with the rest of the world.
Tell us about what do you do in your spare time?
Cooking, reading, fast walks, swimming, dancing…and making love!
Let’s say we give you an unlimited budget for a party. Where would it be held and who will you invite?
It will be on the beach with all my friends and lots of women… and anyone who would like to join!
If you gained superpowers overnight. What kind of hero will you be and what will be your name?
I have only one word: “Zorro!”
Is there anything that makes you angry?
Disrespect towards older people, women and children.
What do you think is the short answer to saving our planet?
Abandon all cars and instead all of us can use bicycles.
What will you do if you had a time machine?
I would go back in time to when there was far less pollution…and make sure that all buildings had some component of a green space.
What is your favourite holiday destination? It can be more than one!
The Amalfi Coast, Tuscany and Barcelona!
Some fun facts about Daniele we'd like to share.
I go to bed at about 1am and get up around 7am each day.
I love them both but preferably if they are other people’s!
Without a doubt James Bond.
Eating at good restaurant and afterwards going for a good dance in equally good company.
I have no regrets as I still have time!