Meet Our People – Mark Zammit Cordina
Mark is our man of action and as you will glean from our interview with him. Before family life became a priority, he had very colourful, if not high-risk professional assignments as a photojournalist. This does not mean his days of being adventurous are over…far from it. His carefree spirit is what attracts people most and we picked up a certain element of spirituality underlining who he is as a person. If anyone wants an example of someone who enjoys life to the full and believes in getting things done NOW, Mark is your man!
He is an ardent advocate of human rights and believes in equality, freedom of speech, respect of others. Mark will also fiercely defend and protect those that cannot speak for themselves such as children and other marginalised sectors of society. And did we mention that he will not stand any form of discrimination? Do we see the makings of a brilliant human rights advocate that is scared of nothing here? We certainly do!
"...I have a personal goal to see that smile on their [clients'] faces when they fall in love with a property… that I think is one of the best feelings to me. You know you are helping them with making one of the biggest decisions of their life."
Q: Who is ‘Mark’ in 100 words
I am married to a beautiful wife inside and out Gertrude and have a son with special needs. He is 8 years old and his name is Luca – he is my pride and joy! With the help of my son, I have learned to appreciate every milestone a person reaches, even if it is just a little one. I am a happy-go-lucky and honest person, always wanting to help other people no matter how big or small their needs are. I love life and whatever it has to offer. I respect all people from all backgrounds and love meeting people from different cultures. I also love photography, especially nature, portraits and storm chasing!
Q: Can you tell us briefly about your background and your family?
I was born in 1986 and hail from Hamrun, however, I live in Mgarr now. I was brought up in a family of 4 and my parents always taught me values such as honesty, respect and loyalty. I am married and have a son, 2 cats and a Rottweiler.
Q: Tell us some cool facts about any hobbies or other stuff you enjoy doing in your free time
In my pastime, I like to do some fishing, free diving, sports photography and storm chasing and I also love the Maltese Village feasts.
Q: And now fill us in on some details of your academic achievements and work experience.
I went to San Anton School and then moved onto studying ICT at MCAST. After getting my diploma, I started working as a news cameraman and photographer. My previous employment was for a local newspaper working locally and abroad covering what is known in the trade as “hard news or breaking news”. I also went to Libya to cover the Libyan Uprising from there and subsequently I started working for the well-known foreign news agency Reuters. Apart from being a finalist several times in Malta, I won the “Best News Cameraman Award” in 2013 and I also won a photography award in China.
Q: What attracted you to join the Frank Salt team?
I was always interested in property and have quite a few friends who are in this industry. After some research, I chose Frank Salt as it is a respected and well-known company. They also provide excellent training, so I had to join them!
Q: Who is the most fascinating person you’ve met and why?
With my previous job, I met many Maltese and foreigners. In 2017, I went to film a reality show called ‘Liquirish’ and the country for the location was Bangladesh: a very tough country but we managed to spend some nights in a Buddhist monastery just listening and watching how they live and this was really an eye opener.
Q: What do you enjoy most so far about your job?
The fact that I get to meet all kinds of people and have a personal goal to see that smile on their faces when they fall in love with a property… that I think is one of the best feelings to me. You know you are helping them with making one of the biggest decisions of their life!
Q: What are you kind of obsessed with these days?
I have and always will be obsessed with my home town football team, the Hamrun Spartans.
Q: What would you do if you had enough money to not need a job?
I never really thought of having enough money and working is something I have always loved… but I’ll probably buy a yacht and sail I guess. Something else I would do if I had enough money is to go and do volunteer work with children in third-world countries.
Q: Any stories or incidents you would like to share that happened at work and that you will never forget?
One of my latest clients called around 21:30 one evening and asked regarding a property which he wanted to see the next day. He came to see it and didn’t like it at all! I told him that’s why it’s best to come and see a property in person and not just judge from a photo you may have liked. I told him: “Let me show you another one which I think from the info I got from you yesterday might be more suitable.” It only took him 5 minutes and he said: “This is the one!” The nicest part was his daughter went running into a bedroom and told him: “Daddy, can this be my room please?!” That is an experience for me that is better than the actual sale.
Q: What was the last show you binge-watched?
Not a show but a channel… the History Channel!
Q: Among your friends, what are you best known for?
Not being scared to make a fool of myself and to make people laugh.
Q: What is the silliest of your fears? Why?
Cockroaches! Enough said.
Q: What household chore is just the worst?
I don’t mind doing chores but placing or pairing socks together for sure! I always seem to have missing socks and I think that my washing machine eats them.
Q: What advice will you give to someone who wants to become an estate agent?
People think it’s easy… with little or no work done at the backend. Yes it’s hard work, yes there are ups and downs, but the end result is the most rewarding. Just always be honest and treat every client with absolute respect.
Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The latest hilarious thing (thank heavens only my buddy was with me) was that I wore my wetsuit in the car and then put my face mask on! My buddy told me: “nista nkun naf xint tilbes?”
Q: What would you like to know more about, but haven’t had the time to look into it?
Learning French as a language.
Q: If you could have supper with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
A friend of mine that passed away in a road accident (just to talk to him one last time).
Q: What was the last gift you gave someone?
A Mother’s Day gift.
Q: What advice would you give to your previous boss if you could?
“Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson
Q: Would you relive your days in high school if you could?
I would definitely, even with all the experiences and mistakes that I made…but I would be just a little bit wiser this time.
Q: What two items would you take with you if you shipwrecked excluding food and water?
Cigarettes and a fishing rod!
Q: Do you think there’s life on other planets and if so, what would they look like or be?
Probably yes, but I have to see it first to believe it.
Q: What do you do or say when someone is rude to you?
It depends… if they are just rude I will try to calm the situation down but if the person starts being threatening, well then that’s a whole different story!
Q: What do you think is the cure for a hangover?
Full English breakfast or an oily pizza from the pastizzi shop!
Q: Can you get along without your mobile phone for a weekend?…. and whatever the answer, elaborate!
Definitely NO. My mobile is my planner, my organizer, my means to a lot of things. I always want to know what’s going on around the islands and abroad. I also always call back any client within a max of 3 hours.
Q: What would we find in your fridge right now?
A mix – a variety from fruit and veg to water and soft drinks… plus all the daily needs.
Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you and why?
Ryan Gosling… people say I look a little like him, so he might as well!
Q: If you were given a free full-page ad in the newspaper and had to sell yourself in six words or less, how would the ad read?
Honest, loyal, funny.
Q: What will you do if you have a time machine?
Go back in time to listen to Mozart or Beethoven LIVE!
Q: If you could choose for the same price a limo or a taxi, which would it be and why?
As long as it gets me there and in time, I’m not picky.
Q: And lastly, name one thing you regret not having:
It’s not about not having… it’s about not doing! I regret every day that I have not bungee jumped or skydived.
Some interesting facts about Mark we’d like to share:
- Star sign: Taurus
- Sports you follow: Football, basketball and extreme sports
- Morning person or a night owl: Night owl
- Favourite colour: Blue
- Favourite drink: Gin & Tonic
- Favourite song: “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones
- Idea of a night out: I adapt to the scenario, but nowadays a nice meal and then a great club.