New BenEstates Franchise Partner Henry Zammit has been active in the real estate sector most of his professional life. Previously, he held a number of senior roles in his family’s catering business, however he was always drawn towards the world of real estate for a number of reasons.
“For me, working in real estate is the ultimate. In this field, you get rewarded according to how much time and effort you decide to put in, so your own ambition and the sky are the only limits,” Mr Zammit says, describing what drew him to the sector.
Active in the area since 2011, Mr Zammit has made a name for himself, recently becoming Franchise Partner at one of the country’s fastest growing and innovative real estate brands – BenEstates.
“BenEstates was a natural choice, as I feel the company reflects my values and ambitions. In addition it is a company that isn’t scared of change, which translates into a sterling service to our customers,” Mr Zammit notes. BenEstates in fact takes innovation very seriously, even adopting the franchising model to propagate its success further.
BenEstates today has 120 agents engaged, who operate on a commission basis. Currently it operates eight offices around Malta, but its ambitions are to take this number up to 10.
“At BenEstates, we make it a point to provide all the space, and tools for all our team members to grow and reach their full potential. Our agency boasts one of the country’s more comprehensive property databases, which together with our can-do attitude, is a great recipe for success,” Mr Zammit explains.
Turning the discussion towards the situation of real estate in general in Malta, Mr Zammit has no issues to concede that certain individual operators in the field, through their irresponsibility, may have tarnished the industry’s reputation. “We cannot put everyone in one basket, as the great majority of real estate agents, developers, contractors and a myriad of others who work in the field are upstanding and responsible professionals. Naturally, like in any other sector, you will find those who will choose the shorter, more convenient route, but sadly this may come at a high cost for everyone,” Mr Zammit states.
“At BenEstates, we hold everyone to the highest standard of professional conduct, assuring a fair deal with our customers, and hopefully contributing to a better Malta in the long run.”
Mr Zammit continues to note how the real estate market contributes to the economy, generating a handsome portion of the country’s wealth, especially when considering the multiplier effect it is responsible for.
“Currently we are seeing the market consistently moving towards a ‘buyers’ market’, as property prices have been noted to stabilise for a number of months. This could be the result of a number of factors, among which is a generous supply of property stock, however it remains interesting to note any fluctuations in the area.”
A closer analysis of the market reveals that trends are constantly changing as they reflect the shifting lifestyles of people living in Malta.
“Before, we used to buy terraced houses and until a few years ago, a three bedroom apartment used to be the norm. That was when families were larger, and people moved out of their parents’ houses when they would be getting married or settling in to start a family, relatively later in life. Today people are moving out much sooner, so they are looking for their first home earlier, and often by themselves. Hence, we have seen an increase in habitation solutions which are better suited to cater for contemporary needs,” Mr Zammit expounds. “In fact we are seeing growth and relative demand for the one- and two-bedroom market.”
Asked about what advice he would give to buyers, Mr Zammit underlines the importance of doing one’s research properly, and knowing exactly what they are looking for.
“It is useless asking a property agent to show you properties in a certain price range, which then turns out to be out of your reach,” Mr Zammit says. “It might sound silly, but we do come across such instances from time to time. Moreover, buyers are better served when they know exactly what they need, so the agent will be in a better position to help them more efficiently.”
Asked what advice he would give to other estate agents, He is frank about it, and warns against short sightedness.
“Making a quick buck can be very risky in the long run! We constantly tell our team members to act conscientiously, and always have the larger picture in mind. We sustain our values by providing constant training to our staff, while making sure to keep an ear to the ground for trends and goings-on in the market. That way we know that we can stay a few steps ahead, and provide the best service to our customers possibles,” Mr Zammit concludes.