This week we are off to Gozo to meet Jason who is a residential sales agent at the Republic Street branch. Prior to joining the group, Jason’s had many years of experience as a house sitter for estate agents in South Africa where he hails from. His passion for excellence in all things property has led him directly to Frank Salt Real Estate where he’s been working for over a year. He started his own business in home security systems at the tender age of 17, so his disciplined, independent entrepreneurial spirit was a perfect fit for becoming an agent. His creativity and love of people and property works extremely well together when he is dealing with clients that have a hard time envisaging the possibilities a property may have, so literally opening the doors for buyers and sellers is a dream come true!
We chatted to him to find out about his heritage, his famous horseracing family and more:
Who is the person we know as Jason? Tell us in about a 100 words!
I am 48 years old and I was born in South Africa, Cape Town. I am a very meticulous person, passionate about people and I love all things property and decorating. In actual fact, I love anything blingy, especially nice jewellery and vintage silver. My other passion is making our home look the best that it can and I like everything to be in its place, so I constantly move things around, rearrange objects and change displays… but that can also be attributed to the good side of my OCD!
What can you share with us about your younger days, growing up and your family?
I grew up in Cape Town South Africa and my childhood was spent amongst many loving friends and family (mostly the older generation) who had an enormous impact and influence on my life and my aspirations for the future. I have a younger brother, Craig, who lives in Germany. My parents are both still in South Africa and it has been very difficult not being able to see them the past few years with Covid, but hopefully that is now all behind us!
We heard that you also have a degree in electrical engineering? Tell us more…
Yes, as a young boy I was always interested in alarm systems and electronic devices. I also began my own business at 17 installing security systems so it was a natural progression to do a diploma in Electrical Engineering, although all I really wanted to do was get out there and work.
Tell us about your past work experience…
As I mentioned before I was a true entrepreneur starting my own business in the security industry at 17 with no capital or experience and I worked my way up to becoming a leader in the industry in Cape Town. I still get messages from clients saying how much they miss my client service. They became more like friends to me than clients. I also worked part time for Pam Golding Properties, the number one estate agency in South Africa, doing open houses on a Sunday afternoons and many of the agents there were also my clients in my then security business.
I have always had a passion for fine living and beautiful homes and with my past experience in South Africa I was attracted to the fact that Frank Salt Real Estate was a family owned business and it too was the leader in real estate in Malta.
A little birdy told us that you come from a famous horse racing dynasty in South Africa. Can you tell us more?
Yes, it is something that I am very proud of. My grandfather was the first of the family to enter into horseracing, followed by my great uncles. It is something I still have a great passion for and I spent many years at the stables and going racing with them. Both my great uncles achieved enormous success in their careers and my dearest uncle Stan had the record for the most numbers of wins on a horse in the history of South African racing. I have many of their trophies and scrap books at home that I treasure and even trophies presented to uncle Stan by Her Majesty the Queen.
Do you have any favourite charities or causes that you support and if so, what are they?
I feel very strongly about animal causes and love animals dearly. I feel that we as humans should do all we can do to love and protect them as they are so dependent on us. They have the same spirits as we do, just in another form.
Do you like reading and do you have a favourite book or author?
I am not much of a reader but when I do, it would be always be a biography of someone. I find people’s life stories fascinating!
Who will be first your first choice to have supper with when it comes to public figures that have influenced your life? It can be anyone in history or current.
O, definitely Edith Bouvier Beale or “Little Edie” as she was known. She was not only an American socialite, fashion model and cabaret performer but also the first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy/Onassis. Her life was fascinating, tragic and inspirational at the same time. She has become quite a cult figure although not many of the broader public know about her.
What is your favourite food? Have you ever tried to make it yourself?
I do love my food and have many favourite dishes, but my fall back dish is always spaghetti Bolognese. I would not attempt it as my husband is the king of Bolognese!
If you were an inventor, what would you invent or be working on at present?
A time machine! I know everyone says that, but it would be nice to go back to good times that you hold dear and forward into the future to see what lies ahead for all of us.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I love meeting clients that are keen and willing to let me help them to find a new home, or assisting those that want to sell and move on to the next thing in their lives. I also love having a good laugh with my colleagues… that’s the best!
Which film have you seen over and over again and enjoyed every time?
‘The Birdcage’ with Robin Williams. I can never see it enough times.
If you were let’s say a billionaire and did not need to work, what would you do?
I love my home, so I would have a large property with land that I would curate, design and shape into my dream home.
If you had a disagreement with an old friend, do you reconcile the friendship, or do you forgive and forget… or do you never speak again?
I think we all have disagreements at times but I am quite a forgiving person. The difference is however, if I have been hurt or my trust has been broken, it’s very hard and mostly impossible for me to rekindle and resume a friendship the way it was before.
Tell us about a favourite childhood memory or a toy!
Well that’s a strange one! Yes, I still have something I treasure… my grandmother’s antique vacuum cleaner! It’s something that brings back happy memories of her to me.
Do you ever binge-watch any TV series or shows? If so, which?
Yes ‘Will and Grace’… it is an instant pick-me-up!
Imagine you are at karaoke night. What song will you be singing and will someone sing with you?
I’ll be singing alone of course and it will be hours of all the Motown hits! I love the divas such as Aretha Franklin, Shaka Kahn, Diana Ross and Patti LaBelle.
Are you adventurous with food and have you ever eaten something strange or unusual? If so, what?
I am adventurous and will try a lot of things once… but I do have my limits as to what I will eat!
Tell us about your love for animals!
I adore animals, I see their individual spirits and souls… and especially our two fur babies are the greatest joy to me. I would love to rescue more unwanted or abused animals and give them the best life ever!
Is there anything you hate doing and if so, why? Would you go as far as paying someone to do it?
I don’t really hate doing anything but I would love a cleaner as I don’t have the time for that anymore.
If you came second in a competition, would you sulk or be OK with it?
Yes, I never sulk… I am not like that! I would be so happy for the winner and also feel proud that I got a place!
What advice will you give to someone who wants to become an estate agent?
It is a big adjustment for anyone as you don’t just leave work after a day at the office! It’s a 24-hour a day career and I would say that brilliant client service is key to building a lasting relationship with any of your buyers and sellers.
If you did not live in Malta, where would you see yourself?
Give us the best piece of advice you will share with a younger person just starting out in life…
Listen to your instincts and know that no matter who you are or what you are, you are a child of God and he created you and loves you! Don’t listen to what the world tells you… listen to your heart and take people as you find them – don’t base your judgement on other’s opinions.
Did you have a great or awful time at school and would you relive some of the times if you could?
No, my school years were not happy ones at all and I would never want to relive them!
If you had a warning label attached to you, what would it say?
“Likes expensive things!”
Tell us about the best party you have ever been to!
I think for me the best function would be a dinner party in a beautiful home. I have been very blessed to have experience many of them: from being a young child in our own home to all those held in my family’s homes. I still enjoy laying the table with silver and eating by candlelight.
Can you get along without your mobile phone for a weekend?…. and whatever the answer, elaborate!
I am a bit of a social media addict… I have to admit, but yes I could get along fine without my phone for a weekend especially if I was out of range of any signal. It may actually be quite nice to be totally cut off for a while!
If you had a choice, what would be your superpower?
To be able to visit heaven and see my loved ones that have passed.
What motivates you to keep going?
I love having dreams to work towards. I am a bit of a dreamer and I think that, along with my husband’s undying love and support keeps me going!
What will you do if you had a time machine?
Go back to the age of elegance and glamour for a long visit!
Some fun facts about Jason we'd like to share
It used to be white wine and gin and tonic, but I stopped drinking a few years back. Now I like non-alcoholic champagne.
I am neither really… I can’t seem to stay awake till past 9pm if I am watching TV! But I also like to lie in bed with my coffee early in the morning.
I love all the seasons but really enjoy summer.
I love it. I think one always moves forward and growing old gracefully is a wonderful blessing. One gains so much wisdom through experience as you get older, however I don’t intend to grow old in a “traditional” way… I always want to be a bit trendy and different!
Any night with my husband and especially one spent with dear friends or loved ones… that is my ideal night. Also probably a dinner party or a night out on the dance floor!
I have been very blessed in that I have achieved all the things I have put my mind to thus far! I have also been blessed with many beautiful things that my heart desired… so I think now my bucket list is that big property… with lots of space and lots of animals, living the “country life” with my husband.
I love going out to a restaurant and just getting out.
Property Sales Consultant
Jason is a property sales consultant at out Gozo letting branch