Get to know Leonard!
Appointed as manager of the Home Interiors Division in 2021, Leonard Grech has been part of the company for 16 years! Leonard is a very private person and a humble one at that, so we are very privileged that he has shared some of his personal experiences and opinions with us.
As a master in the art of networking and negotiations between contractors, suppliers and clients, this is one man with a stellar record when it comes to client testimonials. Prior to working at Frank Salt Real Estate, Leonard gained invaluable experience in the tourism and automotive sectors. Well, he has certainly been revving engines at the Home Interiors Division for some years and Leonard says since the day he started, he has never looked back.
Always with a twinkle in his eye, Leonard is outgoing and has a zest for life…the perfect mix for keeping demanding clients happy. As someone who is driven and determined to grow the profile of the Home Interiors Department, we wanted to know the secrets of what makes him tick, what keeps him motivated and makes him such a cheerful person, as we can all do with some tips in these demanding times! This is what he had to say:
Tell us in about a 100 words all about Leonard Grech!
I am married and have two girls: they are not children anymore and I love them to bits! I am also an adventurous person who likes taking that leap. I like practicing sports, particularly basketball and skiing, though I have tried plenty of other disciplines in my life, including racing my Land Rover back in the days, kayaking, rafting and plenty more. Together with my family we like travelling a lot, seeing other countries and how people live. Our preferred destinations are mountainous regions since we do not have any in Malta. The reasons for liking Alpine holidays are the fresh cool air they bring with them, as well as doing outdoor activities associated with them. I like meeting with people, giving a helping hand when I can and socialising in general. I don’t like being alone.
Share with us some interesting bits about your family, about growing up and your younger days?
I think that with my family I am very lucky: we share time together, we laugh, there is the occasional argument, but when it comes to sharing the most important moments, we are all on the same page together. We have a lot in common whilst also sharing different interests as well… this helps us to keep things balanced but also to have variety.
What attracted you to join the Frank Salt Team?
When I first joined, I did so as a property sales consultant and I particularly chose FSRE because of the professional approach as to how business is carried out and the measure of respect shown towards all clients. Eventually there was a vacancy within the Home Interiors Division and I thought I would put my creative skills to work, assisting people to decorate and finish their properties.
What do you enjoy the most about working in the Home Interiors Division?
Meeting with people and helping them achieve the comfortable home environments that they dream of… by speaking to them and understanding their needs. It is very satisfying to see the end product and a satisfied home owner!
What did it mean to you when you were appointed as divisional manager?
It meant a world to me. I worked hard during all the years with the company and to prove myself. There were some rough patches along the way (the majority were pleasant ones!) and together with FSRE we ironed any of them out when needed. Here we are today, still going strong.
What advice will you give to someone who wants to work in Home Interiors?
Roll up your sleeves… it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
You have been with the company for about 16 years now. What is your secret to a long and fulfilled career?
As with everything in life, you’ve got to give and take. I am proud of who I am and what I have managed to achieve at Frank Salt Real Estate: both in trust gained and from a career point of view…nonetheless being humble is a very important ingredient that one should add to the mix, no matter where or who you work for.
How do you go about motivating your team?
The sun always rises for everyone, with every morning offering a new day and a new start. So look forward to the next day, do your best to ensure it will be even better than today!
What do you do when you encounter a difficult situation for instance with a demanding and unreasonable client?
Dealing with a variety of people is never an easy task as expectations vary widely. Experience has taught me that the most important thing is to respect people and be diplomatic when disagreeing, no matter what is being said or done. It works miracles!
Do you have a golden tip for us when it comes to staying motivated and positive?
Yes, I tend to focus on the end result. This pushes me to work… and work even harder to achieve just that, no matter whether it is a tough nut to crack or not.
What role does your past experience in the tourism and automotive industries play in your current professional life?
I believe that the years I spent dealing with people in these various industries in the past has equipped me with two important tools: the ability to strike up a conversation with people covering multiple subjects and secondly, understanding non-verbal communication and clues. The latter I find very useful as I can immediately tell when I am on the right track by correctly interpreting a clients’ needs whenever it is communicated to me.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt thus far at FSRE?
Never take anything or anyone for granted!
What is your favourite pastime or what do you do to unwind and relax after a hard day’s work?
I like walking when I get the time, but mostly I just unwind by watching a movie… sometimes one I have already watched or at other times playing simple games on a tablet.
Tell us about a favourite dish and do you make it yourself?
I love eating a juicy medium-cooked steak with baked potatoes and grilled veg. I attempt to cook that myself, but there is nothing like having it cooked by a professional chef… especially at that moment!
If you were an inventor, what would you invent or be working on at present?
I think I will try to invent a means of transport to make it easier for people to travel and experience countries other than their own. “Beam me up, Scotty!”
Are you a good delegator or organiser or both? Share the secrets!
I don’t believe that delegating is my forte, and I don’t particularly like doing it… though I do have to delegate jobs occasionally, given my position. I think the important thing is to have a healthy relationship with all my colleagues, to share ideas and in doing so decisions are brought forward easier.
Which film have you seen over and over again and enjoyed every time?
‘Star Trek’ (with Chris Pine) and ‘The Bourne Identity’.
Let’s say you have just won the Euro Millions Lottery…what will you do with the money?
At the expense of sounding fake, I always promised myself that at least 10% of the winnings would go to various charities. The next share will go to my immediate family and the remainder (which should still be a lot) I will invest in property… that will give me the financial muscle and ability to travel the world.
Are you still friends with people you have grown up with or have known from childhood?
Yes, sure. We don’t meet up that often, but when I bump into anyone I always stop for a chat and to catch up.
Tell us about a favourite memory!
There are plenty of those, but I think that my first date with Sharon (today my wife) and the birth of my daughters top them all!
What are your favourite TV series or shows?
There isn’t a particular one that stands out but if I had to choose, it would be between ‘Friends’, and ‘Fresh Prince of Bel- Air’.
Imagine you are at karaoke night. What song will you be singing and why?
‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong.
Are you adventurous with food and have you ever eaten something strange or unusual? If so, what?
No, I am not adventurous with food! I think the strangest thing I have eaten must have been a sea urchin.
Is there anything you hate doing and if so, why? Would you go as far as paying someone to do it?
I hate cleaning the cat litter… but I would not pay someone to do it…it is not worth it!
If we have you an unlimited budget for a party, what would you do and who would you invite?
I would probably invite everyone I know and people I am friends with on Facebook, plus all my wife’s and daughter’s friends too! I would charter a cruise liner and cruise the Med for a week.
Tell us about something funny that has happened to you that you will never forget!
When I was younger (25+) we used to attend to what was called a ‘Beach party’ every Friday at a local club. I was invited to go on stage, amongst others, and stripped down to my briefs (which happened to be red), wear makeup and impersonate a woman! The funny thing about it is that I won the competition!! It all boils down to me being a competitive person though and do my best to win.
If you did not live in Malta, where would you see yourself?
I like the Maltese climate, but the summers are too hot… so I can see myself in a similar climate but with a slightly less hot summer.
Give us the best piece of advice you will share with the youth of today.
Technology is great and knowing how to use it is even better; however the joy and power that human interaction brings cannot be replaced by tech!
Would you be prepared to relive any particular time from your school days and if the answer is yes or no, why?
Yes, I think I would relive my secondary school days. Today, now that I know better, I would have done things a bit differently from an academic point of view… but then again, I am in a happy place now, so maybe I would not be here if I had done it any differently!
Some fun facts about Leonard we'd like to share.
“Beware…he talks a lot…!”
It must be my wedding party!
I will finally get some much needed chill time… you will be doing me a favour, actually!
Knowing how to best guide, motivate and prepare my daughters for their future.
Primarily my family: their needs and their happiness.
Nothing! I think it would be a dangerous tool to have.
Beer, wine, and water but not necessarily in that order.
When the sun is setting… I like the colour of the sky at that very moment and it is when everything seems to quieten down.
It’s a long list! Some are: see the Aurora Borealis, tour Europe on a bike, travel with my family to at least 2 other continents, have a relaxing holiday in Mauritius and visit Machu Picchu.
To be with my family and to watch the sun set. This will be followed by a nice meal with some wine… and simply just to spend time telling one another stories of all the other times that we have enjoyed together.
Yes, there are some… travelling more and seeing the world is at the top!
Home Interiors Division - Manager
Leonard is the Home Interiors Division manager at Frank Salt Real Estate.