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The Dynamics of the Letting Industry

10th January, 2015
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Letting in Malta

The letting world has literally taken Malta by storm. It wasn’t long ago that the general consensus was that rental simply wasn’t a popular choice here; most people lived with their parents until they were old enough to jump on the property ladder and buy a house.

Today, though, things are different. Aside from the multitude of foreign residents choosing to rent, there are also many locals keen to move into their own place before they commit to buy. As a result, the demand for rental properties now often outweighs the number of places that are available.

With that in mind, property letting has become a strong industry, with a growing need for letting agents and landlords – as these three Frank Salt Real Estate letting agents will testament.

Simone Magri- Property Letting Consultant

Simone Magri first joined Frank Salt Real Estate’s letting department a few years ago, before shifting into another career path. However her love for the job and the team led her back to it and, today, she offers unique insight into what the letting industry has to offer – both to agents and to landlords.

“I loved the letting industry from the second I started working in it. But, as I had a young daughter, I decided to do something else for a while so as to have a more structured schedule. But I missed it! I missed the energy, the highs and the laughter I shared with colleagues when one of us had a story to tell. I missed viewing properties, and meeting and getting to know different people every day. So, a few years and a few jobs later I decided to come back.

“I chose Frank Salt Real Estate for a second time as I know the company and I trust in the good name it has built. I like that it takes what it does seriously. New consultants are given thorough ongoing training, with regular seminars that inform and motivate us.

“I enjoy working in letting specifically because no day is like the other. I love that I get to meet people from all walks of life. Some end up being more than just clients; they really become friends. I also enjoy the diversity of the job – from advising new buyers looking to put their property on our books for rent, to guiding clients on what property would best work for them. Plus it’s great that I can plan my own time and manage my diary.

“I often work with foreigners looking to rent. I have worked with Europeans and non-Europeans; most are moving to the island after being offered a job here, others to finish a degree at university or to set up their own business. Thus their demands vary. Some would only consider living in urban areas whilst others prefer quieter places. What they finally decide on is sometimes completely different from what they initially requested.

“My time in the industry has shown me that there really is no better investment than rental property. You purchase at a price and, while the value of that property rises, you rent it out for an attractive return. It’s almost like a double investment, with no losses whatsoever as even the rental value continues to increase. Plus, the demand for rentals is now so high that demand outweighs supply. There aren’t many industries that you can say that about these days, so I would definitely recommend that potential landlords take the plunge and explore what the rental market has to offer.”

Neil Gatt Coleiro – Property Letting Consultant

Over his years in the letting industry, Neil Gatt Coleiro has witnessed a steady increase in demand and an ongoing development in the type and number of clients looking to rent. He suggests modernising your property to boost its chances of attracting a high-value client.

“For as long as I have been doing this work, there has been a constant increase in demand for rental properties, so I would say it is definitely worth investing in this sector.

Aside from the long-term increase in the sale value of the property, you can also expect to see a yearly return of five per cent, or more. “If I had to suggest one tip for interested landlords, it would be to modernise their properties as much as possible. We come across quite a few older looking properties that stay on the market for longer stretches of time and which are under-priced in comparison to their potential. Unsurprisingly, modern tastes are the most popular amongst the clients we service so, generally, by investing a bit more in your property you will make it a lot more attractive to clients, which will in turn give you a substantially higher return.

“There is also a lot to be said for the short-term rental market, provided that you are prepared to commit the time and resources needed, because it obviously involves people moving in and out a lot more regularly. You’d also need to consider that your property will be used as a holiday home as opposed to a long term home, so common wear and tear will take its toll relatively quicker.

“Of course, we can help with a lot of that. We have a great, professional team and, although we all operate from various offices all over the island, I have always found the support I needed, whether for myself or my clients.

“You see, despite the business element of the industry, from our end it becomes a very personal experience given that we are finding people their homes on a daily basis. We meet people from all walks of life and from all over the world, so learning about cultures, traditions and traits becomes the order of the day, every day. That is just one of the many brilliant aspects of this job.”

Giovanella Abela – Property Letting Consultant

Giovanella Abela has worked for Frank Salt Real Estate’s letting department for a few months. She has already fallen for this fast-paced industry and its exciting daily challenges.

“I think the saying that ‘hard work pays off’ must first have been said by someone in real estate – you certainly get out what you put in! A smile goes a long way and ensuring your client feels comfortable and can trust you is what will set you apart from the competition.

“Letting is very fast paced and, sometimes, a property will be rented out just hours after it comes onto the market. This means you have to be on alert all the time – you have to know both the market and your clients well so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity.

“I came to this job from a client-handling role with an advertising agency and that has helped me to settle in. I am used to the tight turnaround times associated with advertising. “I specifically chose Frank Salt Real Estate because I knew I would be offered the training I needed to really get started in the industry. From day one I felt part of the team, as well as encouraged and supported.

“This is a fantastic job for people who are organised, interested in property and keen to meet new people. If you are willing to put in the hours and really give it your best shot, then it can be very fulfilling. I think the best feeling in the world was meeting my very first clients a month or two after I had rented a place to them, and have them hug and kiss me in the middle of a busy supermarket.

Most clients really do appreciate your effort and hard work, and you become their friend rather than just their estate agent.”

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