What were your first steps in starting up your business?
A lot of people think starting a business is hard. Too many would-be entrepreneurs get stuck early in the process because they think only a certain type of person has what it takes to make it as a successful business owner. The reality is that most people have what it takes – a good idea, the right amount of capital and creativity. What some people lack is the patience, determination and/or ability to plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the early stages of starting a business. The key is to have a work plan to stick to and that is exactly what I did. If you believe in what you set out to do, just do it.
What’s been the most challenging aspect about running a business and raising a family?
Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I was learning several valuable lessons in parallel. What worked for the business part of my life came in very handy with the parenting part of my life, and vice-versa.
There are two types of people when it comes to attitude and thought process. The first wait for an opportunity and the latter create an opportunity. The latter are the ones that live life on their terms, a life they want and envision. Nothing comes in their way. Their only fear is fear in itself. The more difficult things are, the more they seem to be achieved. Success is often a result of not being afraid to accomplish what you want. It’s not luck or beneficial circumstances. We are our own driving engine and we are the break. We are the only ones who determine our success. So think you can, and you will.
However, it must be said that the most challenging aspect of the job is being a woman in a predominantly male industry.
How do you keep yourself motivated through difficult times?
I was brought up in a home where my mum taught us that the word ‘can’t’ does not exist in the household. Think you can and you surely can, think you can’t and you won’t.
My motivation has always been my children. Knowing I had dependants made me want to work smarter and harder. The joy children bring to a household is so great, that with that feeling alone you are motivated to go out, do what has to be done, and hurry back home.
What should people look out for when buying a new home?
Buying property is an exciting time. Purchasers should look out for the right price. That is the most important factor, because ultimately, everything only sells at the right price. How do you know this? An experienced agent with a conscience will tell you the truth. We are not in the business of property. We are in the service business, and our service has to be accurate and professional.
Is there a particular property in Malta that you would buy and never part with?
I do not get attached to any materialistic things. There is a price for everything, except the most important things in life – family and health.
Image: Sara Grech and Benjamin Grech
In your opinion and from your experience, what top sales techniques do you look for in your members of staff?
Our staff has to be passionate about their work, competent in the field and look to work exclusively. All our agents have a licensed area to ensure passion and competence. This is what makes a loyal employee.
How do you maintain your health and well-being throughout your busy schedule?
It’s not easy, but you eventually learn to listen to your physical and mental needs. You plan and stick to your plan. To help us ensure that our health and well-being is priority, we are kitting out a full blown gymnasium which will be run by my daughter Hannah, who is an IFBB Bikini Athlete. We offer the staff and agents a good healthy breakfast and juice times! We encourage them to use the gym and we even have showers for them to make sure that they can use the gym in between appointments. The easier you make it, the more your staff becomes aware of keeping a healthy lifestyle.
You’ve achieved so much throughout your life. Is there something else that has yet to have its box ticked?
There are plenty of boxes left to be ticked! One very important box that I haven’t covered yet is the building of a school for a foundation founded by my children and I – The Service Dogs Malta Foundation. We want to build a school where we can train animals to be service dogs to those in need, including those with sight and hearing impairments, autistic persons, persons who suffer from diabetes, persons who are wheelchair bound and so on.
Image: Semira Grech