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The Franchising Challenge


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25-01-2018 - By: Marc H. Schembri

Meet Mark Camilleri, who is Franchise owner at QuickLets Meridien in St Julian’s. He’s also teamed up with Sandro Bianchi who’s managing the sales department at Meridien. Mark is inviting, and is quick to reveal his passion for QuickLets, amidst the happy faces of letting specialists keeping busy at their desks, calling clients and creating clamour as soon as an available property has just been confirmed. “AVAILABLE”!


Constantly switching from his waggish nagging persona as manager, to a good-humoured friend and adviser, Mark strives to keep the franchise ahead of the game. His daily challenges strongly echo stories from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, as he has to impose the rules, but still wear the Quickletarian badge at all times. 

 


Question – Franchisee at QuickLets, you’re quite at the top of the ladder. How did you get here?
A – Persistence! It’s been quite a journey. I’m one of the early ones who joined the company when we were not yet fully established. I remember we were all crammed in an office, striving to make it! As we grew I took the critical step in opening my own branch, and I’m surely thankful for that. I’ve seen this company come from far and grow at an astonishing rate. My team is now part of a bigger circle, and I’m glad I’m still part of what this company has become. 


Q – Now that you’re not just a letting specialist anymore, how is the work different?
A – You’re not fending for yourself and networking closely with your own team – but managing a team and making sure the strings stay attached. You’re also responsible for them and I enjoy seeing them fulfil their ambitions. I remember that in the early days, succeeding meant that I could get closer to what I wanted in life, especially from a financial aspect. So, I’ve got the same drive for my team. I want to see them thrive and achieve their goals. 


Q – This must be challenging. How do you do it?
Answer – It boils down to self-discipline and channelling yourself as you need to lead by example. You’ve got the franchise and its rules – so you’ve got to deliver and ensure procedures are done correctly. When it comes to rentals, there are client ethics involved, legal agreements and also company rules that need to be adhered to. Sometimes, I feel like I am looped in pestering my specialists, reminding them procedure by procedure, and that is challenging. But it’s got to be done! 


Q – So, you’re clearly the boss here. Your specialists cannot do it without you then.
Honestly, sometimes I could decide to stay in bed! The team is doing well enough, they’re well experienced and can fend for themselves. But I want to come here and be my best, assist in whatever I can. It’s also just to help them focus, even in the long term, and make sure everyone is on the right track. I also want to achieve more, always more. Incentive is tremendously important in our business.  
Besides, I enjoy it here. Apart from the bond we have formed together, there’s always a work-related story that’s worth coming in for!


Q – Have you seen the industry change?
A – It is constantly changing. I see myself adapting to many more different situations to when I first started.  The demand is much higher than supply these days and that has, in a way, put the ball a lot more on the owners’ side of the court.

From one side, some property seekers have become more refined and pickier about what they are after. On the other hand, some property owners have become more challenging when it comes to negotiating rental prices. We’re sometimes at risk of being put in a bad light or accused of inflating prices, but really and truly, we work hard to get the best prices for our clients.


Office Contact details:
Mobile:       +356 79283873
Email:         mark@quicklets.com.mt 
Website:    www.quicklets.com.mt | www.zanzihomes.com 
Address:    Level 0, Le Meridian Hotel, St Julians.