Today marks the 100th day since the official launch of Alliance on 9 July 2020, and as presidents and prime ministers landmark their first 100 days in office, CEO Michael Bonello takes stock of the first 100 days of Alliance, and its impact on Malta’s real estate market.
When we had started discussing our breaking out from an international real estate franchise to create our own independent brand, my partners and myself were not expecting an easy journey. Now that we have made it this far, our potential has become much more tangible as we now have full control of our futures as we set out to achieve. But it’s only been 100 days.
Alliance is a newly formed real estate agency brand that we are developing on the existent network of branches we built over the past fifteen years and our team of over 160 property advisors, administrators and support staff. We introduced the strapline “Real Estate People” to explain who we are and what we do in three simple words, because our people really are the entire driving force of Alliance. If our property advisors are the backbone, closing successful deals with buyers and sellers every day, our branch admins and managers are the driving force supporting them to be able to do that so successfully.
Preparations for the move had started at the end of last year and persisted consistently throughout the lockdown months. In this time, our newly formed executive committee rose to the challenge to complete monumental work on all fronts – from the financial and corporate aspects carried out by CFO Leslie Xerri and business advisor Ivan Bartolo respectively, to the many difficult challenges overcome by our COO Gordon Attard. One of the most mission critical tasks was that of moving some 40,000 properties from an old system into our new database infrastructure, and this had to be done practically overnight so that our property advisors could carry on working without interruption. His work continues as our operations are constantly being optimised from the “old ways” and improving the quality of our listings is an ongoing responsibility.
There was another long list of critical jobs in marketing. Our CMO Pierre Mizzi took charge in the beginning of the year and his first two main tasks were to launch our online presence and rebrand all the branch signage. This was done swiftly and with that, stationery, badges, stickers and other collateral material had to be ordered and distributed out to everyone and various campaigns planned and executed. A launch party event on 22nd July became an opportunity to reward last year’s top performers. For this, custom trophies and certificates were designed and produced within record time, and these also helped boost our new brand identity internally as well as externally.
Since launch, our social media channels have by now reached over 330,000 people and more than 60,000 individuals have visited our website alliance.mt. Many sales have been concluded and almost 2,000 new listings have been added to our database.
Around mid-August, we launched our exclusive offering called Alliance Selected. This is our flagship product aimed at improving the way real estate is valued, promoted and sold in Malta. Arianne Borg and Kevin De Leonardo, heading this product, have already listed some 35 properties and several sales have been secured within an amazing average of 22 days from being listing on our system. So, we are all very excited to see this product keep growing in the future.
Through this transition, training and coaching from our CPO Frank Borg supported everyone and he also welcomed and trained no less than 32 new recruits who joined us since launch. His one-to-one and group meetings have been fundamental in ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard, and he supported the exit of the few people who felt daunted or were uncomfortable by the big change, or could not fit within new structures. I am very proud and humbled by the huge amount of trust and support we have seen, so much so that through this move, we have retained as much as 98% of our people.
I am sure that by now, everyone recognises the corporate agility we now have and the cutting-edge IT infrastructure that also enables remote access to make everyone’s work much more effective and gives us more resilience. Having come this far already, we are all beginning to realize the sheer scale of what we are achieving here. This is not a simple rebrand, this is a total reboot of a very large organisation that influences the market to no small extent. We appreciate how other agencies seem to be following our example and valuing their agents much more than before; and how some of our ideas seem to already be setting new trends in our industry. As they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery and we are always happy to be at the leading edge.
In conclusion, I would like to abundantly thank the entire Alliance team of property advisors, branch admins and managers, and most of all my partners for their unwavering trust and support throughout this exciting journey. This is only the beginning.
More information about Alliance can be found at alliance.mt and on social media.