Quicklets: my personal experience.
By Marica Micallef.
This site has revealed that “the woman accused of falsely reporting a bolt driver of rape was posting on Facebook messages against domestic violence and has created a foundation to sponsor women’s organizations. The name is QLZH Foundation and such an acronym stands for Quicklets Zanzi Homes Foundation.”
In yet another episode from my life where everything happens to be perfectly knit so that then I can connect the dots and present the readers with more facts, I have worked for the company Quicklets as a letting agent for a few months and so I can give the readers a picture of what I have observed and experienced. Both Quicklets and Zanzi Homes form part of the QLZH Group.
Before I start, I affirm that the only reason I worked in this sector is not because I like property or I am much into this slavery job. On the contrary, I despise the fact how construction has ruined this beautiful, gem of an island. The only reason was because after I was fired by MCAST, and due to the immediate Covid lockdowns, the possibilities of me finding a job were minimal. I was not receiving any response from any job I was applying to. The only one I got accepted in was from Quicklets, for which, I am still grateful. The only thing I liked in this experience is the relational aspect – meeting clients and property owners. But it was no walk in the park. Some clients wanted a pet-friendly apartment, or could not afford more than €600 monthly rent, which are impossible to find. This made me realise that this industry is only there to make people rich while supporting the rich.
And yet, Steve Mercieca, the co-founder of Quicklets and Zanzi Homes, with their QLZH foundation want to make you think that it all feels like an elitist party in Mallorca!
The job does not come with a basic pay but on commission. When I had asked Steve Mercieca, to give us some allowance for fuel, or a free mobile contract, or a discounted gym membership, his reply was that he does not have this revenue for all the agents. I do not know if this has changed now, so I stand to be corrected. But to open as many branches as possible, including one in Cyprus, with 30 offices and over 300 agents, in the least timeline possible, in the quest to conquer the property sector of the whole world, and to produce such videos, money always comes from nowhere! There is no money to offer a good package for the agent, but then the company always has money to organise parties and boat parties for everyone across the year, in its quest to showcase its glitters when all that glitters is not gold.
Steve Mercieca was also so worried that his industry would receive a blow during the lockdowns, which is understandable, but writing in one of his facebook posts that he is waiting eagerly for the experimental, lethal Covid-19 vaccines so that his business in Cyprus can start running again, is very low!
In the company, it is hard for a property agent to climb the ladder. Each month, you start from scratch with the property listings you are expected to do and the rentals. The company had also come up with an announcement that those letting agents who do not rent minimum of three properties per month, will be asked to leave.
The company and the branches recruit as many agents as possible all year long. Many of these agents are foreigners. Hence, many have to eat from the same small piece of cake which at times, made some agents to resort to foul play on other branch’s agents in order for them to have that piece of cake. I was a victim of such foul play. It was the optimum scenario when you feel you are swimming in a sea full of sharks.
Moreover, while agents work their arse off from Monday to Sunday, some of those who were lucky enough to make money out of this industry and buy shares, enjoy their relaxing days while earning a percentage out of the agents’ weekly slavery. The irony is that this job is sold to you as being freelance and you are your own boss. It forgets to tell you that you are a slave in the lowest scale of the pyramid where you make others richer. So, might as well not be a freelancer at all and work with a secure pay for someone else.
I did not earn any money when my dad was hospitalised. Concentrating on such a job was not possible. Once you get out of the scene for some time, getting back to it and reaping fruit takes time. I was not supported by the company throughout the whole ordeal even though I always rented five to six rentals a month. I received no monetary or emotional support because an agent is just a number. The only people who supported were the manager and the owners of the branch where I worked. They used to tell me to take my time, or ask about my dad. I salute this branch, the Mrieħel Branch, which deserves the best. If you readers, happen to be driving or walking past, and need to rent, sell or buy or do a good deal, this is the branch you should visit. The owners and manager here work their arse off and started from nothing. Hence, their energy, respect, and rawness. They will always get my applause and blessings.
This company gets thrill by producing loads of videos, or photos, or doing campaigns through the QLZH foundation. I always wonder where do such NGOs get funds? It does a lot of environmental campaigns like planting trees, so that Steve Mercieca diverts your focus from the fact that his company depends on the bricks atrocities and monstrosities that this country has been uglied with and thanks to which it has turned into a smart city. We do not need trees’ campaigns. We need to have our trees left where they are. We need to have the old valleys and the old countryside back, which never will, since monstrous blocks of boxes of concrete, next to each other, are suffocating us.