Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Malta Regional Market Center > Blog > From professional dancer to real estate professional - interview with Oliver Tienken

From professional dancer to real estate professional - interview with Oliver Tienken

Celebrated professional dancer, international model, casting show juror - Oliver Tienken has already gone through many impressive career stages in his life. Now the 39-year-old is committed to building a career as real estate agent, a field that is completely new to him. In an interview, Mr. Tienken explains why he is drawn to the real estate industry of all places and why only Engel & Völkers is considered as employer: 

- Interview with professional dancer Oliver Tienken: why the 39-year-old is now a real estate agent and wants to conquer the industry.

Hello Mr. Tienken, please tell us what you did before joining Engel & Völkers.

O.T.: It is not easy to talk about my career, because I have already done so many different things. As a young man, I danced a lot in my final year at school and during civilian service, became German champion, European champion and finally even world champion. Building on this, I of course acquired all kinds of licenses to be able to work as an adjudicator and trainer. I worked in dance schools myself for many years.

You are also known from numerous TV shows such as Curvy Supermodel, The Perfect Dinner or Celebrity Shopping Queen. What made you go into show business? 

O.T.: That was in 2003. At that time, I took part in a casting show called Star Search, hosted by Kai Pflaume. A friend had signed me up for the show because I was chronically broke as a dancer - after all, I was always in need of new tournament clothes and had to travel around the world for competitions. In the end I got lucky and took first place. 

Afterwards, however, I wanted to expand my portfolio and so I studied sports management to combine my passion for dancing with professional knowledge. The next show I participated in was Let's Dance with Brigitte Nielsen. Besides giving dance lessons and appearing in various TV shows, I have also worked as a model for an agency here in Hamburg. But at some point, I had the feeling that this was not really the path I wanted to follow.

How did you then become aware of Engel & Völkers?

O.T.: Most recently I managed a dance school. One day I was faced with the decision of whether to buy the school, as the owner was already very old. But that was out of the question for me. During this time, I studied all Engel & Völkers job advertisements for over four years. Like so many others, I was well aware of the company. I just never had the courage to apply because I thought that I simply had no basis at all to gain a foothold in such a business and was afraid of failing miserably.  

So what made you change your mind and apply in the end?

O.T.: It happened when I sat on the jury of the TV show Curvy Supermodel. There I always preached to the participants that one must pursue dreams and goals, until at some point I realised that I was not doing this for myself. For years I had shuffled from job to job instead and did not dare to do many things. I had always wanted to work for an internationally renowned company, so that I would not always be perceived only as this "TV guy", but also as a serious business man. Curvy Supermodel definitely held the mirror up to me and that's how I got the courage to apply. 

There are several global companies in Hamburg - why Engel & Völkers of all companies?

O.T.: I have had the opportunity to do many high-quality jobs in the course of my career. Financially it was often an up-and-down ride for me, sometimes I earned more, sometimes less. And it was clear to me that if I would apply again and start something completely new, then only with the top dog in the industry. So I only wrote one application and that was to Engel & Völkers. I saw that they have an academy where you can educate yourself and be prepared for the job. Therefore, it was clear to me from the beginning: it’s either here or nowhere.  

Where does this fascination for real estate come from?

O.T.: I come from the countryside and grew up on a farm. My grandparents were farmers, as were my parents until my father did a retraining. As a consequence, my grandparents' farm was sold and my parents built a new house. Even as a 10-year-old, I was fascinated by the house sale process and how proud you feel building your own home brick by brick and things like that. Later on, in my first own rented apartment, I often thought about whether or not it would make more sense to buy the apartment. To this day, I am someone who often looks at Internet portals to see what is happening in the property market, just for fun. 

Is there any experience in show business that can be of benefit when brokering?

O.T.: As a matter of fact, public relations, frequent talking in front of people and approaching people, which is part of show business, takes away a great deal of my inhibitions in brokering. I think that it helps me to be more confident in situations that are new and unfamiliar to me. Fortunately, you don't notice it much when I'm nervous. I can keep my cool really well in moments like these. 

In show business, social media is an important part of the work. Does this also apply to the real estate industry? 

O.T.: It's really nice to share things with followers - be it about sports, nutrition or my everyday life. I always receive an incredible amount of questions and comments. With regard to my work as a real estate agent, I can imagine that it will be very important to use social media in the future. I believe that you can inspire and win people over to a cause. After all, some of my private friends have already approached me because they are looking for commercial space, for example. 

Your Instagram profile follows a clear visual line. How do you decide what things to post?

O.T.: It's really just a coincidence. I don't think much about which pictures I post when and how. Of course, I’m lucky that I know many photographers and therefore often have professional material. 

Dance coach, real estate agent and podcaster - how do you manage to reconcile all of these facets of your life?

O.T.: In fact, except on Mondays, I go to my dance school every evening after my work at Engel & Völkers. Even on weekends I spend six hours there every day. During the week I am usually back home around midnight. But this will only continue until April, after which I will devote myself entirely to my duties at Engel & Völkers. 

We wish you all the best!

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Real Estate for Sale and To Let  with Engel & Völkers

Engel & Völkers Sara Grech is the luxury real estate agent that specialises in exclusive properties for sale and to let in Malta. With more than 30 years’ experience, we are one of Malta’s most successful real estate agencies

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a thriving cultural hub that has long been a popular destination amongst expatriates and tourists alike. Partnered with the real estate agency Engel & Völkers, finding a property for sale or rent in Malta is a breeze, and in no time at all, you'll have a spacious apartment with a view or a villa with numerous bedrooms to call your own.

Living and working in Malta

Home to more than 450,000 inhabitants, Malta is the smallest country to join the European Union in 2004. In 2008, it became part of the Eurozone. Though Malta is well-known as a popular tourist destination with plenty of recreational areas and historical monuments including nine UNESCO world heritage sites, it is not known for its luxury properties and real estate for sale and rent! Besides having first-class accommodation, Malta is home to numerous companies and industries ranging from banking and financing to construction, retail, and i-gaming. Working in Malta requires the proper permits, and those seeking employment are encouraged to find a suitable job before moving into their purchased or rented property.

A new residency scheme was launched in June 2013 which allows people to buy a high-value property and pay taxes in Malta to benefit from the residence permit. Under the new Global Residence Programme, the value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners has a minimum threshold of €275,000. However, when the property is in the South of Malta or on the sister island of Gozo, the minimum value is reduced to €220,000. This new scheme also allows persons eligible if they wished to rent a property and this has been lowered to €9,600 in Malta and €8750 in Gozo or the South of Malta. The minimum tax to be paid under this scheme is a minimum of €15,000 on income derived in Malta, further income arising in Malta shall be taxed at a flat rate of 35%.

Real estate and property for sale and rent in Malta

Malta has several Special Designated Areas that offer a wide variety of properties to buy or rent! Whether you are looking for a new luxury apartment with views of the Portomaso marina or an expansive villa situated in Santa Maria Estate, our team will help you find a property for rent or sale that suits your needs. From apartments with a view to villas with several, we have it all.

After you've purchased property

For such a small island, Malta is packed with amazing things to see and do. From visiting historic sites to relaxing on beautiful beaches. Visitors can take their pick of activities which will suit any mood or taste.

A selection below are the top destinations that any person should see when coming to Malta. These include Valletta; Mdina; Paceville; Blue Lagoon (Comino Island) and Gozo

Valletta recently voted the European Capital for Culture for 2018 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valletta is the hub of tourism in Malta and for good reason. It is full of historical significance, with the likes of St John’s Cathedral, forts, and museums and much more squeezed into a tiny area. As far as beautiful towns go with plenty to see, Valletta is up there with the best.

Mdina is known as the jewel in the crown of Malta and it is a fair assessment. The walled city is full of tiny alleys which you can wind your way through, stumbling across beautiful churches and museums along the way. Now effectively part of the town of Rabat, this definitely shouldn’t be left off your Maltese itinerary.

Malta has a reputation for being a destination for the older generation, but Paceville puts lie to that. This is where the youngsters come to drink and party and you can rely on having a good evening out here. It’s not just loud music for teenagers either; there are plenty of civilized bars and restaurants if you don’t want to rave into the early hours.

A beautiful area of clear blue water which is fantastic for swimming and is the perfect place for a day out at the beach. Arguably the best place for swimming in the whole Mediterranean, the Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino.

Just a 30-minute ferry trip away from Malta, Gozo is a beautiful, rural island which gives you a glimpse into what Malta looked like a few decades ago. Sleepy villages, rugged coastline, and beautiful countryside all make this a fantastic place to visit. But one of the main draws is the diving off the coast. Malta has been named as one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and Gozo is one of the best spots to do it.

No matter where your interests lie, Malta has you covered; with Engel & Völkers Sara Grech by your side, your home in this beautiful part of the world is also covered. Contact us today to find out more about our villas, apartments and other properties for sale and rent!

For more information on Malta and our Real Estate Services please click on the following: 

Malta the Perfect Location l Exclusive Properties l Buying a Property in Malta and Gozo l Expenses when Buying a Property l Energy Performance Certificate l First Time Buyers l The Malta Individual Investors Programme l Buy to Let l Special Designated Areas