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It is not easy to reach the very top and succeed in business today. There should be a good idea and a lot of hard work behind that to be able to see the results. However, if you believe in yourself and your team, the sky is the limit. That's precisely what Amir Benesh can say about himself, a real estate agent who has the most contacts among the jet set in the world of fame.
He is a founder of the LVH Global company from New York, which is the leader in the luxury home market. His clients are famous personalities who want a dream holiday in exotic destinations with naturally the best service. There are about 3,500 houses in 37 destinations around the world, at their disposal, and Amir and his team are working hard to give them a unique experience.
Many know Amir as a sincere and a good man. He is always in the center of social events, he enjoys his job and constantly strives to develop and improve his work. He is a partner and advisor in over 30 companies and projects around the world, from finances to natural resources, but he likes luxury travel most.
He spoke exclusively for Telegraf about his unique business, the success he has achieved, what makes his company special, and what kind of services he offers to his famous clients. He also spoke about our country, how he likes Belgrade, what Serbia needs to become the top tourist destination, and why it's good for us to travel more.
* How would you describe yourself privately and professionally?
I am very open and friendly. I always look at the positive side in my life and I want to always be surrounded by good energy and positive people. I am very precise in my work, I know what I want, I'm aggressive but very cautious. I am very direct, consistent and have a vision of what I want to achieve.
* How did you start your business? Where did you get the idea to do this?
Travel is my passion. I have been traveling all my life. I started to look at some real estates for vacations during one travel 15-16 years ago and then I saw what it means to have a luxurious vacation. And I started from that.
* How did you manage to climb to the top of the business and to have your own real estate company, whose services are sought by many famous people around the world?
In order to be able to run a business, you must have good people around you. People who care, who want to work, who have the same vision and philosophy as you do. Our work is very much connected with the development of society, with the development of social networks, because our goal is to entertain clients all over the world. You have to be ready to do your best and then everything seems to agree. When people see that you are making effort, they appreciate it, and that is incredible. That is good karma. Good comes back to you, if you do good.
* Where did you get the idea to work with famous people?
Famous people are where the money is, and where the famous places are, like Saint Tropez, Mykonos... When you organize a party or event, they will come. They like to be where other famous faces are and where the media are. That's why they like to come to our events and parties around the world.
* How did you find the first big client and who was he? Can you tell us which other famous people or politicians did you host?
We do not reveal the names of our famous clients for confidential reasons. We have to protect the identity of our clients. That is the policy of our clients. They all have their own private lives. At first, I was taking first class rides and I gave my cards to the passengers. I talked to them, explained what we do. Then they would call me and ask me if they could rent a house in a certain place.That'ss how we reached our first clients.
We are always trying to do something good for every community wherever we go, to help them and to donate. We want to create a better place for everybody and a better world.
* How does your business work? Are the famous people staying in the apartments incognito, do they register under a different name? What are the prices?
Privacy is very important to us. When a well-known person comes to one of our houses, then he signs up under a different name. We try to avoid telling anyone in the island or any other place that some famous person is coming. Even the staff doesn't know who is coming. Only when we organize some promo evening, then we use their real names.
Our prices fully correspond to the luxurious place where a person stays, but we also provide the best service that no one else can. This service includes everything from A to Z. The rider will come to pick you up, the butler will pack your bags, you'll get champagne ... We really care about every detail, so the guest does not have to worry about anything. He gets a full service with the company's guarantee that everything will go well. Every problem that arises is handled in a blink of an eye. The service we provide is what drives us and this is our passion.
* Is Belgrade a good destination for the job you are doing?
Not yet. We want to work here, but not yet. However, things are slowly improving but this is still not the place famous people want to stay.
* The situation will perhaps change in the near future.
I hope it will because I really like it here.
* What is your professional advice to local entrepreneurs in order to start a similar job?
People must have the inspiration to be better, they must constantly develop and strive to expand their business network. They have to be positive and honest and to think in the long run. If you look at the things in the long run, you will reach further. This place is ideal for hi tech development. There should be more startups here, more people should organize themselves to start something. You have good experts, developers, so I think that hi tech is the future of Belgrade.
* Are the clients looking for some houses by the river, or some luxurious apartments in the city, or perhaps some accommodation in the countryside?
We have houses all over the world, in the mountains, by the river, next to the ocean. Every house is good only if it is well maintained and high standards are preserved. All the luxury needs to be available to clients, such as a swimming pool, jacuzzi ... Everything has to be in order, and you have to have the Internet of course.
* What places do famous people like the most?
They want hidden places that no one else knows about. Sometimes they look at it from a nostalgic side, they want to connect with reality, to feel excitement... It does not have to be either Mykonos, Saint Tropez, or Ibiza. It can be any place in the world, the only condition is to have privacy and that they can rest.
* You have visited 133 countries. What inspired you to travel so much?
Travel is my passion. I've been traveling since I was young. I read a lot and I was interested in many different cultures, people... I love people all over the world, so my love for travels comes from reading a lot of books when I was younger.
* Tell us something about your two companies, YHI and LVH.
YHI was my previous company that was focused on serving everybody. However, three years ago we focused the business on the greatest luxury and the best service, so we moved from four stars to five stars.
* What can still impress you after visiting 133 countries?
I have to note that Djokovic came to visit me. He was on my birthday in Miami. One of his friends brought him to my birthday party. I met him there and took a photo with him. I was all over newspapers in Belgrade. I remember people sending me articles.
* Does that mean that Djokovic is your client?
No, Novak Djokovic is my friend.
* Were you impressed by Belgrade?
People are incredible, especially your younger generations. They have good energy, they want to enjoy life, so I can say that you have a lot of potential here. I plan to transfer part of my work here and to start working from Belgrade because you have high-quality people.
* It's a good thing for our young people in terms of work, and for you as an employer, because doing business here is cheaper.
It is good for us because it is Europe and it is European time, and in order to run our business well we need to be alert even when people in Europe are awake, so that will be a good opportunity.
* You said you offer good service and luxury, but what Serbia needs to come to that level?
You need to offer people a unique experience. The economic situation is still difficult here, and first, you need to create space for people to work. You have beautiful mountains and famous ski centers, but you have to create something that will give guests an unforgettable experience. That's the point because people want to experience something unique. If you do, they will come. I was on Exit and those things are bringing the tourists to you.
* You have to see the nature Serbia has to offer, everyone says it's very beautiful.
Then you need to focus and to develop that. Of course, advertising is very important, PR, marketing ... This will attract tourist agencies. Serbia is now on the right track because there are no more wars. You just have to develop and I hope you will enter the EU because it will help you.
* Serbia has beautiful villages. Do you think that this could be a good opportunity for our tourism?
Of course. I met a group of Israelis on a plane who are intended in exploring the nature of Serbia. A lot of tourists from Israel are coming to Serbia. So you have to work on tourism, to develop. Croatia has done this with its islands. Maybe you should organize the "Burning Man". It is the largest festival in the world that is organized in the desert in Nevada. The festival is oriented to art and lasts about a week. That's the right place for your spiritual side.
* Do you think that such a unique experience can change someone's personality?
Yes of course. People become better, have more energy ... Holiday is a necessity for a man. Every time you go on holiday, you start thinking about the next vacation. The goal should be to explore new places, culture and meet people. Life is short and you should enjoy every moment and take advantage of the best that it provides.
* You said that travel is your passion. Did it stop fulfilling you when it became your job?
It is still fulfilling me, the only difference is that I am constantly working now. So I can not enjoy it anymore as I did earlier. I can not turn off the phone and I have to be available at all times. Today, you can not go out without a phone and everything is much different than 20 years ago.
Earlier you could go to places that nobody visited and to be there alone. Everything is different today because a lot of information is available to us. Everything has its own good and bad sides. The only problem is that you can not escape anymore because everyone knows where you are at any time.
I always tell people to travel. To use every free moment for travel.
(Telegraf.co.uk / A.Taskovic - email@example.com)