Alison Clay-Duboff has worked in real estate for more than 14 years. She studied at George Washington University and the American University in Paris and has lived in the U.K., St. Barts, France, Sweden and Saudi Arabia. Alison and her husband, Ken Duboff, operate Salty Water Properties, Inc. as part of RE/MAX Estate Properties in Manhattan Beach. As concierge of client services, Ken interfaces with clients. Alison and Ken give back to the community by supporting the Beach Life Festival, the Children’s Miracle Network, Carson Animal Shelter, the elderly and various other organizations.
Who are some women you admire?
“A name or a recognizable face doesn’t matter. It’s the everyday female hero who works hard to support her dreams, her goals, her family and other women.”
What challenges are specific to your industry?
“Even during the time of COVID-19, consumers can be easily led astray by technology and automation, but nothing can take the place of a dedicated Realtor. The humanity, negotiation skills, navigation through disclosures and knowledge of the local area—there is no shortcut.”
What should women be doing to better advance their careers?
“Acknowledging their power and their worth—first to themselves and then to others. We are all CEOs of our own lives, bodies and businesses. Women have to recognize and value the role they play, especially in supporting other women to achieve their goals.”
When did you first consider working in real estate?
“When I lived in Paris after I attended university, I assisted expats in finding housing. That was the moment of germination for me. I matched professionals who were relocating to Paris with an apartment that mirrored their personalities, locational requirements and budget. Paris is my second home, and for the expats it often was an unknown city. My role was to navigate through to achieve a perfect lifestyle fit for them.”
How do you combat the fear of making wrong decisions day to day?
“I don’t allow fear to impact my decision-making. I’m guided by information and asking for help from other professionals.”
Is risk-taking worth the reward?
“It’s all about balance. Life is about weighing what is actually being risked.”
Which personality traits are most important for success in your field?
“The ability to listen, integrity, empathy and generosity of spirit. Also ethics, compassion and education are important for success in any field.”
How do you ensure that your team performs at the top of their game?
“I hold my extended team to the same standards I set for myself.”
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made professionally?
“Not getting into the business sooner. I have value that can be shared to better other people’s lives.”
How has having a mentor influenced your professional success?
“Life and business are about growth. I seek to improve, to broaden my reach and to acquire skills that are yet to be discovered from many different avenues.”
Describe your profession.
“I have to quote Marc Davison of 1000watt, who describes my profession perfectly: ‘Buying and selling a home is not just complex. It consumes the totality of what it is to be a human being: rationality and emotion, intuition and logic, joy and loss. The Crock-Pot of psychic stew that simmers during a transaction requires a skilled hand throttling the heat.’”
How have you helped clients during the COVID-19 crisis?
“A Redondo Beach client recently said, ‘Some thought we were crazy. Some thought we were brilliant. But we decided to sell and buy a home right as COVID-19 was taking off. Going with Alison as our Realtor was the best decision we made. She navigated the constantly changing rules of COVID-19 like a champ. I cannot recommend Alison enough after all she did for us during these unprecedented times.’
A Manhattan Beach client recently shared, ‘Alison Clay-Duboff … or ACD … or more appropriately, the Attention Clients Deserve! Alison is an exceptional real estate advisor with a combination of responsiveness, attention to detail, empathy and business smarts that make her stand out in her industry. Alison had our home under contract on the day of the brokers open and at our price. But more impressive was how she held the transaction together in March/April 2020, with a unique knack for defusing seller and buyer emotions and structuring (or adjusting as needed) a deal to satisfy all parties— keeping everyone at the table. Alison is best in class, and I recommend her without hesitation or reservation.”
What is the best part of your day?
“Journaling about my gratitude illuminates my day with huge smiles.”
Why did you move to this area?
“Love. Isn’t it often about love? Love at first sight does happen. Cupid’s arrow pierced my heart when I was living on the Westside with my daughter. Almost 20 years ago, Ken brought me to South Redondo. It was magical, and I fell in love with the South Bay.”