Salty Water Properties | RE/MAX Estate Properties
Alison Clay-Duboff has worked in real estate for 18 years. She owns and operates Salty Water Properties and hangs her license at RE/MAX Estate Properties in Manhattan Beach. In addition to living in the South Bay for the past 21 years, she has lived in France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and St. Barts.
Why are you passionate about real estate?
I maintain that real estate is and will always be a contact sport requiring hands-on, interpersonal engagement to be able to cross the finish line of my clients’ goals—be it the sale of their home (including all of the emotions that accompany such a transaction), the purchase of a principal residence (equally emotion-filled) or investment property acquisitions. Twenty-one years in the South Bay have passed in a flash; I am beyond humbled by the impact I’ve made on these communities I’ve served.
What is the key to building and growing client relationships?
The words are diminished by overuse, but communication, honesty and transparency are the building blocks to deep, effective, lasting business relationships.
In this digital world, what’s your most effective communication technique with clients?
Communication methods are varied. I discover and respect my clients’ preferred mode.
What’s the #1 way you earn the trust and confidence of clients?
Trust is indeed earned—created by a solid reputation. Offering a tableau of repeated transactional business and referrals garners attention.
Tell us about your educational background.
Life with all its wondrous experiences is the most crucial education, but I’ve rounded it out by achieving a degree in radio/TV broadcasting from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a minor in language from the American College in Paris.
Why do clients choose to work with you?
Curating a pleasurable, immersive real estate experience makes me a popular choice as a real estate agent!
Tell us about your most trusted advisor.
My most trusted advisor is learning. Growing through loss. I was widowed at 36 (the first time) and left in dire financial ruin. Perseverance, grit and determination gave me the tools to create the successful real estate career I so cherish.
Describe your ideal client.
My ideal client is one who requires my brand of professionalism, understands my experience and knowledge, and allows me to be the shoulder they may not be aware they need. Lean in, lean on—that’s my DNA.
Tell us something unique about yourself that others may not know.
Prior to the one-year anniversary of my second husband’s passing on August 3, 2021, I published a book about his journey from life as we knew it to hospice and legally ending his own life by the use of medical aid in dying. On a lighter note, I was invited to Paris this year to present my unique branding/marketing and real estate practices to 500 people at Disneyland Paris as a keynote speaker.
In what ways do you make our community and OUR world a better place?
Betterment of my community and larger global concerns are woven into my work—not simply by financial donations to various charities but by hands-on volunteering. Being a deeply caring individual and neighbor proffers boundless rewards.
What personality traits are most important for real estate agents?
The ability to listen, integrity, empathy and generosity of spirit. Also ethics, compassion and education are important for success in any field.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made professionally?
Not getting into the real estate business sooner. I have value that can be shared to better others’ lives.
How do you combat the fear of making wrong decisions from day to day?
I don’t allow fear to impact my decision-making. I’m guided by information and by asking for help from other professionals.
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.
Is risk-taking worth the reward?
It’s all about balance. Life is about weighing what is actually being risked.
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.”