Joie de Alison: the Standout Beach Cities Agent Discusses Her Empathetic Real Estate Touch and the Source of That Endless Exuberance
“When I put out the ad of me sitting on the surfboard, that was a defining moment.” It’s Alison Clay-Duboff of RE/MAX Estate Properties in Manhattan Beach, discussing some of her firsts in real estate.
“If I couldn’t get into this industry, shake it up a little bit and do something unique,” muses Alison Clay-Duboff, “then I didn’t want to be in the industry.”
Turns out, it wasn’t just clients who delighted in this fresh take on real estate branding. When the surfboard ad came out, the stylish Alison Clay-Duboff perched atop a board in the sand, flanked by two surfers and her fluffy Belgian herding dogs, she describes how one longtime local agent “came up and kissed me, and told me how great she thought it was.”
Alison Clay-DuboffClay-Duboff explains: “So the beach—and not corporate—it has to be.” Her keen understanding of what she’s selling, and what’s at stake, has been at the heart of her business since hanging out her South Bay real estate shingle roughly 15 years ago. Not long after starting her career, she ran headfirst into the economic downturn of 2009, and its serious constriction on the real estate market.
Clay-Duboff is part of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, and recipient of the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement award.
She is a motivational and keynote speaker who gives talks internationally, in both English and French.
Alison ranks among the Top 10 of all RE/MAX Estate Properties agents in LA.
For Alison Clay-Duboff however, a willingness to work beyond the Beach Cities and frankly anywhere clients needed her, resulted in a boost to her business and client list. “It wasn’t on purpose,” the agent recounts. “I was new and hungry and would work everywhere. Because of that, I was able to surge.”
As any agent will tell you, real estate goes beyond selling four walls and a roof. It’s an emotional proposition that involves huge sums of money, and this is where Alison Clay-Duboff shines.
“Real estate pulls on every single element of what it means to be human,” she points out. “The realtor that is successful is able to serve this stew with a tempered hand.”
Staying unruffled and upbeat during what is arguably a high-ruffle scenario—buying and selling one’s home, often in the midst of a drastic life change—is part of what keeps her clients coming back. For Alison Clay-Duboff, the higher the stakes, the more steadfast she stays.
“I connect with people who are going through difficult challenges,” she admits. “Perhaps it comes from the fact that I’ve had my share of loss.”
First widowed at age 36 with a young daughter, Alison Clay-Duboff (whose second husband Ken Duboff recently passed) makes it her business to work hand-in-glove with clients.
“I’m able to tap into the deeper emotional side and guide people through,” she reflects. “It’s not really the transaction—it’s the interaction. A lot of my clients have become part of my inner circle, and were with me and my husband at his very end.”
In addition to serving many first-time and out-of-town clients, she’s also known to work with the newly widowed, as well as different generations of the same family.
“It’s very gratifying,” she says of her work. More than that, it stokes the flames of her never-ending energy even higher.
“I’m just a go-getter, and really driven,” she says.
Husband Ken, in life and beyond, is a constant well of inspiration, as is her family. And her active global network has carved out another role, as a speaker with engagements in Italy, France, Japan, and elsewhere.
“The world is our oyster,” Alison Clay-Duboff says with a chuckle.
To that end, as high profile as she is, the agent consciously keeps her real estate sphere small and boutique. Listings are exclusive so clients get the benefit of working one on one with the agent herself, instead of a league of assistants.
“My new motto is ‘Lean on Me,'” Alison Clay-Duboff describes.
“That’s what I’m getting paid for: So my clients can stop and take a breath.”
Alison Clay-Duboff | 310.200.3037
Photographs Courtesy of Alison Clay-Duboff