Top Female Entrepreneur Alison Clay-Duboff Shares Secrets of Success

female entrepreneur alison clay-duboff and husband

Alison Clay-Duboff has worked in real estate for over 13 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. 

They give back to the community by supporting the Hermosa Beach Summer Concert Series, Rotary, the Children’s Miracle Network, Carson Animal Shelter, Goodwill and various other organizations.

Who are some Women in Business that 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?

“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, their worth firstly 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.”

Which personality traits are most important to be successful 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.”

When did you first consider working in your industry?

“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.”

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made professionally?

“Not getting into the 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 asking for help from other professionals.”

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.”

What is your favorite networking tool or activity?

“The W Source chapter that I started in the South Bay has been a wonderful addition to my other groups of professionals. The W Source is a network of local professional women and service providers from a variety of industries.”

Has motherhood made you a better entrepreneur?

“Motherhood hones negotiating skills. Also parenthood provides so many lessons to be learned, like ‘detach with love.’”

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.”

Is risk-taking usually worth the reward?

“It’s all about balance. Life is about weighing what is actually being risked.”

What is the #1 way you support your clients?


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.”

Tell us about your ideal day off.

“I can’t really take a full day off. I take moments: moments to myself, moments with my loves. Even when we travel, I’m working. I adore my job, I really do.”

How would you 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.’”

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