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Tiffany Charbonneau loved being an esthetician and she loves being a real estate agent. Her favorite job of all, though, is being a mom.
Tiffany Charbonneau works as a professional real estate agent in California. She specializes in the sale and rental of both commercial real estate and residential real estate. The bottom fell out of the California real estate market in 2008, as it did throughout much of the rest of the country. For several years after property values stopped plummeting, the market remained stagnant. In 2012, however, California's commercial real estate market finally began to show some traction again.
Tiffany Charbonneau chose her line of work for several reasons. She's a person who enjoys working closely with other people, which means she has the perfect personality for real estate. In real estate, professionals frequently develop close, intimate relationships with their clients. Often, after a transaction is concluded, a real estate agent and a client become friends.
Additionally, Tiffany was looking for a profession that gave her control over the hours she worked. Real estate can be a truly demanding profession. You do get to pick and choose your own workload, however. As a mother, Tiffany's number one priority is her children, and she always wants to spend as much time with them as she can.
As a real estate agent, Tiffany Charbonneau can arrange her schedule around her children's schedule. She's free to volunteer in their schools during the day. She's free to take them to their various after-school activities. She's also free to share their favorite activities with them, such as surfing and biking. She believes shared activities like these bring a family so much closer together.
Growing Up in Hawaii
Tiffany Charbonneau was born in San Diego, but moved to Hawaii when she was two months old. Hawaii is an extremely beautiful place, and it was there that she first learned to surf.
Surfing is the quintessentially Hawaiian sport. As Tiffany Charbonneau learned to balance on a surfboard, she also learned about the ancient Hawaiians who originated the art. The ancient Hawaiians called the sport "wave sliding" in their own language and practiced it as almost a religious observance. They prayed to their gods as they slid into the ocean. They even consulted their priests about the right way of making a surfboard.
Kahaluʻu Bay on the Kona Coast of the Big Island was an important place to the ancient Hawaiians. It was the seat of their royal family. The ancient Hawaiians constructed a breakwater across Kahaluʻu Bay to ensure the waves would never be too rough to surf.
Another favorite spot was Hōlualoa Bay, also in the Big Island's Kona district. In the seventeenth century, Queen Keakealaniwahine built a royal compound here. The remains of that compound are now a U.S. Historic District.
Coming to Mainland California
At the age of 17, Tiffany Charbonneau left Hawaii to come to California and attend the College of the Redwoods. The College of the Redwoods is in Humboldt County, one of the most beautiful parts of the state. The college is nestled into a majestic coastal forest that includes some of the planet's tallest and oldest trees. This allowed Tiffany to experience a very different type of beauty than she was used to in Hawaii.
College of the Redwoods is a two-year college, established in the 1960s to serve the needs of rural Humboldt County. In the 1970s, coastal Mendocino and Del Norte counties voted to affiliate with the college.
College of the Redlands is part of California's extensive community college system. The community college system offers experiential learning through a variety of vocational and community-based classes. Tiffany Charbonneau graduated from College of the Redwoods after earning certification as a real estate professional.
The Beauty Game
Real estate wasn't Tiffany Charbonneau's first professional career, however. When she first started working, she worked as an esthetician.
Estheticians are skincare professionals who are experts at giving facials and providing other skin treatments like body wraps and chemical peels. They are licensed by the state they work in after training anywhere between 300 and 1,000 hours in most states. Many estheticians go on to get CIDESCO certification. CIDESCO (which stands for Comité International d'Esthétique et de Cosmétologie) provides the high quality training that is recognized throughout the international beauty professional community.
Some estheticians also go on to work in the health care industry as assistants to physicians who specialize in cosmetic treatments. These estheticians get extensive training in treatments like the Jessner peel, microdermabrasion and cosmetic laser procedures.
Tiffany loved being an esthetician and was highly in demand among her clients. In time, she opened her own day spa, which was both challenging and rewarding. Tiffany loved running her own business. It was very demanding, but she learned many skills that have served her well in other areas of her life. Most of all, though, she loved being attuned to her clients' needs. Tiffany was able to give her clients what they wanted and that made her feel very gratified.
Tiffany Charbonneau: Commercial Real Estate Agent Par Excellence
After spending some time as an esthetician, Tiffany Charbonneau felt a need to expand professionally in new directions. She became a real estate agent, specializing in commercial real estate transactions.
Commercial real estate transactions require a very specific skill set. That's why new real estate brokers must work under the guidance of more experienced brokers for a set period of time. In most states, that interval is two years. If you want to specialize in commercial real estate, you need to work with a broker who handles business-related transactions. Commercial brokers must then pass a test to prove their familiarity with both state and federal laws.
You may not be able to qualify to hold a real estate license if you've ever filed for bankruptcy. Felony conviction will also disqualify you from becoming a real estate agent.
It's an excellent idea to join every professional organization that you can. Networking is a huge part of success in the commercial real estate field. Some professional organizations will be local, such as your regional Chamber of Commerce. Others will be national, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR.) As an NAR member, you can qualify for Certified Commercial Investment Membership.
In commercial real estate, there is always something new to learn. Fortunately, there are many educational opportunities available through which you can expand your skills. Some states also require real estate professionals to take a certain number of continuing education credits before their license renewal.
Five Tips For Becoming a Successful Commercial Real Estate Agent
It takes a lot of work to rise to the top of the commercial real estate profession. Tiffany Charbonneau has five pieces of advice:
1. Always be honest with your clients. Strive to be completely transparent in your dealings with clients, no matter the consequences. Sometimes you will have to tell them things they don't want to hear. It's important, however, to give them the unvarnished truth.
2. Show your excitement. You have chosen an exciting career path. Let your clients know how enthusiastic you are to have the opportunity of working with them.
3. Take some risks. Commercial real estate is not a profession for the risk-adverse. In order to succeed, there are times when you will have to take risks. There is no guarantee that every risk you take will succeed. Make sure you do your due diligence and understand the costs and benefits of each transaction you're confronted with.
4. Be persistent. Commercial real estate is not a good career choice for anyone who is intimidated by hearing the word no. You have to persevere in the face of rejection. It doesn't matter how many wrong people say, "No," so long as the right person says, "Yes."
5. Be empathetic. All real estate agents need to have excellent people skills. You are dealing with clients who are usually at important junctures in their lives. That often makes your clients more demanding than the clients of other types of professionals. Your clients want to know that you are fully attuned to their needs.
When Your Kids Go Off to College
Although Tiffany Charbonneau's kids are school-aged now, in a few short years they will be going off to college. She spends a lot of time thinking about how to forge a healthy adult relationship with her offspring. Tiffany will always be her kids' mom, but at some point she will cease being their guardian.
She knows that it will be a huge adjustment for her when her kids leave for college, and plans to enjoy every minute with them before the time comes.
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