We had the good fortune of connecting with Marine Guadalpi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marine, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Hello Voyage Mia! It is a true pleasure to be sharing my story with you. What an adventure the last few months have been! My name is Marine Guadalpi and I have been living in Miami for the past 20 years. I love my city and I am very blessed to live in such a beautiful place. I would like to start with mentioning this quarantine that we have all gone through in the past couple of months. WOW! In 10-20 years we can look at our future generations and say that we lived through this very unusual period of time! America shutting down? Who in a million years would ever guess that this was going to happen?! I have to say though, even though my business as a realtor nearly stopped for 2-3 months, this was an incredible break. Talk about life/work balance! I am busier than ever now! To go back in time a little, my background before luxury real estate, was in the luxury 5 star hospitality business. I graduated college with a hospitality management degree and starting working for the St. Regis Bal Harbour. I went from being a Butler to Head Butler to Guest Recognition Manager all within 5 years of working in the industry. I really loved my job and guest services was (and still is) my passion! After so many years of working in the hotel industry, anyone who works in hospitality will tell you, the hours are very rigorous, and the job is very demanding. When I became Guest Recognition Manager at the St. Regis Bal Harbour (this was more than 5 years ago), I was working many hours and did not have much of a work/life balance. My life became the hotel. I would wakeup, eat breakfast, go to work, come home late, sleep, and do it all over again everyday. As much as I loved being around the amazing clientele that I have gotten to know over the years and made fantastic relationships, (also managed a team of about 30 employees!) I felt that after 6 years of working in the hospitality industry, it was time that I thought about making a career change. I really do love the hotel industry and was happy in my career, but my personal life was taking a beating for sure. In 2016, I decided to take a risk and change my career completely, in August I passed my Florida real estate license. I was definitely nervous to take such a risk. My career was growing within the luxury hotel business and I was one of the youngest if not the youngest manager in the hotel. (Mind you I started working in the business at 18 years old while I was still putting myself through college.) I had goals in this industry, I wanted to be a General Manager. Getting my real estate license WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE! My life changed. Now, my first year in real estate was very tough as it is for many agents, as I had to build my foundation, really learn the business, and understand how to deal make and work with clients. (I never had a job in sales previously.) I pushed through my first year, I did as many rentals as I could, because as you know, clients need to be able to trust that you know what you are doing, they are spending a large chuck of their money with you and need to know they are working with a professional! In my first year, I made so little money that I almost cracked many times and thought about going back into the hospitality industry because this is what I knew best. But I kept thinking to myself… if I was able to climb up the ladder so quickly in the hotel industry, with my hardcore work ethics, how can I NOT make it in real estate??? I didn’t give up. My second year, things started to change drastically. The foundation that I created in my first year was starting to pay off. I made my first big sale at the St. Regis Bal Harbour in the private residences. Wow I was so happy. Now I was on a roll. Last year I sold 5 residences at the St. Regis Bal Harbour. My hard work had paid off. Getting back to a work/life balance… Since I went into real estate, everything changed for me. I am able to go to lunch with my girlfriends on any day. I am able to get a workout in anytime I want. I can travel freely and work from anywhere. Actually, I am writing you this article on a Monday morning from bed drinking my coffee. I have to say, MY LIFE REALLY CHANGED! Not only am I making so much more money than I could have ever imagined, (I drive a Tesla Model S now!), but my quality of life has drastically changed. I feel healthier. I am obsessed with the Peleton bike and I have it in my home. I can hop on it whenever I want. In this quarantine I have also taken up paddle boarding, what an incredible workout! I paddle all over Miami Beach and check-out homes on the waterfront side. This is amazing! Last week I paddled 5 miles! Never in my life I would have thought I would be able to do this… lol When I used to work in the hotel industry, I barely had time to work out, and when I did, I was usually exhausted. I have a much healthier diet now, I can do any activity that I wish to do, and I am happier overall! I love my job! I wouldn’t even call it a job, because I wakeup every morning thinking, what’s new on the agenda today? Everyday I am excited to conquer deals, make things happen for my clients, and even though I am in real estate now, it is a hospitality position but WAY BETTER! I treat my clients exactly as I used to, I go above and beyond for them. I ensure that their needs and met and exceeded. I love that I can give them an experience that other’s might not know how to give because of my work history. So yes… my work/life balance has definitely changed drastically when I decided to make the leap from the hospitality business to the real estate business. 🙂 Life is so much better now! Thank you for reading about my story! Marine Guadalpi Luxury Real Estate Agent BRG International Realty IG: @marine.luxury.waterfront
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I covered a lot of my business in the previous question, however I can add a few things. I got to where I am today with a lot of perseverance and patience. With everything, you have to be patient and keep putting in the work to get anywhere. If you hit road blocks, find a way to get past them, or perhaps change your strategy. As I always say, “There is a solution to every problem. If there is no solution, there is no problem.” Think of it as challenges and conquer them! Be a boss! It is such a pleasure to share my story with you, I have had many people reach out to me on instagram about how I got into my real estate career and how I made it. Also, they want to work for me! It is so inspiring to read these messages and I want to tell all of you, that YOU CAN DO IT. If you start your own business whether it is in real estate or anything else, build your client database. Check in on them, see how they are doing. I genuinely care about my clients and their well being, more than just the business. Build relationships. This goes a long way in any business that you are in! It definitely was not easy to get to where I am today, then again, what great accomplishments come easily? Only a very microscopic percentage of the population win the Lotto, and even then, was it really earned? I would rather build my name, build my career, earn my accomplishments, build a legacy. The feeling of succeeding at anything you put your mind to is way more satisfying than anything that comes easy!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Of course my city Miami! But even more than that, if you have the chance to check out the Bahamas, you MUST! The first island Bimini is only 2 hours away by boat, or half an hour plane ride. My favorite island in the Bahamas is Eleuthera, the pink sand beaches are truly breathtaking. There are so many things to do in the Bahamas, but most of all to relax! You must try their famous conch salads! They are freshly made by the Bahamians a la minute. This is something worth trying for sure!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes, definitely. Firstly, I must give a shoutout to my mom, Valerie, who has supported me through my entire real estate journey (and my life in general of course.) She is a broker herself and has been in the real estate industry for the past 15 years. She always has my back! Secondly, I would like to give a shoutout to my brokers Sergio Balinotti and Matias Alem with BRG International LLC! They gave me the opportunity I needed to succeed. Within my first year of real estate, they added me as a co-listing agent on their rental listings at the St. Regis, and I will never forget what this did for my career. It really gave me the boost I needed to understand the luxury real estate business and start traction. Without their help and support, it would have been a lot harder to get started. And I can’t thank them both enough for all their help! They invested in me from the beginning, and I am now the brokerage’s top producer. Thank you!