Creating one of the most sought after team in luxury real estate
Cindy Ambuehl is arguably LA’s most sought-after real estate professional, consistently ranking as a top producer in one of the world’s most competitive luxury markets while retaining the trust of the area’s savviest homebuyers, sellers, and fellow agents. A familiar face who spent twenty years in the entertainment industry as a prominent actress and model, Cindy now leverages her natural ability to connect with people—not to mention her impressive capacity for negotiation and executing mutually rewarding business deals—as a full-time agent, helping clients buy and sell the most luxurious properties the greater Los Angeles area has to offer. With a team that keeps on growing, she shows the example of a leader as well as an inspiration to what you can achieve in the luxury market of California.
Her story is one of ambition, resilience and hard work. She has established herself as a high profile business woman for she constantly surpasses expectations, and focuses on nurturing relationships. This mother of six truly does it all, and she looks so good doing it! Here is her success journey.
Tell us about your path that led to real estate.
I’m a real estate agent in California, focusing mainly on high end luxury properties in Westside LA from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica. I’ve been making peoples dreams come true for about 15 years, and I absolutely love it. I have a true passion for it.
I’m a wife and a mom of seven boys. My boys range from the oldest being 32 and the youngest twins being 18. They are real boys playing football and basketball. It’s funny because I have such wonderful relationships with woman in my life from my mom and sister who are my best friends to some of my female friends whom I’ve known for over 30 years. I always thought I would have girls but to my surprise it was all boys. Nevertheless, they are such a blessing and know I will have daughters in law.
How did you go about to build your career while being a mom of six and a wife all at the same time?
To be honest I don’t know how to take a step back in life. I’ve always been here and I was an actress for twenty two years prior to getting into real estate and I had a pretty successful run. I did more comedies and even won an award for my performance. I have worked really hard for my whole life and I was acting until my last series which was called Jag. I did step aside from that. When I had my twins, and due to the fact that filming takes a lot of your time, I decided to get out of my contract. I waited until they were about three and a half and went to preschool to start my real estate career.
There is no greater gift than the gift of being a mother. I always wanted to be the one raising my kids and not a nanny. I didn’t want to miss out on karate class, basketball practice or any other activities my kids were going to be doing. I thought of real estate because when I was working on the show, my schedule was dependent on that when we would wrap filming. Because of that, every time I would get my studio bonuses and pays, I would invest the money in real estate instead instead of spending it on material things. Even before I ever got my license, I was buying up properties in around Chapman University and Orange County. When my boys finally went to pre-school, and because I loved it so much, I decided to go full throttle and get my license.
Did you have any mentors going into real estate before or after you got your license?
I never really had a mentor properly speaking. I always had my mom, and she instilled that women can literally do anything. She taught me that, as a woman, you can do anything, and that you are entitled to nothing. But you can earn anything, and you can do anything. It’s the same message I send to my boys as well. She came from very humble beginnings. My father was a police officer for thirty years, my mom stayed home with us most of our lives until she ended up getting a job and rising to the top. My parents where very good with their money. They met when my mom was sixteen, and were madly in love and dating each other for fifty seven years through their marriage and that until they both passed. A true love story. My mother took care of all the bills in the house, and she managed all the money in the house. And she did such a great job with it with very little and she really taught us the value of the dollar and the beauty as a woman to be independent. I just took those lessons from her when I started real estate and it all paid off.
To you instil the same values into the agents under your team?
Absolutely! I have encouraged them to invest in themselves and real estate. When we came to Compass, I was given stock options. I shared them with my team, so they’d have a leg up on this as well. I have amazing women on my team. They really listen to all the advice I give them and always go through with it.
With all the experience under your belt, where and what type of property would you advise our readers to invest in?
Location, Location, Location!
Whether it be for a long term investment that you plan on maybe buying a piece of land and building and staying there for goodwill in the next 20 years, or you buy a new construction, and something that’s turnkey, and you move in. Everyone’s looking for a different reason and have their own motives for buying and selling. Some people are looking for the worst home on the street, so that they can fix it up as an investment and flip it. So if you’re looking for a short term investment for a flip, then you definitely want to be looking for great location. That’s what’s happening now all over Los Angeles, people are flipping homes all over the place and making amazing profit. This year had been unbelievable. The market is literally booming. A lot of agents have had their best year since their careers.
What has been one of the biggest challenges you had to face in your career and how do you find balance with work/family?
The first one is obviously the pandemic. I think the difficulty was in understanding how to navigate my business, through the pandemic, knowing how to keep my team members safe and of course how to best advise my clients. We are dealing with their biggest assets, right? Their homes are usually their biggest assets unless they have a big huge yacht, it’s usually a private place. There’s a lot of fear that comes with transacting at this level and now you have to account for the pandemic and what it will do. I’ve been advising my clients, especially this last year and a half now to never make a decision based on fear. Instead, take a step back and ask to ask themselves questions like: what do you want out of your life? What do you want out of your lifestyle?. I try and make them think and make decisions from a place of visioning as opposed to fear.
Another thing I that has been hard is finding the right kind of balance in my personal and professional life. I could give my attention to my kids every second of the day, and I’ll still go to bed wondering if it was enough. Because that’s what we do as moms. I found that it’s really about surrounding yourself with people who support that your family comes first. If I put something in my calendar, that’s personal with my kids or my husband, my office knows, to not book me but instead to book around it. So as long as that’s intact, I’m good with anything else, and the rest of it falls into place.
Is there any time of the day or periods where you put your work life on the side?
I don’t ever say to clients don’t call me before or after these hours. I never say that. I also deal with a clientele that is used to people answering the phone when they call, and I also respect that. They’re busy as well and some are running big businesses and that are very demanding. With great money comes great responsibility. On that note, we do have a family rule that there are no phones at the dinner table or whenever we eat, so if someone calls, I will always call them back.
Where do you see your brand in the next 5 to 10 years?
I see us staying on course because what we are doing is working perfectly. I don’t want to change my formula, on the contrary, I want to embrace more people on my team to come and include them in what we have going on. As of now I am the only agent on my team, I think down the line I want to grow the team organically and keep selling real estate. My team is what makes me! I’m really blessed. I trust them 100% and that’s super important. They’re honest, smart, loyal, funny and presentable. I can’t teach people selflessness and accountability, so I really look for that in my team members. It’s like a sisterhood where we all take care of each other.
What is your biggest motivation in life?
The truth is I am super competitive with myself. I am never like that with other people even as an actress for 22 years and I’m the biggest fan of everyone success. That being said, my biggest motivator is that I’m extremely competitive with myself, and I am extremely self-motivated. I think those two qualities, have given me the longevity in both careers that I’ve had.
The other thing I will say, and I think it’s important for men and women, but especially women who are trying to juggle it all. It’s hard to be a woman in a man’s world trying to juggle it all and be successful and to have significance. Success changes at every step of your life. I’m in my 50s, So for me you go through different phases of your life. My kids are out of the house, now they’re older. You really have to look at the next part of your life like that halftime.
I focus on a lot on my life in general, and I always have. I have been offered so many opportunities, where I would have made a lot of money. And I thought I don’t want to do it because it didn’t feel right. It’s not significant to me. I can’t have success without significance. If I’m going to be a mom, it’s going to be significant to me, and then I’m going to be successful at it.
That’s how I see success as a part of a greater whole.
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