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Meet Tiffany Gatto of Smart LA Realty in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Gatto.

Tiffany, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I left New York at age 18, I had no idea what the future held for me. I was newly engaged and my fiancé had a job offer in Los Angeles (via Las Vegas). My first job was as a cigar/cigarette girl at the Lady Luck Casino in Las Vegas. That said it did not have great future potential… However, I met a varied group of people and eventually met a woman who owned a travel company and worked with the Jacksons! She and I really hit it off and she sent me to learn the airline computers of the time and threw me into a new career. When I arrived in Los Angeles with no job prospects, no car and little experience, I simply picked up the phone and called every Travel Company in a 20 mile radius of my little apartment in Van Nuys. In pure luck, I was chosen to interview for a travel company that took people around the world playing GOLF! This little gal from Brooklyn was discussing golf travel with the most prominent country club members in L.A. and the world. Eventually the owner of the company passed on and I continued in his footsteps, by age 26 I was running one of the most successful golf companies in the country.

And then came September 11, 2001. I was scheduled to leave with a group of 75 persons to Spain, Portugal and France on a golf excursion and at the same time, my business partner was returning with 300 from a golf cruise. Needless to say, when President Bush declared no air travel over the USA and had every plane land at its closest airport, I had people stuck all over the world. From Germany to Iceland to Canada and the entire USA, 300 people were waiting for me to get them home. And scared for their country, their families and themselves. It was a day I will never forget (as many others of course). Not only was I afraid for my family, (my parents were in NYC and my father literally saw people jumping from the buildings from his office). I was afraid for my friends, the persons in the towers, the firefighters, police and other tactical teams…and finally, paying for everyone to stay put (hotels, car rentals, etc), I was bankrupted within a week. Life was upside down. There was no help for the travel agent or small company. The large airlines received bailouts, but we the “mom and pop” agencies were “too small to save”.

It was time to rethink careers. Living in Los Angeles and having recently moved to Downtown LA, I could see the magic happening. We were on a pinnacle of revitalization. The energy was changing, the buildings were being readapted and reused as loft properties and the vibe was super cool.

After a brief interlude in the entertainment industry (like most everyone else in LA!), I decided to get my real estate license and dive in head first to the Downtown L.A. market. While it was still not quite the right time to be in Downtown LA according to the major real estate companies, I knew it was my opening. I could start ahead of the crowd and make my mark in Downtown LA real estate… and then BOOOM! I cashed in everything I had and the grand opening of my corner street front real estate office was amazing… and quickly followed by the worst mortgage crisis in the history of the country….

Needless to say, struggles, trials and tribulations, nightmares, scary days, and money scarcity were part of my journey but here I am 10 years later and stronger and the broker of one of the most successful boutique real estate companies in DTLA, Smart LA Realty.

Smart LA Realty – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Smart LA Realty is a privately woman owned (me) full service real estate company in DTLA. We are all Downtown LA residents: living, working and playing in DTLA.

Our pride is being a part of this vibrant community. We are all heavily involved in the growth and expansion of our amazing city center, and we know that it starts with the people. We focus heavily on educating those about DTLA and also taking part in philanthropic activities to help the issues most city centers face.

We are well known and well liked in the community. I am most proud of the group of like-minded realtors I have been able to add to the Smart LA Realty company. These individuals are professional, caring residents who want any person moving downtown to feel the community vibe that we all enjoy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is a happy, healthy family who is able to experience inspire others and live their lives fully, enjoying experiences that they are comfortable with or are completely different than their own.

My family, my fiancé, our children, my friends and my colleague’s successes and happiness only grow my own.

A happy healthy world where everyone can live free of fear and in harmony would be the greatest success.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Smart LA Realty

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