By Lucy M. Pritchett

 Claire Alagia’s interest in pursuing a real estate career came from her father’s involvement in the business.
Photos by Patti Hartog

Claire Alagia spent 25 years with Bittner’s, an interior design firm helping people take their homes from fair to fabulous. She retired as CEO in 2011 and took five years off to care for her father during his illness. It is perhaps not so strange that she transitioned from the business of interiors to real estate and now is a realtor with Wakefield Reutlinger Realtors.

Although she wasn’t part of the design team at Bittner’s, she has seen the inside of many a Louisville home. Now she is seeing homes from a different vantage point.

“My father was an attorney and also had real estate holdings,” Claire says. “I learned from him about his real estate business, and after he passed away, I thought, ‘I should try my hand at this.’

“I got my real estate license in November 2015. Real estate is all about developing relationships with clients. I am really hitting on all cylinders with my skills now: relationship building, financial issues, problem-solving, contract work, and strategic planning. Plus, I am running my own business.”

While driving around between appointments, Claire most likely will be listening to the jazz of Tim Weisberg on the car radio. On pleasant days, you might find Claire and her husband, Creighton Mershon Sr., playing the back nine of a local golf course.

Claire, who is a golf enthusiast, shows her favorite ball marker which is shaped like a horseshoe. 

In the evenings, she prefers to wind down with a book on leading an intentional life and finding balance. Her favorite at the moment is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. She also enjoys reading biographies of such leaders as Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.

Claire takes every opportunity to expand her knowledge and live a balanced life. 

“I love to read,” she says. “I love to learn.”

What works for her includes her charm collection, a dab of perfume, and the helping hand of technology.

Charm bracelet
“My mother started me off with this charm bracelet when I was 10 years old. Each charm represents an interest in my life. The silver horse represents my love of horses and horseback riding. I played volleyball at Sacred Heart, I love to ice skate, and of course there is a little book because I love to read. I have at least 25 charms, all in silver. Some I bought for myself, but most have been given to me. I also started a charm bracelet for my daughter, Kathleen.

“There was one charm I didn’t put on my bracelet and instead wore on a chain around my neck. Unfortunately, I lost it traveling. It was a four-leaf clover that my parents had given me, and I liked wearing it as a necklace. If I had to grab something from my house in case of fire, I would grab my photos and my charm bracelet.”

Chanel No. 5
My children, Kathleen and Patrick, gave me a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. I love it. It is something I probably wouldn’t have bought for myself, and they were so excited to give it to me. The bottle sits on the vanity in my bedroom, and I dab a little of the scent on in the morning. That finishes off getting dressed, and I’m ready for the day. Here I come!

iPhone 6
We all love our phones. I got my iPhone 6 in November. I like that it has such a big screen. I can keep my photos on it, my music, my calendar. It has a pastel green case. I have a business card holder attached to the back of the case so I always have my business cards with me. I do research on it, and (laughs) Siri has become a really good friend of mine. In the morning, pretty much the first thing I do is go to FlexMLS, which gives the most current info on real estate listings in the area.

What are some of your favorite things? You might want to add this delicious coffee drink and snack to your list.