Claudienne Hibbert Smith came from a background of trouble in school, teen pregnancy, and hanging around with the wrong crowd. To many people, she seemed like she did not have a bright future ahead of her. However, Claudienne was determined to prove people wrong. She made major changes in her life and completely turned it around.
“High school arrives and once again, I excelled in my academics, but was having a difficult time finding my place. During my 9th grade year, I got pregnant and gave birth to Amari Bryant, at the tender age of 14. Unlike many who saw doom in my future as a result of my pregnancy, failure was not an option for me. I knew I needed to make a drastic decision and I did! I began to get involved in school activities and changed the friends I hung around. I was among the top academic performers and Vice President of my high school graduating class.
I went on to obtain my bachelor’s degree in 2001 from The University of Florida (UF), a premiere university ranked 14th overall among all U.S. public universities according to the US News & World Report,” Claudienne explains.
To ensure a better life for her son and make sure she was not just another statistic, Claudiene dedicated herself to the world of business. She quickly found her stride in the real estate world and has quickly climbed the social ladder to become one of the most successful real estate entrepreneurs in the Florida area even becoming a Vice President and President of an organization promoting housing for African Americans. Watching her son grow up with her, she knew that she had to make a positive impact on his life by changing her life for the better.
“I joined the National Association of Real Estate Brokers-South Florida Board of Realtist (SFBOR) as the secretary in 2001 as a part of an organization created to provide Democracy in Housing for African Americans. With great leadership preceding me, I became the Vice President and shortly thereafter, became the President and led the way for two terms totaling four years. I have forged new business relationships, which has afforded the South Florida Board the opportunity to service hundreds of real estate professionals and consumers through educational programs, hence creating homeownership. With the strong support and assistance of my board, the membership increased and they have created an environment that encourages growth for the members, partners and homeownership. In 2019, I received the Emerging Leadership Award at the National Conference,” Claudienne remarks.
This is only scratching the surface of what Claudienne does. Not only does she have 20 years of real estate experience under her belt, but she is also a lobbyist, sits on several boards, and much more. To say that Claudienne defied the odds would be an understatement. She has done more in just a few years than many of us do in a lifetime. So many people in her life thought that her attitude and young pregnancy would be the end of an era for her, yet she blossomed into a leader, role model for others to both men and women entrepreneurs, and a role model for her son.
“As an influential person in the political sphere, I continue to lobby for homeownership and real estate investment opportunities in the black community. I sit on the City of Opa Locka Planning and Zoning Board. I created a real estate group-Hibbert Group about 7 years ago and we have maintained number 1 in sales in the company’s immediate office of over 130 agents and top 5 in the entire company of over 4,000 agents. I buy and rent property under my company – CH Enterprises, LLC. I purchased my first duplex at the age of 21. I then set a goal to purchase 1 property per year. There were years I was able to purchase multiple properties-creating true passive income.
In just the last two weeks, although it was not easy, I transitioned to EXP Realty after a long 20 year run with my previous company. Many people are shocked, but it was time to expand on a national level and create more opportunity for realtors and our clients. I understand the idea of taking risks! The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
I also run a health and wealth business. Simply put, I literally changed my lifestyle and took control of my health and it has allowed me to feel good inside and out – I am now a National Director in Total Life Changes where I am helping people to get their health on the right track and create revenue or another stream of income. I sold the number 1 earner in TLC her home at nearly a million dollars, by simply taking care of her health. This company also allows for everyday people to create revenue by simply taking care of themselves.” Claudienne states.
For her, the difference in her life has been that she has had to make difficult decisions from a very early age and that prepared her for the rigor of business. Her piece of advice for those who wish to follow in her footsteps is to have a good mindset above all else. Had it not been for Claudienne’s mindset of steel and determination, life would have turned out very differently for her and her son. Graduating college, growing her businesses, and becoming a mother all came out of her grit and excellent mentality.
“On a scale from 1-10 on how important mindset is, I would say 10! Mindset is important for yourself. You manifest what you think, so I always try to think good things, in addition I always try to understand the good in difficult situations to learn from it.” Claudienne says.