Cynthia Leal Chiang

REALTOR®, Associate

Hello! My name is Cynthia and though Edmonton is my current home, and has been since 2006, I originally come from a place that is the polar opposite of everything this fine City is known for.

My upbringing in balmy, sun-drenched Ecuador, where snow was not a word in my vocabulary, was filled with every sport imaginable.  Growing up, my specialty was track and field and I was particularly good at long jump; our enviable climate made it possible for me to participate in these sports year-round.  I am extremely close with my family, and thanks to modern technology (Skype) I’m still able to touch base with them even now, every day and see how they’re fairing, thousands of miles away.

How I Liv:

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would go eat the typical/traditional food of each country in the world. Also, I would buy an island.

What did you get into trouble for the most as a child?
I never got into trouble. I was a good kid. Seriously.

What’s your favourite restaurant in Edmonton?

What’s your dream vacation? OR What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
I’d like to ski the alps – once I get good enough 🙂 Or go to one of those secluded islands where nobody lives.

What’s your favourite quote?
Adapt or die.

If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do?
I would go to Ecuador and eat Ecuadorian crabs until I died.

If you had a 25 hour day, while everyone else only had 24, what would you do with the extra time?
Sell more houses.. or read more books 😛

Before Liv Real Estate

I attended an American High School in Ecuador, which really opened my eyes to the world outside the tropical paradise I’d grown up in.  About 80% of the teachers at my school were American; in listening to their stories, I began to realize how different life was there and in other places in the world.  In University I really loved and excelled at Economics and given that this is a Global subject, my mind would wander and I’d constantly think about the big differences between poor and rich nations.  After a few years, my curiosity became more than just theoretical and I was interested in seeing and learning about these differences first-hand.

The school I was attending in Ecuador had different exchange programs with schools all over the world.  Not knowing where to go, I turned to the Dean of the School of Economics for advice; after all, he’d gotten his MBA from a school in Spain and had also been to the United States for school, so I trusted his worldly Academic perspective. We sat down to discuss my options and his advice was very practical,  he told me “Cynthia, you are a very smart person, you know that if you move to school in a party city like Miami or New Orleans all you are going to do is party and you are not going to take your education seriously.  If I were you, I would seriously consider going to a good school in a calm and quiet city where you are going to focus on your education and have a good life. Take a look at the University of Alberta, it a really good school, Canada is a beautiful Country and you’ve always been curious about developed nations anyways, so consider it.” It’s not like partying 24/7 and having all the time didn’t sound very appealing at the time, I just took myself way more seriously back  then than I do now…  talk about growing up lol.

Since you know the outcome of this story already, I obviously didn’t just consider his advice, but I acted upon it shortly thereafter.  I arrived in Canada in late August of 2006.  I transferred to the U of A to complete my Bachelors Degree of Commerce in Finance and  to my surprise; it was a very warm September. I hadn’t accounted for this and had only packed sweaters, gloves, scarves. Even when October rolled around, everyone thought it was hilarious that I dressed for warm fall weather with layers of gloves, scarves, multiple sweaters and a thick winter jacket.  Growing up, a “cold” day in the city of Guayaquil was plus 22 degrees.  When winter was really upon us in mid-February and the temperatures eventually fell to a ghastly -50 outside, I curled-up in my University dorm-room, wearing every single piece of clothing that I owned, all at once, and questioned my sanity for choosing to move to such a cold place.

When the cold snap was over and feeling returned to my fingers, toes and face, I realized that there were actually a lot of benefits to living here…even in the Winter.  I love Skiing and Banff was just a few hours away by car; having world-class skiing conditions that close was definitely something I took advantage of as often as possible. Summers are gorgeous and allow for plenty of time in the golf course.  Also, given my love and knowledge of good food – Edmonton and Calgary offer an endless array of good restaurants to explore.  The quality and variety of Shopping is also a huge bonus.

Shortly after Graduating University, I debated between returning home to Ecuador and putting down roots in Edmonton.  I ended up getting a very promising job at a Bank here, where I was a ‘High Value Client Senior Investment Representative’, which in some ways was a natural step for me to take, given my strength for ‘numbers’.  I realized after about 2 years, however, that despite the fact that I was good at my job, I was not happy.  Working in this very structured, rigid environment, didn’t leave much flexibility – in any regards.  I started to take notice of my friends and which ones were actually happy with their career choices and why.  My friend Nathan who worked for Liv REAL ESTATE always seemed to be happy with his job and yet he had the time and  means to enjoy life outside of work.  Over dinner one night I picked his brain further and realized that perhaps Real Estate might be the right fit for me also.

My Life at Liv Real Estate

I decided to dip my toes in the Real Estate waters and requested an interview with Sheldon and Sara at this Company that Nathan worked for.  Talking to them gave me the confidence to pursue Real Estate as a Career.  I realized that what you do in life is just as important as who you do it with.  I enjoyed getting to know Sheldon and Sara and realized that we had a ton  in common with regards to values and goals and what’s important in life; they are definitely people that I could look up to and respect – personally and professionally.

Joining Liv REAL ESTATE and deciding to pursue Real Estate 150% was the perfect marriage and balance of that I was searching for in my life.  It capitalized on my ability to set my own goals, meet new people and help others in a real and tangible way; it’s the best decision, professionally, that I’ve ever made.  I’m extremely happy with where my life is now and I know that this reflects in my relationships and the satisfying results that I’m able to achieve for my clients.