Gem Story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services
Sheyla Apuy helps families buy and sell homes in the Orlando area. She’s a successful real estate agent who’s passionate, sharp-witted, and a master negotiator. Her sincere passion for helping others ultimately led her to the real estate path, and it has proved to be the perfect profession for her lifestyle. She originally comes from a strong and diverse background in administration, working at such honorable organizations as the American Cancer Society, among others.
Building Her Own Luck
Born in Peru, Sheyla moved to New Jersey when she was 3 years old. Her zodiac sign is cancer, so she loves to see people happy, even helping raise her siblings. With her family spread out in New Jersey and Florida, she has moved back and forth until ultimately moving out to support herself at age 16 in the tri-state area. After she got two jobs, an apartment, and a car, she began to really understand what hard work looks like. “I don’t believe in luck. You’ve got to work for things,” she says. Sheyla is a loving, hardworking mother to two daughters: a 21-year-old and a 10-year-old.
Sheyla’s professional experience began at a construction and architecture firm, where she was in charge of bids and other administrative tasks. When the devastating events on September 11th, 2001, took place, she knew it was time to move to Orlando with her daughter in search of a better life. To help ease the transition, they found a downtown Orlando apartment right off Bumby Avenue. “It felt like Melrose Place,” Sheyla laughs. There were only eight units in the complex, and she became good friends with her neighbors. “You can pick me up and throw me anywhere,” she says. Sheyla is able to adapt to any environment because she is a master at connecting with people.
The Big Move
Sheyla started working at the American Cancer Society, where she was responsible for raising money for awareness. The best part of the job? Patients coming in for “Wig Day.” The team would put makeup on the patients and do their hair — whatever it took to make them feel nice for the day. Sheyla also spearheaded two Hispanic programs during her tenure at ACS; it was there that she shifted gears to focusing more on prodding help to the local community. She would set up fundraiser events for Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
She was eventually approached to work in entertainment where she managed four-stage events with more than 100,000 event attendees. Although it was exciting to work, it was difficult as a single mother because she was out late promoting and wasn’t home much. She transitioned to working at WestGate Resorts where she focused on the administration side of sales. It was around that time that the market crash of 2009 happened, and she saw some devastating things, like a staff of 10 turned into 2 as well as salaries getting cut in half. She also met her now ex-husband at WestGate, who got his real estate license and started working in timeshare sales. That’s when Sheyla learned about the financial freedom and flexibility that real estate could offer.
Coming Back Stronger
After their separation in 2018, Sheyla locked herself in her apartment for 30 days to focus on getting her license. She studied hard, passed the course exam, and then passed the state exam… all on her first try! She then got hired at Keller Williams and has been working with them ever since.
There are parallels between her extensive past with what she does now. Her experience in fundraising, door-knocking, and just talking to people, in general, has enabled her to help families buy and sell homes. “I genuinely love people … [and] having a purpose,” she says. She strives to always focus on the big picture. Her goal this year is to help 24 families buy or sell a home. Every year needs to show growth. One day she’d like her real estate business to be able to fund her passion projects like a foundation to help single mothers and homeless children.
Making a Name for Herself
The biggest challenge Sheyla has faced in the real estate industry is getting herself out there, keeping a flow, and maintaining an active pipeline. Sheyla says it takes three years on average for your business to start flowing on its own, so it’s essential to push hard, offer good service, and help people without giving up.
One of her favorite things is following up with a client a week after closing to ask: “How do you love your house?!”
Sheyla credits God as her number one supporter.
She grew up with a mom who supported her and her three siblings financially all on her own. Her dad wasn’t around much, and her grandmother who was helping to raise her ended up passing away. Sheyla’s two daughters are her why. She’s raised them to always be faithful to their religion and go to church on Sundays. Outside of that, discovering the unknown is a huge part of Sheyla’s family. They enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures.
Stay tuned to see where this Gem’s real estate career takes her next!