Gem Story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services
“I don’t believe in luck. You’ve got to work for things” – Sheyla Apuy
Sheyla Apuy helps families buy and sell homes in Orlando, Fla. She’s a successful real estate agent who’s passionate, sharp-witted, and a master negotiator. Her passion for helping others ultimately led her to find real estate as the perfect profession for her lifestyle. She originally comes from a strong and diverse background in administration, however, at honorable organizations such as the American Cancer Society.
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 and even helped raise her siblings. With family in New Jersey and Florida, she went back and forth until ultimately moving out to support herself at age 16 in the tri-state area. She got two jobs, an apartment, a car, and then started 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.
Her professional experience began at a construction and architecture firm, where she handled bids and other administrative tasks. When the devastating events on Sept. 11, 2001, took place, she knew it was time to move to Orlando with her daughter for 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, and she became good friends with her neighbors. “You can pick me up and throw me anywhere,” she says. She’s 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 them and do their hair — whatever it took to make them feel nice for the day. Sheyla also spearheaded two hispanic programs while there that she launched to help the local community. She would set up fundraiser events for Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “I met a lot of great people in that field,” she reminisces.
She was eventually approached to work in entertainment where she managed four-stage events with more than 100,000 event attendees. It was exciting to work, but difficult as a single mother because she was out late promoting and wasn’t home much. She transitioned to WestGate Resorts where she worked on the administration side of sales. It was around that time that the crash of 2009 happened, and she saw some devastating things like a staff of 10 turning into two and 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 real estate offered.
Coming Back Stronger
After her separation in 2018, Sheyla locked herself in her apartment for 30 days to get 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 doing it ever since.
There are parallels to her extensive past experience fundraising, door-knocking and just talking to people in general that make helping families buy and sell homes the perfect profession for Sheyla. “I genuinely love people … [and] having a purpose,” she says. She strives to always focus on the big picture. Her goal is to help 24 families buy or sell a home this year, for example. Every year needs to show growth. One day she’d like her real estate business to be able to fund passion projects like a foundation to help single mothers and homeless children.
Making a Name for Herself
The biggest challenge with real estate is getting yourself 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. “I’m a very passionate person just in general. I’m a fighter. I’m going to put all my effort into helping you reach that goal,” says Sheyla. One of her favorite things is following up a week after closing to ask: How do you love your house?!
Sheyla credits God as her No. 1 supporter. “When I’m in my darkest moments, He’s the only one there for me.” She grew up with a mom who only supported her and her three siblings financially. Her dad wasn’t around much, and her grandmother who helped 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 Sheyla’s real estate career takes her next!