SPOTLIGHT ON: Layla Boyles

SPOTLIGHT ON: Layla Boyles
Layla Boyles

Real Estate as a Second Act

When Layla Boyles was in her early 20’s, she was enjoying an urban lifestyle living in Manhattan and working as a bartender while pursuing a career in theater. Armed with a theater degree, she was preparing to one day hit the great White Way—that is until her mother “dragged her” to a real estate convention in Las Vegas.

“I had been staying with a friend of my mom on the upper West Side and I did get some character roles in local theater, as well as some commercials, but my mother always knew what was best for me,” admitted the Franchise Owner/Associate Broker of CENTURY 21 Realty Center in Monroe. “If she felt strongly about something, she was usually right, and now I still have my own schedule and freedom to do theater too.”

Her parents, Rose Ann and Jeffrey Rosenfeld, owned Monroe Realty Center for more than 25 years. While her father has passed, her mother remains the principal broker of the company. “She’s still the boss,” quipped Boyles.

Convinced that real estate would be a more lucrative full-time career than theater, Boyles earned her license in 2000 and joined the Corcoran Group in Manhattan shortly afterward. Following a friend’s suggestion, Boyles marched into one of New York City’s most well-known brokerages with basically no experience. “A couple of managers wouldn’t take me, but I ended up at their brand new office in Soho. Some of the people there told me I reminded them of Barbara Corcoran, so they took me on. I got lucky,” she said.

Boyles learned the ropes of real estate in New York City, and in 2010, she joined the family business in Monroe. “It was like night and day at first,” she revealed. “There’s just a lot of differences in showing properties in the city versus the suburbs.” One example is that Manhattan listing agents typically show up at their own listing even when the buyer is working with another agent. Lockboxes are also uncommon in Manhattan, where there are doorman buildings and listing agents have the keys.

Despite this, Boyles was able to make a fairly easy transition. “My parents were well known in the area, and we got a lot of attention when I joined,” she said. “I think my years in Manhattan really helped me get my feet on the ground right away and bring in a new layer of experience.”

Today, she spends most of her time as a listing agent, as well as focusing on training for her agents. “I always tell them that our job as Realtors is to help potential homebuyers take a step back and put things into perspective,” she said. “Sometimes, we need to understand the buyers even better than they understand themselves.”

This year represents Boyles’ second stint as an HGAR Director. She also served on the Board of Directors in 2012. In addition, she has served on HGAR’s Professional Standards Committee for many years, and before that, with the former Orange County Association of Realtors Make-A-Wish Committee. “My father had been very involved with the OCAR Board of Directors and as an educator there,” she added

As a returning Board member, Boyles is very passionate about Realtor ethics. “It’s especially important now in these times when people are feeling anxious because it’s still difficult to buy a house,” she noted. “We need to bring awareness to the public and to our members about what we stand for and to take our Code of Ethics seriously.”

Her brokerage currently has 12 agents servicing mostly Orange County and some of Rockland County. Boyles got some great news recently when her best friend from childhood, Heather Pinieri, decided to join the agency. “She’s an experienced professional and we work so well together,” said Boyles. “I’m looking forward to taking our business to a whole new level.”

Boyles lives in Goshen with her husband, Aric, and their son Charlie, 13. “I love spending time with my family, doing Zumba classes, playing tennis and of course, doing theater,” she said. She’s involved with the Museum Village theater and is also choreographing the local middle school production of “Peter Pan.”

“It’s really the best of both worlds,” said Boyles. “I love doing real estate, but acting, singing and dancing also makes me really happy. You have to be genuine in both careers or your audience and clients will see right through you.”

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