Team Leader, Team Haynes
Ayo Haynes leads a double life.
A licensed broker in New York and Connecticut, and a working actor with credits including a two-year stint on TV’s, “As the World Turns,” the team leader of Team Haynes at eXp Realty delights in combining her passions.
“As the daughter of a professional jazz artist and a mom who collected artwork created by African-American artists, I grew up surrounded by the arts,” Haynes said. “It was to no one’s surprise that I began a career in acting after college. But a co-star along the way who doubled in real estate showed me that I could do both—and from the moment I started 15 years ago as a buyer’s assistant, I saw a pathway to linking my two careers.”
A creative marketer and people-person with a huge sphere of influence, Haynes looks for out-of-the-box ways to connect talents and goals, such as asking musician friends to provide the background for a luxury property video or finding avenues to help a renter client in one of her listings purchase a Manhattan brownstone.
Having served on a New York City task force to help prevent homelessness among former foster care children, Haynes now serves as a mentor to women—especially African American women—who wish to launch a career in real estate.
“It’s all about building a collaborative culture,” she said. “We are here to help one another.”
Barbara Pronin: Ayo, what led to your mission to bridge real estate and in the arts?
Ayo Haynes: Creative people are accustomed to working together, supporting one another for a common goal—and from my own experience, I understand the need for established artists to ground themselves with real estate holdings. Making that happen for more people is a role I love to play.
BP: You recently relocated from a top tier New York real estate brand to launch your team with eXp Realty. Why?
AH: For one thing, the COVID-19 crisis gave me the chance to work from my home in Connecticut instead of commuting back and forth. And while I still work with a lot of New York clients, I can do that quite well working remotely. Also, in joining eXp, I gave myself a raise. There are no franchise fees here. We keep an average of 80 percent of our commissions, and we have the chance to become company shareholders. Plus, eXp has fantastic global reach that is helpful with my relocating clients. I’m connecting a client with a colleague in our UK office, and I’m confident I’m putting them in good hands to find housing in England as soon as COVID is behind us.
BP: Tell me about your team structure.
AH: Currently, I have a junior associate in New York, Robin Williams. She is a model/content curator. But I am actively looking to build out Team Haynes in both New York City and Connecticut.
BP: What kind of people need apply?
AH: Creative people, new and experienced, who love to collaborate, to share ideas and who are committed to excellent customer service. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the right agents to build a successful career with a supportive brand and a team leader dedicated to helping them grow.
BP: We noted that you mentor women who want to get a start in real estate. Will they necessarily work with Team Haynes?
AH: Not at all. I have a friend in Texas, a woman who was a top salesperson selling women’s shoes nationwide. Her industry was hit hard by COVID, and I am helping her transition into real estate in Texas, where I think she will be very successful.
BP: How has the pandemic changed consumer demand, and how are you positioned to meet the new normal?
AH: We have always been a proponent of very personalized service, and that has been invaluable in this year of COVID because virtual showings and sight-unseen transactions work best when clients have great trust in their REALTOR®. Also, because we like to be ahead of the curve, we just sent out surveys to a number of valued clients to find out just how consumer needs are changing and how we can best respond. From that, we will develop an in-depth webinar and a podcast we think will be helpful to our SOI going forward.
BP: Sounds like the next step in your collaborative approach to life.
AH: I hope so. We are living through very weird times. We need to be there for each other.
You can find more information about Team Haynes at www.Ayohaynes.exprealty.com.
Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor for RISMedia.