Some say the world of real estate is a man’s world, but Ayo Haynes proves it would be nothing without a woman who is on top of her game! With a background as an actress and voice-over artist, a BA in Business Communications and a MBA in Marketing, Ayo is definitely making her mark in the world of real estate. As a Real Estate Broker in NYC for 13 years, she is now breaking into the Connecticut market and loving it! She is dedicated to helping her clients find the perfect place where home and wellness meet!
Definition of Success:
Success for me is when people call to ask me to be their exclusive agent or to work with them as a buyer without me having to go pitch them; your talent and experience speak for themselves. Pitches are like auditions in acting. You know you’ve made it when someone says here’s the listing.
I love this time in my career because I can make my own schedule which is especially needed as a single mom. Initially, getting into the business you work about fifty to sixty hours a week, especially if you’re on a busy team like I was. Starting out you have to be prepared to not get a check three or four months which can be hard for most people. People see these reality shows and think that real estate is easy and that you only work with a client for a few days.
The real reality is that it is difficult, requires a lot of continuous education and experience, and is very time consuming. Sometimes the time you put in doesn’t match up with your commission check. You have to be willing to put in the work and be persistent. Most importantly you have to love working with and helping people.
Healthy Self Esteem:
I am a true believer in guarding what I take in whether it’s what I’m watching or listening to. I’m in two industries that require people to pick you based on your personality and experience. I need/require positivity around me all the time. If you are coming to the table with something heavy on you and being negative, it will affect your bottom line.
I also think it is important to use trusted friends and mentors as your mirror, from time to time, when needed. I can be hard on myself so I have to remind myself to treat me like a client and to be gentle with myself. We all have insecurities – physical or other. If someone I trust can be the voice of reason I listen or at least take what they are saying into consideration.
Speaking of a voice of reason, my 4 year old daughter keeps it real with me all the time. Her bluntness is hilarious but insightful. She’s lucky she’s cute and my daughter! But seriously, I learn so much from her. How she gets over things quickly, she speaks her truth without malice, she’s kind, she apologizes when she’s in the wrong, she shares and she easily tells the important people in her life how much she loves them. I try to take a page out of her book all the time!
I probably should be the one taking advice but I think if you are on the fence about someone, go on three dates to see if there is really something there. Nowadays three dates can take weeks or months to happen so you have to rely on your instincts to gauge if the spaced out dates are happening naturally or because someone is playing a game of avoidance. We are living in a swipe left – swipe right world based mostly on pictures. Pictures don’t tell the whole story. I say the same to my clients when I show them what I know to be a great home but they dismiss it because the pictures didn’t grab them. Sometimes we have to slow down, go deeper, and take things offline when we normally wouldn’t.
What’s in the future:
My business partner and I are working hard on crafting our brand which is all about where Home and Life meet Wellness. For us, that point is WELLNEST. We work with our clients on finding all the ways to make their home and all the other NESTS of their lives as comfortable, healthy, green and empowering as they want or need to be.
I’m excited to be expanding my 13 years of experience in real estate to the Connecticut market. It’s been a fun challenge to learn a suburban market compared to New York City. My team partner, Ivonne, will be doing the same in New Jersey so the Haynes-Velasquez Team will be able to work with clients in the New York Tri-state area. That, of course, will mean adding to the team which is exciting.
I am also looking forward to more opportunities where my acting and real estate worlds get to play off each other. I recently was asked by the executives at my firm to co-host our semi-annual meeting at the Apollo Theater – it was amazing and a dream come true that I never would have never expected to come from my work in real estate. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next on that front and developing a few ideas of my own. A woman’s work is never done!
Favorite Shade of Lipstick:
I’m more of a gloss person versus lipstick. But for special occasions and business meetings that’s when I put on lipstick. For me, I like a red that has a touch of brown. There is one from Arbonne I love called Dahlia and it’s the perfect combination of gloss and lipstick. Their products aren’t tested on animals, and are paraben and phthalates free which is all right up my alley!
To contact or learn more about Ayo please visit