The Thirty A Review March 2021

r e a l e s t a t e

Keeping It Real on 30-A Kevin Boyle Does a Pandemic Career Pivot b y C h r i s t o p h e r M a n s o n

and a vague idea about what real estate was. “And I realized I was wrong when I started the coursework! It’s not a flashy job. I enjoyed learning about being honest and fair, recognizing how you represent the best interest of the client, seller or buyer. And the ethics between other agents. There’s an intrinsic network of agents, which makes the real estate world go ‘round.” One of the best pieces of advice that Bobby Johnson has given him (so far) is that the relationship with the agent is as important as the relationship with the buyer or seller. Boyle says his acting experience has come in handy, too. “All real estate is a series of uncomfortable confron- tations. If you’re not willing to do that, you can’t move forward. It’s like acting—there’s intrigue, an exciting beginning, and lots of plot twists.” Johnson brought Boyle onboard his team at Engel & Völkers last summer, and so far, the new guy has closed seven deals in South Walton and the endlessly growing city of Freeport. “It’s me and one other agent, Stacey Petrucci. She’s been with him Bobby about five years now, and kind of started the same way I did. She’s a great, hardworking agent that gets things done,” he says. “I would not be able to do what I’m doing without Bobby’s guidance. He’s the type of person who has so much heart and cares so deeply about his relationships with his agents, buyers and sellers. He shows how you’re supposed to put their best interests forward, when to confront things and when not to.” Kevin and wife Meagan live in Peach Creek with their eight-month-old son and daughter, age four. “There’s not a lot to do now, so we enjoy just hanging out at the house, making the occasional trip to Disney,” he says. “We actually went in October. It was weird without all the indoor attractions, but overall, it was really safe.” The new career has had its share of surprises. “I didn’t realize how connected all the agents are and how important it is to have respect for the ones who’ve been doing it longer. Until you’ve been through some of these deals, you just don’t know what it’s like. Other agents from other brokerages have been so nice. It’s not as big a competition as I thought it was. There’s a very positive energy in real estate. Listening and getting advice from other agents has been my biggest takeaway.” Get in touch with Kevin Boyle by emailing kevin. Maybe you’ll see him back on the stage in the near future, but if not, he says, “You can always buy a house from me!”

Kevin Boyle and Bobby Johnson

L ongtime South Walton residents are familiar with Kevin Boyle’s exploits both onstage as an actor (notably with the Seaside Repertory Theatre) and behind the scenes at high-profile events like the Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival. The cancellation of these mainstay events is the first thing on my mind when Boyle shows up to chat at a local Starbucks – outdoors, six feet apart and with what he admits is his “COVID beard” poking out from the edges of his mask—but he’s much more interested in talking about the major career change he’s made as a result of the pandemic. “I had been through the BP spill and the recession a few years back, and I feel like I reacted okay to those,” he says. “But with the pandemic, I felt I needed to take some extra steps to stay here. I literally never thought of real estate, but one day I told my wife, ‘I think I should do real estate’.” Boyle’s first move was getting in touch with Bobby Johnson, a longtime friend and one of the top real estate agents in the area. “I asked him if he thought I would I

be any good at it, and he said, ‘Of course you would. Let’s talk!’ I just wanted his advice, but he put it to me in a straightforward way. “It’s not what you think, and it’s a lot harder than you imagine. You have to get a license and do 60 hours or so of coursework. We’d just had a baby, so I did all my pre-license classes on the phone holding the baby and the bottle late at night and first thing in the morning. I stuck with it and I got licensed in 45 days.” In 2020, Boyle’s successful stint doing events at Seaside was in question. “I wasn’t sure where it would end up. We lost so many events, not just locally but all around the country. I didn’t see any events coming back for at least two years, and this was back in July. Seaside was very gracious. Not only did they renew my contract for 2021, during the pandemic, they repurposed my role and kept me in a contract and gave my family a lot of security, but I knew I needed to make up for the other work I lost. I had to do more.” So, Boyle pressed on, with a strong knowledge of the area—he’s lived on the Emerald Coast for 15 years—

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