When Leah Caro began to job hunt after graduating from college in 1992 (in a similarly tough job market), an employment agency helped her land a receptionist position at Bronxville-Ley Real Estate. Less than 10 years later, she bought the company and set her sights on helping the company become a leader in the local real estate market.
In 2011, she has accomplished that and more as the agency's president and principal broker. Caro is also a member of the National, New York State and Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors, for which she served as its president in 2009 and 2010. She is certified in New York State to teach real estate license, law and ethics.
"I stayed and everything just clicked," she says. Bronxville-Ley Real Estate is a leader in the Bronxville and nearby market, giving this independent company a competitive edge against corporately owned real estate companies. Caro credits the price and service diversity she offers. Instead of just focusing on luxury homes, her agents work regularly with mid-range priced homes, co-ops and rentals in Tuckahoe, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Eastchester and Bronxville.
This was especially helpful in the luxury housing market collapse of 2008, when an economic recession began and foreclosures started to riddle neighborhoods across the nation. Caro remembered that many of her industry colleagues initially brushed off the worry that this real estate nightmare would happen in Westchester, saying the county was “immune” to such financial collapses.
“[In real estate], you have to see what’s happening in the marketplace and be educated to whatever’s coming next — it’s too late to do anything about it after it’s here,” she said. She drills this attention to foresight, which she describes as “fire prevention,” into the minds of her agents.
According to Caro, the independent ownership of Bronxville-Ley Real Estate is also what makes it that much more linked to the community. “We’re not a franchise, and we’re not trying to navigate a corporate ladder. We’re hands on and local. High tech and high touch. We live here and we work here,” she adds.
Caro, a self-proclaimed outdoors person, counts hiking with her husband, 6-year-old son Joseph and 2-year old dog, Daisy, as one of her favorite weekend pastimes. To remind her family of the importance of enjoying fresh air, she has a sign scrolled with the words, “Hey it’s a beautiful day, why don't we all go outside.”
So whether it’s tending to her clients, colleagues or family, this Realtor has learned to balance all aspects of her life, an attention she brings to her working personality: “The way I live, you want to do the best you can every day and try to do right by everyone,” she said.