Early this year, Colony Reeves captivated our screens as the new real estate “It” girl on Netflix’s hit reality show Selling Tampa. While the confidence and poise that Reeves exudes today is infectious, at one time, she was unsure of her future, in the throes of sadness.
Long before joining Tampa Bay’s woman-led, Black-owned agency Allure Realty, Reeves experienced a season of depression after graduating from college with no plan or career track.
After trying her hand at teaching for a year, Reeves reached a crossroads where she had to decide what career path aligned with what she felt was her greater purpose. “With all of that going on — not really making any money and feeling like I wasn’t living up to my full potential or walking in my purpose — I went to my parents literally crying,” she tells ESSENCE. “I told them, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not happy. I’m crying almost every day. I just feel like I’m lost.’”
Fortunately, Reeves didn’t have to look too far for the right blueprint to follow, as her father who is a real estate investor, encouraged her to explore the field by attending real estate school and ultimately obtaining her license. “That was my ‘bet on yourself moment,’” she says. “There comes a time in life where you have to literally bet on yourself and put everything in. That was my moment and I did it — and hey, I’m here.”
The breakout real estate star isn’t shy about admitting to what ends real estate saved her life, sharing that her desire to create a better life for herself fueled her “all or nothing” mindset. “I felt like I wasn’t living for anything. I was in a deep, dark depression to the point where I was giving up the relationship that I was in. I wasn’t fulfilled anywhere,” she says.
“Real estate saved my life because it gave me a new outlook on life; it gave me something to live for and put my all into. I felt alive again,” she adds. “Once I really started practicing real estate, closing deals, and really figuring out that this is my career and what I was meant to do, it gave me a new purpose. It gave me a new meaning to life.”
As an advocate for therapy, which she’s attended since 2011, the 30-year-old concierge professional has partnered with the non-profit organization Silence the Shame to bring awareness to and remove stigma surrounding mental health struggles. “Tapping into therapy has helped me overcome a lot of things and being able to impact [others] in the best way that I know how helps me serve my purpose,” she says.
She also seeks to positively impact others through her work on TV. Reeves quickly became a fan favorite on the inaugural season of Selling Tampa, where she and the ladies of Allure Realty sold beachfront properties in the Tampa Bay area in style. Entering the reality TV world did come with its added pressure since traditionally, the medium has a reputation for portraying Black women in a negative, combative light. But for Reeves, it was important to change the narrative by leading from a place of authenticity. “I wanted to bring something different that you don’t normally see on TV, which is Black women in luxury,” she says. “And I didn’t want to feed into the narrative of tearing another woman down.”
She continues, “I avoided situations where I would potentially be in an argument with somebody. I like to take the high road. I never want to tear another woman down, especially a Black woman. And I didn’t want to bring that to TV.”
“I was happy that I was able to be that representation that women of color can be in the luxury space of real estate,” she adds. “We belong there. We deserve to be at the table. And it’s not something that’s not attainable.”
Today, you can find Colony Reeves sharing her “Black girl in luxury,” soft life approach on her social platforms, and showcasing the benefit of conversation, body language, and personal branding through her “Self-Care & Style for Sales” workshops. These career and life skills have played a pivotal role in Reeves’ success navigating the realty space, and she plans to pass along her expertise to women looking to make their mark, just as she has.
“Being able to express that [confidence] through the way you dress will get you into the right doors, especially being a luxury real estate agent. If I’m presenting myself the correct way, if I’m embodying luxury, I’m going to attract those luxury clients,” she says. “It’s also about how you feel on the inside. I want people to be 100%, wholeheartedly well-rounded, and sometimes it starts on the inside.”