Shalyn F. Allen
President and principal broker
Welcome Home Realty
By Grace Stark
In one way or another, Shalyn Allen has found herself surrounded by the real estate field for the past 16 years. In fact, her very first job was as a weekend assistant for a real estate company in California when she was 16 years old. “I checked the mail, I made coffee and I made copies,” Allen says. “But I loved the people that I worked with, and that encouraged me to stick around the field.”
After graduating high school, Allen found herself working hard at multiple part-time jobs in order to pay her way through college. She soon decided the island life was for her and moved to Hawaii, where she thought that a live-in nannying position could be a good way to make and save money for school. Shortly after moving to Hawaii, Allen found out about a nannying job on Guam. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Allen moved to Guam to care for the children of a local realtor and work on her schooling online. She met her husband, who was in the Navy at the time, in the process. For the past 11 years, Allen and her family have lived on Guam, and they’ve loved every minute of it. “My husband and I moved to San Diego for two years, but we begged to come back to Guam,” Allen says. “After 11 years of living on Guam, I still have all these things I want to do here.”
During their stint in San Diego, she worked on her bachelor’s in business administration from National University — an education that has served her well in the past 15 months as the founder and president of her own realty office on island, Welcome Home Realty.
Allen started the business at the urging of a friend and local realtor who wanted to work for her. “She just kept asking me over and over when I was going to start my own office, so eventually I started to think, ‘Why not? Why can’t I do this?’”
As it turns out, her friend’s urging was a good thing. Welcome Home Realty has done remarkably well, Allen says.
Allen, 32, was featured in Guam Business Magazine’s recent “40 Under Forty” feature for 2016. But she says one of the most unexpected markers of success has been helping her employees succeed. “I didn’t expect to enjoy that part of it as much as I have — to have all of these people looking up to me, asking me questions and expecting me to have the answers, but everyone has been so kind and gracious, and seeing them succeed has become one of my favorite parts of running this business.”
All of Allen’s realtors are military spouses, and having been a military spouse herself, she understands how difficult the transitional nature of military life can be. Acknowledging how challenging it can be for some military spouses to find employment on island, Allen enjoys making the transition to Guam smoother for the military spouses who ask to work with her. “I love that I’m giving my staff something else to do. They’re improving their lifestyles, they’re improving their careers and resumes — they’re not just sitting stagnant.”
Allen appreciates that as a realtor, she can give people their first positive impression of the island. “Yes, moving here can be hard. But I love being the first person people meet when they move to Guam,” she says. “I want to help them love it here as much as I do.”
Allen and her family have fully embraced life on the island. From hiking to snorkeling, travelling to sailing, she appreciates all of the unique opportunities Guam has to offer. “We actually just moved into a smaller house,” she says. “We’re gone so much doing things outdoors, we realized we didn’t really need a big house. All we need is our yard.” And she and her husband are considering downsizing even further: “We’re really thinking about moving aboard our boat,” Allen says. “I love the tiny home concept; living on a boat is like living in a tiny home, but on the water.”