In 1927, Bill Heyler opened Heyler Realty in a small building on Pico Boulevard across the street from where our office is today. There wasn’t much else here in West Los Angeles at that time, but Bill had a vision of what the area could grow to become.
At that time, businessmen were getting rich from oil drilling within the city. “By 1930, California produced a quarter of the world’s oil, and the growth of Los Angeles – from a population of 50,000 in the 1890s to more than a million in 1930 – mirrored the growth of the industry,” according to Los Angeles County Office of Oil and Gas.
To accommodate the growth in population, Janss Investment Corporation developed affordable, middle-class family homes throughout the Westside. Bill Heyler knew that families wanted a nice place to live in a safe neighborhood with access to everything they needed. He also knew the importance of green space in a community. That’s why he helped create the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center and to preserve Rancho Park Golf Course. He also helped create the Riddick Youth Center on Overland Avenue.
Heyler became a prominent name in real estate throughout West LA thanks to Bill’s work in the community and loyalty to his neighbors. He is even credited with naming the area now known as Rancho Park.
Bill’s dedication to making the Westside a great place to live and the legacy he created are what inspired current owners Sean McMillan and Jae Wu to buy Heyler Realty back in 2011.
“We wanted to carry on that history,” Jae said. “We wanted it to mean more than just a real estate company. We could have created our own brand. We realized, wow, we have this opportunity to have something substantial, a history that we can carry forward.”
Today, Heyler is located across the street from the original Heyler office.
The Westside has boomed since Bill owned Heyler Realty. Even so, Jae and Sean work hard for the community and give back to the area as if it were a small town. They both serve on the Westside Neighborhood Council, which is an advisory body that advocates for its community to Los Angeles City Hall. Jae volunteered at Westwood Charter Elementary and served as parent group president of Emerson Community Charter Middle School – both public LAUSD schools. And Sean co-created West LA Homeless and was one of the founders of the Santa Monica Chess Park.
“Visualization into creation,” Sean said. “It’s literally the path of my life. If I can imagine it, I can create it. If it’s noble good and just and right and better for others then it’s almost like the universe collaborates to bring these forces to you, you find this inner strength, you find these avenues, you see opportunities you didn’t know, correlations and connections with other people and all of the sudden you have real resources. Ultimately at the end of the day, you’re able to create something that you’ve visualized.”
It’s not just the owners who have visualized great things for the community. Heyler Agent Kate Kennedy serves on her neighborhood association board, and agents Michelle Alderson and Randy Saumers have spent countless hours volunteering at their kids’ schools.
And during that time, Jae, Sean and the rest of the Heyler team has helped thousands of people find and sell their homes in Los Angeles. That’s part of why our community events have been so popular in the neighborhood. We celebrated the Heyler Harvest Festival’s 8th year in 2019 with hundreds of neighbors, local businesses and Los Angeles Fire Station 92.
Like many events in the last couple of years, the Heyler Harvest was canceled in 2020 and again this year. But smaller, socially distant events are in the works.
Although the pandemic created a tough dynamic for neighborhood businesses, home sales went through the roof. Jae, Sean, and the team at Heyler helped so many people sell their homes, buy the home of their dreams and even find homes for workers relocating to Los Angeles to work at the new Google Complex that’s going into the location of the old Westside Pavilion. Heyler had its best year ever and is expanding the business to add more agents.
“The history of Heyler Realty is still being written,” Sean said. “And we’re proud to be part of it,” Jae added.