It was 1996 when Cindy Wexler first laid eyes on Toluca Lake. She got a rare view of the water (which is only visible to those living on the lake and from lakeside golf club) while visiting a house by architect Paul Williams. The abundance of trees and wildlife made her feel like she was back in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where she grew up surrounded by nature. She remembers telling herself, as she stood in the backyard, “I’m going to live here.”
A year later, she made it happen. Cindy and her husband, Robert “Bob” Wexler, purchased their dream lakefront property.
Since then, the Wexlers have become not only the lake’s greatest ambassadors, but also proud, active members of the community — Cindy as a real estate professional and Bob as her business partner, as well as president of the Toluca Lake Property Owners Association (TLPOA). “Being part of the community is a core part of who we are as a family,” Cindy says.
They’ve also worked to grow their ventures in property management and real estate. This year, they will be introducing their new company, Wexler Property Management, a culmination of years of hard work and dedication. We caught up with them to talk about their business careers and, of course, life in and on Toluca Lake.
A Solid Foundation
Before managing properties, Cindy and Bob ran a successful television equipment rental company in Burbank called Wexler Video Inc., which Bob founded in 1984. In 1994, the company needed room to grow and the Wexlers’ realtor encouraged them to buy land and build their own space. “We had owned a condo and bought our first single-family home, but this was our foray into real estate ownership for investment purposes,” Cindy explains. Within a year, they moved Wexler Video into its new home: a more than 30,000-square-foot building “that we had a say in the design and construction of,” Cindy says. “It gave me the real estate/construction bug!” It was her “serendipitous” first step in a long career in the real estate industry.
Cindy’s interest in properties grew further during her time on the Laurence School Board from 1999 to 2010. During her first five years on the board of the elementary school in Valley Glen where her two children attended, she oversaw the expansion of the campus and was responsible for fundraising, purchasing the land, hiring the architect and more. The project, completed in 2005, resulted in the addition of a gymnasium/theater building, library, science lab, additional classrooms, a small sports field and outdoor gardens.
“Working on the board gave me the confidence and knowledge to pursue real estate development and construction at a level I never expected,” she says, adding that the school honored her work by naming a walkway “Wexler Way.”
Between Wexler Video and Cindy’s tenure on the board, the Wexlers bought and sold many properties — from a spaceship-style home in Malibu to two office buildings and various single-family homes and apartments. “Bob and I work together in all our ventures, but we each have our forte,” Cindy says. “Bob works predominately on the rental side, and I work on sales independently.” Bob adds that they complement each other. “Cindy handles development and design aspects, and I handle the more technical aspects, such as electrical, A/C, home automation, etc.,” he says.
The couple eventually sold Wexler Video in 2007, deciding, “If we can rent equipment, we can rent houses.” They bought homes in and around Santa Monica and Venice and began a vacation rental company in the early days of the sharing economy.
Cindy decided to get real estate and broker licenses to enhance and expand their business. She received her salesperson license in 2015 and her broker license in 2019. She currently practices real estate with the support of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Studio City and serves clients in Toluca Lake as well as throughout Los Angeles and the Valley.
Life on the lake began in an unexpected way for the Wexlers. When they purchased their property, they began construction of a Cape Cod–style home with more than 5,000 square feet. Then the unthinkable happened: A plumber was arc-welding a pipe and accidentally set the house on fire. “Within minutes the entire house was gone; it looked like a war zone,” Cindy recalls. It took a year to rebuild until they were able to finally move in.
Despite the fiery beginning, lake life has treated the couple well. The scenic pocket of the neighborhood, with its peaceful, verdant views, continues to enchant Cindy every day. “I am lucky and blessed to have a beautiful private park in my backyard that pushes up to the glorious Toluca Lake,” she says.
As president of the TLPOA for the past 20 years, Bob has dedicated himself to protecting and beautifying the lake. He was instrumental in designing and building the stream that flows from the well that fills the lake. “He gets to learn and have input about marine biology, gardening, engines on the boats, well management, etc.,” Cindy says. “He has a true passion for the lake’s inhabitants and has hatched, raised and nurtured turtles, ducks and fish.”
The couple share their love of the lake every chance they get. “One of my favorite activities is giving boat rides around the lake,” Cindy says. “I love giving a full and fun history of the people who’ve lived here, including W.C. Fields and Frank Sinatra. A fun fact that most people don’t know is that there are actually two lakes that constitute Toluca Lake: one with 34 houses and Lakeside Golf Club, and another with seven houses in Burbank. If you’re interested in a boat ride, just give me a call!”
For the Wexlers, “being part of a community is like having a family,” Bob says. “We have very few relatives in California, so our neighbors and our friends are our family. We believe in doing anything we can to help them like we would our own.”
Over the years, the couple have aided their “family” in numerous ways. They’ve been involved with the TLPOA, the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association and the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, and have supported Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and David Ryu to help improve the neighborhood. They also participate in annual events, such as the Holiday Open House and the Turkey Trot, in which Bob plays the turkey.
“Being the turkey allows me to do something I love, which is running, while supporting the community,” Bob says. “Running with the children and watching their responses or holding a 4-year-old’s hand when they cross the finish line is worth every minute of being in the costume.”
The Wexlers are also big supporters of small businesses. Cindy frequents Pergolina for gifts, gets her nails done at either Great Nail or Toluca Lake Nails, and gets her hair done at Tamara Dahill Salon. As a couple, they like dropping by Spin the Bottle or Forman’s for happy hour and having dinner at Prosecco or Kabosu. They also frequent Santuari for Sunday brunch.
A New Venture
After years of working with properties, the Wexlers are taking the logical next step. They are excited for this winter’s soft launch of Wexler Property Management, which will provide personalized, full-service property management services to owners and real estate agents for single-family homes, duplexes or small apartment buildings.
“With this new venture, I am excited to offer our services to my neighbors and friends in Toluca Lake, or anywhere in Los Angeles area, who own second homes or investment properties,” Cindy says. The company will assist in rent collection, maintenance, repairs, leasing, tenant relations and much more and is expected to fully launch next year.
Wexler Property Management will also be a family affair. The Wexlers’ daughter, Dallas, moved to Toluca Lake from London recently with her husband, James Bernard, who will be working alongside Cindy and Bob on the growth and development of the company.
“My wish is to be a continued and constant resource for my friends, family and community,” Cindy says.