“I love when clients refer to me as their ‘shadchan’,” said real estate agent Deena Rubin, “matching the right seller with the right buyer.”
That is how Deena has always done business during her nearly 22 year real estate career, by “working tirelessly to do the very best for my clients.”
A 29-year resident of West Orange, Rubin had an interesting path to the real estate world. She was a communications major in college, and “back then, it was hard to know what to do with it,” she said. Her professional life began when she worked in “the America’s Cup arena, the most prestigious, oldest sailing venue in the world. … I worked with a woman who was a sailing aficionado, and she taught me the sailing industry and also marketing and public relations. We represented the New Zealand and Italian syndicates and travelled with them, setting up promotional tents up and down the eastern seaboard. [Once I sailed] in the New York harbor with the winning K boat, and Walter Cronkite took the wheel! … [I] had many ‘tikum olam’ moments, as many had never met a practicing Orthodox Jew before.”
After commuting to Manhattan for many years, Deena decided she wanted to stay closer to home, as she had three children in the local yeshiva and wanted to be available for them.
Around that time, a friend mentioned that Deena’s personality would be well-suited to the real estate profession. Deena ran with the idea and never looked back. Nearly 22 years later, her clients continue to benefit from her career jump.
Real estate is a perfect fit for the energetic Deena, who “never wanted to work at a desk job. It keeps me on the go and lets me continue to form and maintain those important relationships.”
An agent with Keller Williams Suburban Realty’s Livingston office, Deena emphasized how the company’s moral compass mirrors her own. “Keller Williams’ foundation is based on acting with morals and principles,” she said, “which is my bottom line in every situation.”
Reflecting on her work ethic, she noted, “I grew up in a home where my dad, a”h, was a life insurance salesman. Sunday was his busiest day of the week … and it resonated with me because it is my busiest day too!”
“My father survived the war in a labor camp in Siberia with his father, a”h,” she continued. “After losing his mother and seven siblings he was determined to find the good and focus on the positive. His belief in Hashem never wavered and he embodied ‘gam zu l’tovah.’”
“My dad treated everyone with respect,” Deena added. “It didn’t matter what their religion or belief was or the color of their skin. He always said people are people, and you need to be a mensch no matter what. If you are a nice, good person, that’s what counts.”
Deena began her real estate career focusing on the West Orange and Livingston communities, but her business has expanded into many surrounding towns. She works in Essex, Morris, Union and Bergen counties according to her clients’ needs.
“For me, it is always ‘clients first.’ It’s about building relationships and making connections with people. My business has come full circle as I am now working with the children of people I worked with early on. I love that I’ve maintained those relationships and am on to the second generation.”
Deena prides herself on being “a trusted and honest partner above all else. … Yes, it is my parnassa, but I’d rather not sell you a house if it doesn’t feel right to me than jeopardize our relationship,” she said. “Because of that, I’ve maintained wonderful long-lasting friendships with everyone I’ve done business with.”
“I don’t take anything I have for granted,” she continued. “I feel grateful for my job and the relationships I have formed. My mother and father taught me to be a mensch and [that] a shem tov, a good name, is the most important thing.”
Reflecting further on the lessons learned from her parents, Deena said: “My father was the ultimate mensch. This is who I aspire to be. He and my mom gave me a rock-solid foundation, and my mom still does till 120, coupled with a high bar for performance in life. I want to make [them and everyone in my life] proud of me in how I conduct myself in my business and personal life.”
“I believe our children learn by our example,” Deena said. “Work ethic is so important, but it needs to be coupled with being a mensch, giving tzedakah and doing selfless acts of Chesed for others. I am blessed with four children and two daughters-in-law who embody these traits and I couldn’t be more proud.”
One thing she is extremely proud of professionally is her role in implementing a jitney service in West Orange, something which had been denied for over 16 years. As reported in The Jewish Link on March 30, 2017 (“West Orange Jitney Service Comes to Pleasantdale and Redwood”), Deena was almost single-handedly responsible for expanding the West Orange jitney service to include the Pleasantdale and Redwood sections of town, areas which are home to many of the township’s Orthodox residents.
Deena’s goal is to see the community continue to grow, and she works closely with local rabbis, shuls, schools and businesses. “I love what I do,” she said, “I hope my clients see how passionate I am and appreciate my help in achieving their goals.”
Turning to the pandemic, Deena said the year has been “challenging but rewarding. I am still in shock that I sold a home without ever walking in the door.... We not only sold it but [we had] multiple offers. We [sold it for] way over the ask price and we did it with every COVID protocol in place.”
Concluding, Deena returned to discussing her father’s impact on her life and business. “I honestly feel that my dad brings certain people into my life so that I can help them specifically. With my connections and large network that I worked so hard to build, I am able to help people navigate and achieve their goals. Whatever
a client or friend needs, I try to be patient, guide them and go the extra mile, just like my dad would have.”
Deena asked that this article be in the zechut of her late father, Bernie Shultz, z”l, on the occasion of his 23rd yahrzeit.
To reach Deena, call (973) 449-0499 or email [email protected] Referrals can be provided upon request, or viewed on Zillow or Facebook.