Uncategorized November 28, 2018

A Loss Deeply Felt

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by James Stefanile, ABR, GRI, SRES, QSC, gCertified, REALTOR/Salesperson, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New Jersey Properties, Montclair Office


The day after Thanksgiving we lost a person very close to me professionally.

Judy Zinn passed away after a long illness.  Judy brought me into the business almost 20 years ago and I felt it was a fitting tribute to re-print this post from two years ago which I dedicated to her upon her retirement.  These thoughts from then still apply:

Judy Zinn

How do you say “thank you” to someone who brought you in to the business and weaned you from a know-nothing neophyte to a REALTOR who could make a living in real estate?

How do you thank a mentor and manager who put in countless hours explaining, not only the nuts and bolts of the business, but some of its more subtler nuances as well – a testament to her vast knowledge of this profession?


Judy Zinn

That was Judy Zinn who is retiring this year after more than 40 years as one of the grand dame of Essex County real estate.  Her first business was Zinn Associates REALTORS, then she joined the Prudential Real Estate network which formed in the late 1980’s as Prudential Zinn REALTORS, and then, in an act of almost clairvoyant timing, sold her business to Prudential New Jersey Properties just as the Great Recession was bursting the bubble in 2007.

After that she stayed on as an agent and friendly advisor and then Prudential Real Estate became what it is today – Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New Jersey Properties – in a brand new, state of the art office, the only one on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair.  Our office has over forty agents currently and a leading market share as one of the top 5 brokerages, but my strongest memories are from Judy’s days as the leader of our little boutique brokerage in our funky little office on Church Street in Montclair.  She was always genial, unflappable in the face of some very strong personalities and always had the answer to any situation.  Furthermore, she always, always stressed honesty, fairness to all parties and good works. Her words still ring in my ears to this day.

Judy was a friend, as well.  Her concern for all of us transcended real estate.  She know when someone needed  a break, was stressed, needed guidance for whatever reason.  She involved herself in our families, was a great friend to my daughter and, throughout, had that rare ability to wield authority with a deft touch that was almost invisible.

In the midst of some brokerages which more resembled shark tanks she never allowed herself to be perverted by the mere pursuit of money and business.  She was an excellent business woman and successful which makes her ethic all the more remarkable.

So, I won’t try to express some unique form of gratitude. I’ll simply say thank you, Judy, for your guidance, integrity, knowledge, good humor and friendship.  Enjoy your well deserved retirement.  The business will miss you – and so will I.

We will miss you, now, more than ever. 2018