Judy Boone Realty, now one of Hampton Roads’ top realty companies, opened "on a wing and a prayer" in 1989 because Judy Boone refused to give up on Ocean View. Where others saw only a deteriorating neighborhood with rundown buildings, she and her husband Ronnie saw potential and something worth saving.
While others fled the old neighborhood for life in suburbia, Judy and Ronnie Boone dug in their heels and decided to buck the trend. They began construction of a sizeable building on the corner of East Ocean View Avenue and Chesapeake Boulevard. Longtime Ocean View residents watched the activity with interest. Some thought they were foolish to pour that kind of money into a dying neighborhood and everybody wondered just what Judy and Ronnie Boone were building, but they weren’t telling.
The Boones were sworn to secrecy because Judy was still working at another real estate firm. Although she’d given her broker 10 months notice, she’d promised not to say anything until the last minute. It was an early example of the integrity she would make a hallmark of Judy Boone Realty.
But the Boones’ silence precipitated some comic stories that Judy recounts with relish today. People made assumptions about the building’s purpose. "We had tourists inquiring about rooms because they thought it was a bed and breakfast. One man, convinced it was a restaurant, came in to order clam chowder."
Finally, a few days before Judy Boone Realty was scheduled to open, Judy’s employer realized he couldn’t delay the inevitable and agreed it was time for her to announce her plans. She sent out invitations to the grand opening of Judy Boone Realty just four days in advance. The Judy Boone Realty sign didn’t go up until the night before the opening.
Given the short notice, Judy and Ronnie were hoping for 200 people at their grand opening: 2,100 came. By the end of its first day, Judy Boone Realty had $2 million worth of listings.
Today, Judy Boone Realty is a dynamic company with more than 30 agents, a property management division, a large support staff, maintenance crew, and more than 1,200 rental units. Its reputation for integrity, customer service, and community support has resulted in extraordinary, award-winning achievements.
In fact, in 1993 Cox Cable TV presented Judy with the "Great Citizen of Hampton Roads" award and the readers of The Virginian-Pilot have voted Judy Boone Realty Norfolk’s Best Realty Company since 1996.
Judy Boone received The Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2005 “Fantastic 50” Top Service Award in recognition of her firm’s entrepreneurial spirit & growing contributions to Virginia’s economic vitality.
In 2006 Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association awarded Judy Boone with an Lifetime Achievement Award.
National Association of Professional Women honored Judy Boone with the 2011/2012 Women of the Year Award for demonstrating excellence and dedication within their profession from a membership of over 200,000 members.