Adam Ballog, Vice President of Rentals
Charlene McClendon, Executive Vice President
T.J. Rubin, President & Managing Broker
Carley Leonas, Vice President of Property Management
Fulton Grace Realty
T.J. Rubin knows that necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention – his real estate career is living proof of that familiar saying. The President & Managing Broker of Fulton Grace Realty entered the industry after the economic recession left him jobless in 2008. Leveraging the limited leasing and property management experience he had acquired as the owner of a couple of apartment buildings, Rubin launched his agency in his living room. From those humble beginnings to a customized office on Halsted and recently opened second location in West Town, this lawyer turned “top producing” real estate broker currently leads a staff of nearly 50 professionals. Together, they offer a full suite of services that includes residential real estate sales, leasing and management.
Crediting his team for his company’s success, Rubin says, “I excel because I surround myself with loyal, dedicated and ambitious colleagues.” Among them are Executive Vice President Charlene McClendon, Vice President of Property Management Carley Leonas and Vice President of Rentals Adam Ballog. Each possesses years of experience and models exemplary leadership that continuously brings out the best in the firm’s people.
A Toronto native, McClendon gained her first exposure to the industry thanks to her Realtor father whom she accompanied to showings, inspections and closings. “He taught me early on to think outside of the box, push boundaries and be willing to make and learn from mistakes,” she says. She fine-tuned her business and entrepreneurial skills as owner of a global gift company in Ireland, an experience that provided invaluable insights about customer service, problem- solving and relationship building. As a result, this mother and role model for two young children knows how to proactively manage risk. “Thinking ahead about what issues might occur and appropriately planning for them allows me to be better prepared and ready to respond if and when challenges arise.”
Like McClendon, Leonas learned from the example her parents set. As physicians who operated their own practice, she remembers, “I was in awe as they seemed to know and genuinely connect with each person who walked through the door. They engaged their patients with unwavering sincerity, treating each one as friend, and today I also strive to develop personal connections to ensure meaningful, long-term relationships with my colleagues and clients.” Having previously worked as a tenant relations manager in a college town before returning to The Windy City, Leonas guides a team that provides outstanding property management services to clients ranging from first-time landlords to experienced investors. These include owners of single-family homes, condominiums and multi-unit buildings.
While Leonas primarily focuses on management services, Ballog leads experienced leasing agents who serve clients seeking luxury rentals. A born and bred Chicagoan, he knows the city’s neighborhoods like no one else. “I’ve lived and worked throughout the city from downtown to Lincoln Park to Lincoln Square and everywhere between!” Ballog says. “I know Chicago’s neighborhoods intimately, so I really help our agents find the perfect home for our clients.” He strives to ensure that Fulton Grace’s leasing professionals are well-equipped to do just that by sharing his communication and time management strategies with them. “To best service a client is to truly understand their needs and desires while demonstrating the utmost organization to yield the greatest results.”
Fulton Grace boasts an impressive record of accomplishment after just over six years in business, including Rubin’s recognition among the Top 1% of Producers for residential leasing and top producer for residential sales sales for many years. He and his firm pay these accolades forward by donating 10% of the gross revenue Fulton Grace earns from rental application fees each month to a local charity chosen by Fulton Grace’s Employee of the Month. And although Rubin and his firm have achieved both success and recognition in Chicago, he knows that possibilities abound. As he points out, “I’m constantly inspired by the unlimited opportunity that a career in real estate offers.”