Jeff DeKleva has been a part of the fabric of the Grand Strand since 1983.
“My father was a career military man and got stationed here when the Air Force Base was here,” he said. “It’s been a long time.”
He went to Socastee High School and attended Coastal Carolina University, majoring in philosophy.
DeKleva, 44, worked in the food and beverage industry for a number of years, for what he said was a big corporation in the Southeast – but he wanted to pursue something different while working for himself.
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Ten years ago, he became a Realtor, and is currently an Executive Club level sales professional with RE/MAX Southern Shores.
“I have been with RE/MAX now for the last three years,” he said, adding that he made the move from Century 21. “We’re basically subcontractors, so I’m working for myself under the umbrella of RE/MAX Southern Shores. I really like helping people find their new home or sell the home they have.”
We’re basically subcontractors, so I’m working for myself under the umbrella of RE/MAX Southern Shores. I really like helping people find their new home or sell the home they have.
DeKleva said there is no such thing as a typical day in real estate – that it could go from juggling home inspectors to appraisers to showing property. “It’s a multi-hat situation, and no two days are ever the same.”
His specialty is single family residential – and he said he is all about negotiating the best price for his buyers and sellers every day.
A good deal of work is done in his car, which he called a mobile office.
“We do a lot of work out of our vehicles – whether it’s phone conversations, showing property to clients, listing property, putting up signs and lock boxes. I’m constantly on the go.”
DeKleva will be the first to tell you that he got into real estate at a fairly rocky point in the market. And things got way more challenging in 2008 – but he said this allowed him to focus on the actual job of selling real estate versus simply being an order taker.
But the market has improved considerably since then.
“I have seen the good and the bad with the market, but in any business climate there are always people buying and selling. In the last few years, we have definitely seen a turn for the better – but you have got to love what you do.”
If the real estate market didn’t put DeKleva on the run – his brother did. Seven years ago, his brother had just gotten into running and made a bet with him – challenging him to run a 5K.
“I had to train to do that, but I did it – and then started thinking, ‘How can I run farther, faster and better – and maybe one day do a half-marathon.’”
Five years ago, when he decided he was ready for a half-marathon, DeKleva wanted to do it for a cause – so he joined the Red Cross Rescue Racers, a program which its Web site says is a partnership between the Myrtle Beach Marathon Board of Directors and the American Red Cross of Eastern South Carolina. Every year, the Myrtle Beach Marathon raises thousands of dollars for the American Red Cross.
“I just completed my fifth year doing that,” he said, but thus far he has done half marathons only.
“I wish I had the time in my life to train for a whole marathon, but I just don’t.”
But he did have the time to goad his wife Tobina DeKleva into running a half, and the pair did the Biltmore Estate Asheville Half Marathon last month.
“My wife had never run a half marathon before, and to kind of egg her on to run one, we decided to run it for charity for the Children’s Miracle Network,” he said, adding that he also donates a portion of his real estate sales commissions to the organization.
“It was on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, and it was pretty brutal because of the hills,” he said.
“We are a couple of Lowcountry runners, so we are used to little to no elevation – and there were portions that were two miles straight up. It was pretty challenging – but we both rose to the occasion and finished it.”
An upcoming check presentation ceremony is in the works, and will take place at Black Dog Running Company in Myrtle Beach. Proceeds will be accepted by McLeod Health Foundation development coordinator Debra Bramlett for McLeod Children’s Hospital.
“I like to run for a cause,” said DeKleva.
For more information about the check ceremony, contact DeKleva at email@example.com.
Know of a local with an interesting job or career that should be given the Working 4 a Living treatment? Contact Roger Yale at firstname.lastname@example.org.