Wishing BJ the Best in Retirement

For over four decades BJ Droubi has helped San Franciscans to buy and sell real estate. During her tenure, she learned much about how and why and when we come to feel at home.

Now, with both sorrow and celebration, we join in wishing her that perfectly-at-home contentment in her well-earned retirement.


After 40 years in Noe Valley real estate, BJ’s insight and charm and steady hand will be missed. She is, in all senses, our family. And we would be lax if we this opportunity pass without mentioning just a few of her accomplishments and adding our personal well-wishes.

BJ’s contribution to the San Francisco real estate community has been monumental and inspirational. She has been a remarkable mentor, business partner, and of course mother. We’ll all miss having her sage advice and fun loving spirit in the office.

Lamisse Droubi

BJ opened the Droubi Real Estate in Noe Valley forty-one years ago. Back then, broker-owned companies were typically run by men, but BJ had a vision for Noe Valley. She wouldn’t let any old boys’ club sideline her.

In the 1970s, 24th St was chock-full of small real estate companies and it had plentiful sunshine, a commercial strip with great potential, and easy access to both public transportation and freeways. In those days, this was a working class neighborhood.

So BJ bought a Victorian on 24th Street and refurbished it. Lamisse, BJ’s daughter — and now senior realtor at Droubi Team, was then in the 2nd grade. BJ grew her business and her family along the same strip, fully investing in the community in every way available to her.

It is this vision and commitment that has made BJ and Droubi Team iconic in the San Francisco real estate industry.

BJ’s reputation in the San Francisco real estate community has long been of iconic status. Having the opportunity to work beside her and learn from a true master has been an incredible opportunity for which I will always be grateful.

David Pennebaker

It was BJ, back in 1977, who proposed organizing what’s now standard practice — the brokers’ Tuesday tour, calling it the brown bag tour at that time. Instead of working at odds with one another, brokers all arranged open houses for their available properties on Tuesdays, so agents could view and pass along information to their clients.

In the 1990s, BJ was instrumental in bringing staging to Noe Valley. While she wasn’t the first to understand that investing in the full range of staging improvements was excellent business, she was savvy enough to bring what was an elite innovation south of Market into District 5, enlisting Ken Fulk as our in-house stager. Staging remains a key element of Droubi Team listings.

One of BJ's newsletters from 1997
One of BJ’s newsletters from 1997

Droubi Team soon became a family-run experience, with Lamisse joining her mother in business 17 years ago. David Pennebaker has been vital to the partnership for nearly as long, adding his talents to the company 15 years ago. Jennifer Hoh has been with Droubi Team for almost a decade. We are pleased to welcome Emily Kitchen, our newest colleague.

While our agents have been around for a long time, they are often lapped by our clients, who have been around — and who keep coming back — for even longer. Generations of clients have made Noe Valley home through Droubi Team efforts. Today, Lamisse’s children add another generation to the community — still living just around the corner from where their grandmother hung her hat those decades ago.

And now, we thank BJ for sharing her vision and her wisdom. We wish her the best as she forgoes real estate in favor of raising chickens, painting, throwing pottery, and playing the piano.

BJ is going out on a high. For the past three years, Droubi Team has represented the most buyers and sellers in and around Noe Valley. We look forward to continuing to be a vital part of this thriving community and helping our neighbors with the transactions that make these houses into homes.

All good things come to an end, and I’ve enjoyed helping Noe Valley residents over my years in business. Thank you for letting me be a part of so many life changing and affirming events. I have a great deal of sadness leaving — especially as I enjoy working with my daughter, David, Jennifer, and Emily. I know their future is bright and I look forward to continuing to celebrate their successes from outside the office.

BJ Droubi