Self-made Man

As the youngest of five children, Van Deeb with Big Omaha Realty learned early on that you need to work for what you want. Deeb was always on the rebellious side and thinking out of the box. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said.

Deeb was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and raised in Omaha. He attended the University of Nebraska Omaha and played football. Knowing he wanted success but not knowing what that looked like, he moved to Dallas to continue his education at a real estate school. He then worked for a builder and then a broker for 10 years. Being in the real estate business in a new town with little money and no connections would be tough. But for Deeb, “failure was not an option.”

Moving back to Omaha in 1993 to raise his daughter Courtney and be closer to family, Deeb went to work for another real estate firm. “Our philosophies were different,” he said. After six months DEEB Realty was formed in his basement. He implemented a culture of “by agents, for agents”. “I wanted the agents to feel like they owned the company,” he said. As one of the first real estate firms to encourage the agents to express their independence meant that growth was on its way. DEEB Realty expanded from his basement to an office of only 1,000 square feet with 100 agents and grew the company to 350 agents within 15 years. “We were one of the first agencies with a virtual office concept,” he said. DEEB Realty was also a very community involved real estate agency.

Along the way, Deeb groomed agent Andy Alloway. “Andy was my kind of guy,” Deeb recalls. “He came in early and stayed late.” Alloway started by answering phones. He was promoted several times, eventually working his way up to General Manager. When Alloway expressed interest in opening his own real estate agency, Deeb made him an offer and Alloway accepted. The name DEEB Realty was kept for six years and then eventually became Nebraska Realty, which it is known as today.

Retirement lasted a short time for Deeb. Soon after, there were countless letters and phone calls arriving from realtors attributing their success to his guidance and mentorship. He said he realized when you enjoy what you do, it’s not work; it’s a blessing. “I wake up each day thanking the good Lord that I get to go to work doing what I love.” Deeb started Big Omaha Realty in 2012. “Mostly to satisfy my past client needs in buying and selling their home, and also to stay relevant when speaking to the sales and service industries,” he said. “Some days I want to grow a big firm like I did before, and other days I am content keeping it small.”

There are two passions that Deeb has: real estate and public speaking. “I’ve built life-long relationships through real estate, and I love developing people,” he said. Deeb recalled an agent, Dodi Osburn, in her beginning years who worked at two other firms with no support. After her transition to DEEB Realty, she became very successful. “She just needed someone to encourage and lead her,” he explained. Deeb’s public speaking roles extend beyond the real estate industry. He also speaks to those involved in any sales capacity and in the service industry in general.

Having always admired self-made, successful people, Deeb spent his career becoming one. An author of five books, a public speaker spanning the entire country, and a successful real estate professional, Deeb remains grateful. “I enjoy speaking and business coaching,” he said. “I developed this from watching others do what they should and shouldn’t do. You can learn a lot from people’s successes and failures. My passions are selling real estate, public speaking, and helping people become the best they can be.” Deeb hopes to inspire and empower others to emulate his success. You can learn more about Deeb at

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