This father-son duo have closed over $2 billion in real estate transactions

BY Preta Peace Namasaba March 12, 2024 6:39 AM EDT
Osei and Nadir Rubie. Photo credit: New York Real Estate Journal

National Standard Abstract, a Black family-owned real estate title insurance firm has emerged as a leader in the industry. Headed by founder and president Osei Rubie and his son and partner Nadir Rubie, the firm has closed over $2 billion in real estate transactions with residential, commercial, and faith-based housing clients. But when Rubie started in title insurance, many opined that it was unlikely he would succeed as an entrepreneur in the industry.

“With 1 million ways to fail, we came up with 2 billion reasons to succeed as Black entrepreneurs. In the last eight years, we have developed a blueprint to close the opportunity gap and build generational wealth within the communities we reflect and serve,” Osei Rubie said about how his firm has defeated the odds.

Rubie was inadvertently introduced to title insurance. He was refinancing his residence when he realized that title insurance was required. But he did not want to pay because he thought the cost was optional. However, a bank attorney explained to him that it was a mandatory cost that the bank needed to confirm and that there were no current defects in title, violations, liens, or outstanding judgments. This left Rubie intrigued.

He asked the bank attorney to connect him to the title insurance company. Following the closing, Rubie met with the company and learned that they were the largest underwriter of title insurance in the United States. Two weeks after the meeting, he was offered a permanent position as a sales executive at the company. He left his job in pharmaceuticals, accepted the offer and began a career in the title insurance industry.

Coming from a business-oriented family, it was almost natural that Rubie’s next step should be in entrepreneurship. His mother and father owned three clothing retail stores for men and women, a clothing manufacturing facility for school and military uniforms, and a restaurant while the family lived in Liberia, West Africa. When they returned to the United States, his parents established Huggy Bean Doll, one of the first mass-produced black toy lines in the country available in all major retailers such as Toys R US, Walmart, Kmart, and Target. By the time Rubie finalized his high school education, he was actively presenting new toy product lines to retailers.

Despite Rubie’s exposure to both domestic and international entrepreneurship, people told him that his aspirations of owning a firm were futile.

In 2015, Rubie launched his title insurance agency, National Standard Abstract (NSA). The firm saw transactions ranging from $24 million to $43 million in Brooklyn in its first year of business. In pursuit of new sources of transactions to provide title insurance, Rubie identified a gap in the faith-based developments market. With more churches using their assets to help create affordable housing and other essential community resources, NSA could ably fulfil its vision of focusing on underdeveloped communities and advancing the growth of affordable housing.

In 2018, NSA closed more than $500 million in commercial real estate transactions and surpassed the $1 billion mark. Its non-faith-based deals included the $189 million Archer Green in Queens, the $47 million Regina Pacis Housing in Brooklyn and a $42 million project in Harlem. Rubie’s son, Nadir, joined the family firm in 2017 and now serves as a Partner. The NSA has since established the National Standard Resource Center to provide residential & commercial real estate professionals with access to avant-garde industry insight and opportunities for exchanges through continuing education courses.

“In less than a decade, National Standard Abstract has grown exponentially because we believe that relationships matter – at home and in the workplace. Before one can lead, you must first learn the fundamental principles of life and business. I am collaborating with my business partner, mentor, and father on development projects that will uplift historically marginalized communities. Together, we have achieved what others thought was impossible because we are family and of African descent,” Nadir Rubie said about the growth of the family owned company.

Last year, NSA reached a monumental milestone by closing over $2 billion in transactions. The firm’s multibillion-dollar portfolio includes prominent commercial and residential transactions and affordable, faith-based, and market-rate developments in the New York metropolitan area. Possessing decades of experience and public-private partnerships, Rubie has streamlined the title insurance process to fit projects of any size.

Additionally, NSA is helping end racial inequity and supporting community-based organizations working on the ground to create real change through the Osei Rubie Charitable Fund. A percentage of every closed transaction goes towards empowering people of African descent through education, entrepreneurship, youth programming, sports, and community development.