Merry Christmas, Ebby Halliday Acers


At The Ebby Halliday Companies, we are fortunate to have some of the best Sales Associates in North Texas – and these loyal and supportive individuals are truly the reason for our success. As Roger Staubach said in the preface of Ebby’s biography, “Ebby and I had something in common, we both had great teams.”

A Christmas Card of Ebby Halliday & Maurice Acers. Courtesy of The Ebby Halliday Archives.

That is true, but we also believe that the excellence and high standards our company is known for today comes from the top – specifically from our founder, leader, biggest cheerleader and, most importantly, friend, Ebby Halliday Acers. Those of us who are affiliated with this company are so fortunate to have the privilege of working for a true legend – a legend in real estate, in business, in our city, state and world. Few people can say they’ve worked for, much less personally met, one of the true greats of their time. But we can. So to honor our great lady this holiday season, we thought the following speech best summed up our feelings.

It was delivered by Ebby Associate Tricia Rhea at the Ebby Preston Keller office holiday luncheon last week. While it was beautifully written and delivered by a single Associate, we know that it accurately expresses the feelings of every one of our 1,500 Sales Associates and Staff. So please enjoy our gift to our First Lady. And because we know she will see this:

Merry Christmas, Ebby Halliday Acers. From your entire extended family of Sales Associates & Staff. We love you.

The following speech was written and delivered by Ebby Associate Tricia Rhea:

You want to know the secret of success? Ebby would ask this question to audiences at speaking engagements across the country.

Make people feel that you are interested in them. Make them feel special. Make it real.

She would always attribute this advice as having come from her beloved husband, Maurice. She would say that it was a gift of advice he gave to her and attributed it to her great success in real estate. In her book you really get to know the personal world of our great mentor Ebby and how very much she loved Maurice. There are nuggets of wisdom throughout the pages and most go back to what she and Maurice shared. She stated:

Maurice Acers (rhymes with bakers) understood that he couldn t control the economy. He could not control the stock market or the rate of unemployment. He couldn t control the price of tuition or rent or food. He COULD control his own thoughts, his own choices, and his own actions.”

She believed that too and it became the bedrock of everything she set out to do.

I love the many thoughts Ebby shared in her book because I think they are golden rules. They aren’t broken and we don’t need to fix them. It s no secret we have all struggled in a very, very, tough market and world economy not for just one year, not for just two years, not for just three years – we are now well into several years of a tough market back to back. Real estate gurus are saying 2012 will remain about the same. On first impression those words don t offer us much encouragement as we head into a new year but I believe they are reliable and not necessarily bad news. There is a lot to be said for reliable versus being told what we may want to hear. Most of us have had a better year this year than last and even in these tough times we are gaining momentum. I ll be the first to say that I know there are days when I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. We are all worn out physically and mentally. Real estate IS exhausting work. Only the best of the best can stay in this business and run the course. Ebby stated that:

There is no easy road to anything worth achieving. I worked like a dog and acted like a lady.

It s so true. Her great compadre aside from Maurice was her co-conspirator and friend Mary Frances – she too has coined so many great words of advice – golden nuggets over the years – some that particularly fit with my message today include her credo:

Get up, suit up and show up – no matter what.”

And her words, reflecting over 50 years of experience in this industry:

When the public likes and trusts a company and its people, they do business with that company. That is the reason we have remained successful for so many years. We realize we have to work smarter and harder to increase our market share and maintain profitability. To that end we have experienced several years of capital expansion of facilities and infrastructure and are well positioned for growth. What exactly that growth will look like, the shape of the tools and technologies and services the company will offer in five, ten, or fifteen years is difficult to predict. What is predictable remains the spirit of the enterprise.

Hear that one again because I think it sets the tone and reminds us all of who we are as Ebby Halliday real estate professionals:

What is predictable remains the spirit of the enterprise.

I recently read the book Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton. What inspired me was his model for success: Success is not how much a man gets as how much he has to give away. He believed the true fruits of successful living were not material. They were contentment, the joy of usefulness and growth through the fulfillment of one s particular talent. Mr. Hilton also believed that everyone no matter what he or she did in life from housekeeper to CEO strives for success, but that there was an art to living successfully . He believed there were ten ingredients. 1. Find your particular talent, 2. Be Big: Think Big, Act Big. Dream Big., 3. Be honest, 4. Live with enthusiasm, 5. Don’t let your possessions possess you, 6. Don t worry about your problems, 7. Don’t cling to the past, 8. Look up to people when you can and look down upon no one, 9. Assume your full share of the responsibility for the world in which you live, and 10. Pray consistently and constantly.

Does any of this sound like someone we all know? I could not help but think this is exactly the core beliefs and ethics Ebby Halliday and her team have built their empire on from the day the company was conceived. Interesting, that two of the most successful business entrepreneurs AND businesses I can think of, really, in the world include Ebby Halliday and Conrad Hilton. Measuring the bottom line to both of their successes is inconceivable to me and awe inspiring.

How amazing to know we have been a part of that great Ebby Halliday legacy.

All that said I believe everyone in this room is a professional entrepreneur who has been given the privilege to work under the greatest broker there is. No one touches Ebby Halliday and everyone, including our peers, knows it. Ebby Halliday and her team, according to Mary Frances believes:

The quality of any real estate office can be measured by the quality of the sales force .

Ebby is the best, her team is the best, the sales force that works under her name is the best. Period.

Ebby was awarded the Horatio Alger award in 2005. She will tell you of all the awards she has been given this one meant the most to her. The recipient to that award is chosen based on their dedication to the simple belief that hard work, honesty, and determination can conquer all obstacles. Ebby was the perfect candidate for that award and I can see why she believes it to be her finest moment. She started with nothing and by 2005 had a company with twenty five offices, 1,200 selling agents, 17,500 homes sold, and annual sales of $3.8 billion. And those are statistics from her book written several years ago not even the hard numbers for 2011. I say all of this because I hope each of you owns your part in this great success. Each of us are part of this great success. WE everyone in this room is a great success. We are or we wouldn’t be Ebby Halliday agents. In the current market the opportunities have never been greater to make a difference in someone s life. I challenge each of you to be the agent who holds on, faces each day with steady resolve that this market will pass and believing we will ALL still be here when it does. I also challenge you to successfully live while striving in your work every day to live successfully. That is a personal goal of mine to make a difference in someone’s life through my work and to successfully live recognizing all the good in everything that I can. Even in the worst of times we all have so much more than so many in our world today.

I cannot help but believe if Ebby were here having lunch with us today she might end with a thought she has spoken so many times and goes like this:

Be honest, touch people s lives, look at people when you talk to them, don’t criticize the competition and do something nice for someone every day!

I think if we can remind ourselves every day what our mentor, teacher, friend and leader has accomplished in her life, how she has lived, what she has believed in and held strong to, to become one of the greatest real estate agencies in the world, we can surely follow her model and press on toward the continued success I know she wants for each of us. I truly believe she wants that for each and every one of us.

I am deeply humbled and tremendously grateful to be a part of the Ebby team. I believe all of you are, too. To you, my friends, I wish you the happiest of holidays in whatever way that is sacred and dear to you as you celebrate them with those you love, along with great amounts of peace, joy, contentment and that you will each have the very best year of your career in 2012.

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my Realtor Offered Me…


A 12 Bedroom, 12 Bathroom, Parisian Palace

If your family likes to get away for the holidays, consider Palais Montmorency presented by our Luxury Portfolio International counterpart in Paris, France. Built in 1912 for the Duchess of Montmorency, this mansion is approximately 33,369 square feet and boasts 20 rooms, 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. There are incredible details throughout including 18th century panels and a ceiling in the great dining room painted by the French artist Henri Rousseau. Imagine vacationing just 10 miles north of the Paris city center in the wealthy suburb of Montmorency. This truly is a one-of-a-kind property for your family to live or vacation like royalty.

The Ebby Halliday Companies are proud to be the exclusive Dallas affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a 48-year-old global network responsible for more transactions than any other real estate network. The award-winning website, luxuryportfolio.com, features more $1 million-plus U.S. residences and more global properties than Christie s or Sotheby s. Luxury Portfolio is also a true luxury network, with 84 percent of its listings priced above $1 million, compared to Sotheby s which has 60 percent of its property inventory priced below $1 million, according to the October 2011 Mintel International Website Survey.

For more information on this luxurious Parisian palace, click here.

To see our full list of the 12 Homes of Christmas, click here.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

On the 11th Day of Christmas, my Realtor Offered me


11 Specialty Rooms in a Grapevine Lake Villa

You won t know which room to put your Christmas tree in with this gorgeous eight bedroom, nine and two half bath home on Grapevine Lake in Flower Mound. Inside the more than 17,000 square foot ornate home are eleven specialty rooms including:

Exercise room with coffee bar and sauna

Walk-in wine cellar

Entertainment suite with wet bar and dance floor

Casino room

Craft room

Dark Room

Concrete Insulated Safe Room

Harley Davidson room with a Harley in the floor

Glass enclosed observation room with panoramic views

Media Room with tiered seating

Driving Range Room and Indoor Putting Green

The rest of the home is equally as special with a formal living room with walls of windows and custom murals. The master bedroom acts as its own luxurious hotel suite with a sitting area, fireplace, heated bathroom floors and enormous closets. Invite your guests to come and stay a while in the full apartment with private entrance. The elegance continues outside with four lush acres, verandas, ponds, bridges, waterfalls and a mile long path.
Oh yeah, and don t worry Santa, you can take the elevator that serves all three floors.

For more information on this gorgeous home at 6100 Seascape Court, click here.

Check back tomorrow for the 12th and final home in our 12 Homes of Christmas series. And, as always, you can be in control of your own home search at The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, my Realtor Offered me


A Ten-Acre Wooded Oasis

If your idea of a family pet reaches far beyond cat or dog, this might be just the home for you. Nestled on almost ten acres on a quiet cul-de-sac lot is a four bedroom, five bath Mansfield estate. This beautiful heavily-treed lot backs to the golf course and also allows you to keep horses on the property. This home embraces the one-of-a-kind backyard as most rooms in the house have gorgeous views of the private and serene landscape. Santa Claus will be thrilled when he descends down the family room fireplace and sees the wall of windows that offer another beautiful way to enjoy a view of the outdoors. Other amenities include a private master suite, study, four-car garage, gameroom with bar, and a spacious balcony. This home is also great for good little boys and girls as it s in the sought after Mansfield ISD school district.

For more information on 401 Carlin in Mansfield, click here.

Check back tomorrow for the 11th home in our 12 Homes of Christmas series. And, as always, you can be in control of your own home search at The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

Ebby Halliday Companies Associates Outperform the Market!


The following was sent to every member of The Ebby Halliday Companies by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson. And because good real estate news sometimes seems hard to come by in the mainstream media, we thought we would share with all of you as well.

As 2011 comes to a close, we would like to personally thank each of you for your remarkable professionalism, your hard work, and for a very successful year. You and your fellow Associates significantly outperformed the DFW market during 2011!

Associates at the Ebby Halliday Companies have increased their sales over 2010 by more than 6% through November 30, 2011 compared to the area-wide NTREIS MLS, where sales are up approximately 1%.

We wish you all the very best for the holiday season, and look forward to a happy and prosperous New Year in 2012.

Thank you so much for all that you do!!

On the 9th Day of Christmas, my Realtor Offered me


A Colleyville retreat with nine putting holes.

Santa Claus better bring his golfing shoes when he visits this stunning Colleyville home with nine putting holes in the backyard and a 2,000 square foot guest house! Yours will be the favorite home (or homes) on his list with this stunning 6,800 square foot, four bedroom four full and one-half bath main home in the Thornbury of Brook Meadows Community in Colleyville. He might even bring Mrs. Claus and stay a while in the two bedroom, two bath guest house complete with a full-service bar, media room and full kitchen! This home has everything you could need with two formal living areas, a gorgeous updated kitchen and a large master retreat.

For more information on this meticulously maintained home, click here.

Check back on Tuesday for the 10th home in our 12 Homes of Christmas series. And, as always, you can be in control of your own home search at The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

North Texas Home Sales Continue to Climb


For the fifth straight month, home sales have increased in North Texas. Even better, analysts are confident that December sales will push the market ahead of 2010 numbers. According to the North Texas MLS, home sales are up by 15 percent from a year ago thanks to hard-working real estate agents. In the first 11 months of 2011, agents sold 54,384 pre-owned single-family homes in North Texas. That s why here at Ebby Halliday, we are extending a very special thank you to our agents this Christmas! Check out the Ebby Halliday, REALTORS Facebook page to see our special ad from this Sunday s Dallas Morning News.

If you’re a Dallas Morning News subscriber, you can read more about the increase in North Texas home sales by visiting dallasnews.com.

On the 8th Day of Christmas, my Realtor Offered me



An eight bathroom television estate.

You will want to host every family holiday in this six bedroom, eight full and three half bath home. In fact, it s so extravagant and special that the interior of the home was chosen to shoot scenes for the pilot episode of the upcoming Dallas television series remake. One can see why immediately upon entering the gorgeous Bob Thompson-built estate with a dramatic marble entry leading to a piano room, domed ceiling and a curved marble staircase. Situated on more than one acre of beautifully landscaped grounds in Plano, this home has countless amenities including a media room with theater seating, an outdoor kitchen with fireplace and a full tennis court. Take a photo tour and you’ll easily see how any holiday would be perfect in this immaculate home.

For more information on 2504 Beacon Crest Drive, click here.

Check back on Tuesday for the 9th home in our 12 Homes of Christmas series. And, as always, you can be in control of your own home search at The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

On the 7th Day of Christmas my Realtor offered me


A seven bedroom Victorian Landmark

That sounds like a lot of room for family and guests during the holiday season. Located on a one-acre lot just two blocks away from the historic McKinney Square, this seven-bedroom, seven and one-half bath Victorian home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a registered Texas Landmark. After your guests settle in to their guest room with private bath, everyone can gather on the incredible wrap around veranda. And, for that extra special guest (wink, wink Santa), there is a separate sleigh house, oops, we meant carriage house, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. If the family and holiday season start to overwhelm you, you can always escape to your spacious third floor owners living quarters with more than 1,400 square feet of space. And if the Big Guy is looking to relocate after his trip around the world on Christmas Eve, the detached two-car garage with hydraulic lift, heat and air would make an ideal workshop. (Call us, Santa.)

For more information on this one-of-a-kind home at 513 W. Louisiana Street, click here.

Check back on Monday for the eighth house in our 12 Homes of Christmas series. And, as always, you can be in control of your own home search at The Best Address in Real Estate, ebby.com.

Calling All Elves on Shelves!


Children across North Texas are on their best behavior this month and it s not because of Jolly Ole Saint Nick. Nope, it s his right-hand man (or men), the Elf on the Shelf who has been making sure kids stay on the nice list this Christmas. In case you aren t familiar, the Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition where a resident elf sits on the shelf of homes carefully observing children s behavior. At night, when the children are sleeping, the elf flies back to the North Pole to report back to Santa. So, each morning the elf is in a new place, on a new shelf and sometimes performing a new (and sometimes mischievous) activity.

The challenge for the, um, elf? Finding a new position every morning through Christmas. For Ebby agent, Jason Thomas, the Elf on the Shelf is an opportunity for some serious creativity. One of his examples is pictured at the top of this post.

So, we want to know, what has your elf been up to? Send your best and most creative elf on the shelf pictures to blognews@ebby.com to be included in our Elf on the Shelf Facebook album.

Whether you want to brag about your great ideas, or maybe just get some inspiration from other elves, our Elf on the Shelf Album is a great Christmas resource.

To see the album, click here.