Decena Named VP of Corporate Real Estate Services


Harold Decena has been named Vice President of Corporate Real Estate Services for the Ebby Halliday Companies. Chris Kelly, president and chief executive officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies, and Betsy Cameron, vice president of business initiatives, recently made the announcement.

“Harold is a widely admired veteran of the relocation services industry,” Kelly said. “Having led relocation departments at two firms, as well as having effectively served the Ebby Halliday Companies for the past several years in a relocation-services management capacity, Harold is the perfect person to succeed Karen Greene, one of the industry’s most-admired professionals.”

Greene, who recently announced her intention to retire at the end of June, has been a relocation director in North Texas for 35 years. Having long planned to retire in 2020, she has mentored Decena with the goal of a seamless transition in mind.

Greene says that among the things she has most enjoyed about working at the Ebby Halliday Companies are the respect the iconic brand commands nationwide and its long-established relocation department.

“I also enjoyed that every day was different,” Greene says. “In the relocation business, you deal with human beings and a very important part of their lives – their homes. I loved working our agents and the years flew by for me.”

Decena will lead one of the nation’s most-respected and largest in-house Relocation Departments.

“I’m excited to be associated with a company that has deeply established roots,” Decena says. “I consider it an honor to help further the visibility Karen and our team have built in the relocation referral landscape.

“My intention is to build on the success she has established and to further our local and national reputation as a department that helps make relocation a seamless experience for clients,” he says. “I want our clients to have an exceptional experience, but I also want our agents to have a great one. We are so fortunate to have an amazing team of agents at the Ebby Halliday Companies.”

Decena, a licensed real estate agent who also holds the Certified Relocation Professional designation from the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, will lead a department of eight relocation professionals who are known nationwide for their ability to facilitate the real estate referral process – both incoming and outgoing.

“My leadership style is performance and data driven – it’s all about the results,” Decena says. “I want every member of our department to have the tools necessary to succeed. I genuinely want to help each team member achieve his or her goals. I see myself as their partner in achieving success. At the end of the day, it’s about providing an exceptional real estate experience while continuing to build a respected department and collaborative relationships with our agents and sales leaders.”

For more information on the Ebby Halliday Companies’ corporate real estate services, visit the award-winning ebby.com. To contact Harold Decena, call 972-980-6637 or email harold@ebby.com.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary of serving the real estate needs of North Texas in 2020, the Ebby Halliday Companies are the No. 1 residential real estate firm in Texas by sales volume. In addition to its three real estate brands, Ebby’s Core Services companies include Prosperity MortgageHome Team InsuranceTexas Premier Title and HSTX Title. The Ebby Halliday Companies were acquired by HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the country’s largest residential real estate company based on transactions, in 2018. For more information, visit ebby.comdaveperrymiller.com and williamstrew.com.

Summer Pest Prevention


Bee in the garden

 

Recent showers combined with warmer weather will create the perfect habitat for pesky summer bugs. Here are some effective ways to prevent the common bites, stings and nuisances.

 

Mosquitoes

Unfortunately, Texas’ No. 1 culprit is here to stay. Aside from the traditional insect repellants and home remedies, it’s best to treat this problem at its source — water.

Turn over empty pottery to prevent from collecting water, drain plant saucers and fix any leaking outdoor faucets. Mosquitoes often lay their eggs in stagnant water, so the less the better.

 

Gnats

Although relatively harmless, these small creatures create quite the inconvenience with their constant swarming. Plus, you never know what germs they may be carrying as they travel from place to place.

If you garden, you want to make sure your fruits and veggies are staying fresh outside. If you happen to notice rotting or mold, act fast and pluck them out, then turn your soil or mulch to allow any moldy layers to dry out.

As with mosquitoes, be diligent in draining any standing water and drying out any moisture. With Texas humidity, the drying process may take a while. In this case, sprinkle a bit of sand on top of your soil to discourage the gnats.

 

Bees

To prevent bees from establishing a colony in or around your house, it’s important to remember these three things: food, water and shelter — bees’ keys to life.

As with any other summer bug, stagnant water must be kept to a minimum. Drain pots and repair any faulty irrigation systems. And if you have bird baths or pet bowls outside, mixing in 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water will discourage any bees from setting up shop near your house.

Plan an exterior inspection and eliminate any potential nesting sites. Cover holes, chimneys and animal burrows. Make sure windows and screens are tightly fitted and sealed. If you have any debris in your yard, such as old tires, cardboard boxes or old appliances, throw them out. Bees seek out such items for nesting sites.

Removing flowers as a source of food is not recommended. In fact, it’s very important for bees to pollinate many plants, including crops. If you have a colorful garden, not to worry. As long as you have their other two resources tamed to a minimum, you’re in tip-top shape for the summer.

 

Slugs

Like humans, slugs seek out shade on sunny days. And like many other bugs, they love moist areas.

To prevent slugs from damaging your plants and leaving their slimy evidence, get rid of any hiding places. Think cool, dark and moist. Try irrigating your lawn in the morning instead of the evening, allowing plenty of time for plants and soil to dry before the sun sets.

To protect plants, spray surrounding areas with soap and water. You can also create barriers around your plants, such as rocks, wire or anything rough and abrasive to slow them down.

Lastly, slugs have no bones. Therefore, they can fit in any crack or crevice they set their eyes on. Seal any cracks and cover any holes you notice throughout your house. By doing so, you not only eliminate the potential for slugs, but for other bugs as well.

 

If you’re experiencing bug problems not addressed here, contact your local nursery for expert advice or find services in your area at zaarly.com.

Texas Top Destination for Corporate Moves


Texas Top Destination for Corporate Moves

When it comes to corporate moves, Texas was the top destination for people packing up and heading across the country in 2019.

Texas topped the list, which also includes California, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina as the states that were the most popular destinations for corporate transfers, according to Allied Van Lines.

Texas, with its business-friendly climate, has ranked as the top move destination for Allied corporate customers for the past six years, the moving company said in its most recent Magnet States Report. The high influx of corporations moving to Texas makes it a highly desirable destination for top talent.

A few other interesting findings:

* The most popular month for Allied corporate moves was June, and the most popular day of the week to move was Friday.

* Allied consumer customers still prefer to move in June; however, in 2019 the most popular day to move changed from Tuesday to Friday, allowing for a full weekend of unpacking and settling in.

* Allied consumer and corporate customers moved a total of 421,780,231 miles over the last six years, which is equal to over 16,937 trips around the world.

Considering a move to North Texas? The Ebby Halliday Companies are here to help. Our complete offering of brokerage, mortgage, title and insurance homeownership services ensures you have the easiest and most secure real estate experience. In good times and most importantly, in challenging times, we have stood by North Texas for over 75 years. It would be our honor to put our experience and strength to work for you.

To learn more and to get started, contact an Ebby Halliday agent today. People First. Lasting Relationships. Elevating Real Estate.

10 Homes with Charming Curb Appeal


Curb appeal comes in many forms, but at its core, it’s about making your home feel fresh and welcoming. Whether it’s updated landscaping and porch furniture or a general exterior cleaning is up to you.

Take a look at these gorgeous homes making curb appeal look simple. You may feel inspired to enhance your outdoor space.

1 Shady Oaks

1900 Shady Oaks Drive | Southlake | $5,495,000

2 West Shadow

2906 W. Shadow Drive | Arlington | $2,950,000

3 Coronado

6946 Coronado Avenue | Lakewood | $1,100,000

4 Miller

5247 Miller AvenueVickery Place | $1,025,000

5 Sorrento

6400 Sorrento Lane | Flower Mound | $949,900

6 Stone Haven

2603 Stone Haven Court | Arlington | $808,000

7 Fairglen

8926 Fairglen Drive | Lake Highlands | $715,000

8 W Amherst

4606 W. Amherst AvenueBriarwood | $649,000

9 Darrow

7613 Darrow Drive | McKinney | $467,000

10 Staffordshire

1003 Staffordshire Drive | Carrollton | $390,000

To see more spectacular curb appeal and view all of the North Texas homes for sale, visit the ebby.com.

Brighten Your Outdoor Space


April showers bring May flowers, and everyone can use a bit of joy. Whether you’re looking to give the garden a complete makeover or add a pop of color to your porch, these beautiful flowers will brighten anyone’s day and improve your home’s curb appeal.

 

Marigold flowers in the garden

Marigold

Marigold flowers bloom in rich orange and yellow colors. They’re known for tolerating the Texas heat and repelling insects from garden plants.

 

Beautiful pink cosmos flower

Cosmos

Another flower that sits well in the Texas heat, cosmos grow abundantly. They’re low-maintenance and come in a wide range of colors for a vibrant outdoor oasis.

 

Close-up cape leadwort (Plumbago auriculata) flower in the garden

Plumbago

Plumbago, also known as the sky flower, falls in the shrub category. The bright blue flower blooms in clusters and grows well with a lot of sun or light shade.

 

Colorful zinnias in the garden

Zinnias

Zinnias bloom big in the summer. The flower brings a burst of color to any garden and also attracts butterflies.

 

bedflower of beautiful Celosia Plume

Celosia

Celosias are also called cockscomb because the flowers resemble a rooster head. The shape adds a dramatic effect to any garden.

 

For more ideas on how to improve your spring garden, visit our Pinterest board.

In Good Times and Bad, We Stand with You


In Good Times and Bad, We Stand with You

Together, the North Texas region has faced one of modern history’s most serious challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies, like individuals, responded to the pandemic, as well as those who rely on their services, in different – often strikingly different – ways.

“As the Ebby Halliday Companies mark 75 years of serving the residential real estate needs of North Texas during 2020, we are grateful for your continued support and we are honored to have served many of our neighbors during this challenging time,” says Chris Kelly, president & CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies. Ebby Halliday’s real estate brands include Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Williams Trew. Its Core Services companies include Prosperity Mortgage, Home Team Insurance, Texas Premier Title and HSTX Title.

“Within days of COVID-19 arriving in North Texas, we witnessed every major iBuyer close their doors to our community,” Kelly says. iBuyers are major real estate investment firms that use automated-valuation models and other technology to make cash offers on homes. “At a time when people needed shelter more than ever, these iBuyers’ viewed you and your home as a financial risk they were unwilling to take.”

“We, and other longstanding brokerages who have served you through wars, recessions and other times of great stress, saw the real risk of this approach: abandoning you in the middle of a crisis,” Kelly says. “We may be competitors with these brokerages in real estate, but we are partners and we thank them for standing with us in our continued service to you, our neighbors across this great region.

“As the state of Texas continues its phased re-opening, and as iBuyers undoubtedly return to our market, we ask that when the need arises you consider selecting an Ebby Halliday Companies agent to represent your residential real estate needs,” Kelly says. “In good times and in bad times, we are here for you.”

When buying or selling a home, selecting the right broker – one who will stay by your side throughout the often-complicated process – is critical to your experience and success. In addition to 75 years of service to North Texas, the Ebby Halliday Companies are committed to the homeownership dreams of everyone who calls North Texas home.

“When you choose the Ebby Halliday Companies to represent your real estate needs, you’ll not only have access to the most respected and knowledgeable agents in North Texas – who are part of HomeServices of America and the Berkshire Hathaway family – but also our mortgage, insurance and title services,” says Kelly.

Too often in today’s world, consumers are asked to choose between a technology or a traditional company to fulfill their real estate needs. No more. From home showings to mortgages, insurance to closings, when you choose the Ebby Halliday Companies everything can be completed efficiently and if needed, virtually.

“Our complete offering of brokerage, mortgage, title and insurance homeownership services ensures you’ll have the easiest and most secure real estate experience,” Kelly says. “When combined with the personal touch of a local expert associated with North Texas’ leading residential real estate brokerage, it simply is an unmatched experience. It would be our honor to put our experience and strength to work for you.”

For more information about Ebby Halliday’s brokerage, mortgage, insurance and title services, visit the award-winning ebby.com.

The Weekly Wrap-up


Are you in the market for a new home in North Texas? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

 

1 Deloache

6231 Deloache Avenue | Preston Hollow | $2,295,000

 

2 Lantana

1802 Lantana Court | Southlake | $1,849,000

 

3 Auburndale

4817 Auburndale Avenue | Highland Park | $1,795,000

 

4 W Hanover

4724 W. Hanover AvenueBluffview | $1,400,000

 

5 Club Oaks

5702 Club Oaks Drive | North Dallas | $1,025,000

 

6 Rocky Cove

8701 Rocky Cove Circle | Lake Highlands | $950,000

 

7 Provine

2504 Provine Road | McKinney | $799,995

 

8 Regal Crossing

713 Regal Crossing | Keller | $695,000

 

9 Old Pond

16912 Old Pond Drive | Far North Dallas | $575,000

 

10 Bold Ruler

3024 Bold Ruler Road | Celina | $474,000

 

To view more exceptional properties, visit ebby.com.

6 Tips for Lasting Flowers


Bouquet of pastel hydrangeas in glass vase.

 

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and that means flowers are in high demand. According to the Society of American Florists, one-fourth of the flower and plant purchases made for holidays happen around Mother’s Day.

 

From homemade bouquets to delivered arrangements, here are some tips for making your fresh flowers last longer.

 

Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. Experts suggest scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water before rinsing.

 

If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria can grow. Remove excess leaves and stems to keep bacteria at bay so your flowers will last.

 

The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this, if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers to soften. The colder the water, the better your results.

 

Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Always trim the stems at a 45-degree angle.

 

Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.

 

Fresh water is key.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same steps as above.

Kastan Named Sales Leader of Plano/Willow Bend Office


Curt Kastan Named Sales Leader of Plano/Willow Bend Office

 

We are excited to announce that Curt Kastan is the new sales leader for Ebby Halliday’s Plano/Willow Bend Office. Kastan will also continue in his role as sales leader of Ebby’s Preston Plano Parkway Office.

 

“We are thrilled Curt has accepted this additional responsibility and know he is absolutely the right person at the right time in just the right roles,” says Chris Kelly, president & chief executive officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies. “Given the proximity of our Plano/Willow Bend and Preston Plano Parkway offices, Curt will be able to quickly generate additional synergies, sharing and collaboration among the two groups of widely admired agents.”

 

Kastan quickly established himself as a remarkable sales leader within the PPP office and is a highly respected member of Ebby’s leadership team, Kelly says. He is well known for his relationship-based style of leadership and for genuinely caring about those he leads.

 

A third-generation real estate sales professional, Kastan literally grew up in the business. His grandparents owned a boutique brokerage on the beach in Ventura, Calif., and his mother was a top-producing luxury agent. Kastan followed in their footsteps, becoming licensed in 2000 and, by building on his family’s knowledge and experience, enjoyed early and sustained success.

 

With over 20 years of experience, Curt brings real-world knowledge to his roles as sales leader of Ebby’s Preston Plano Parkway and Plano/Willow Bend offices. He possesses keen marketing and transactional knowledge, luxury property expertise, a tireless work ethic, genuine integrity and a positive outlook.

 

A longtime agent whose transition into management was an organic one, Kastan says he is, at heart, a servant leader. “I always try to place myself in others’ ‘shoes,’ ” he says. “I never ask people to do things I haven’t done or am not prepared to do myself.”

 

When he is not working, Kastan enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.

 

In additional exciting news, Jason Bell, an agent with Ebby’s Plano/Willow Bend Office, has accepted the role of Agent Development Director and will assist Kastan in this capacity at both the Plano/Willow Bend and PPP offices.

 

Born in Dallas and raised in the Lake Highlands area, Bell is a graduate of Texas Tech University. He and his wife Amy have three children and enjoy spending time boating, fishing, golfing and watching their children play sports.

Kastan Named Sales Leader of Plano/Willow Bend Office

“Jason joined Ebby Halliday in 2016 and has built a successful real estate practice by consistently going above and beyond for clients,” Kelly says. “He has a thoughtful communication style that will make him very relatable to the agents he serves. We are thrilled to welcome Jason to this new role.”

 

Bell holds the Graduate, Realtor Institute and Pricing Strategy Advisor designations. Before embarking on his real estate career, he worked in the life and health insurance industries for 15 years. Jason is excited to be working with and learning from an excellent leader like Kastan, and will also be furthering his leadership development with Ebby Halliday Companies Vice Presidents of Brokerage Carolyn Rosson and Malinda Howell.

 

For more information on Ebby’s Preston Plano Parkway Officer, visit PrestonPlanoParkway.Ebby.com. For more information on Ebby’s Plano/Willow Bend Office, visit PlanoWilllowBend.Ebby.com.

 

 

Today’s the Day: North Texas Giving Tuesday


Today's the Day: North Texas Giving Tuesday

 

Our greatest asset in an unprecedented time is each other. With many nonprofits seeing an increase in demand for critical services and cancellations of in-person fundraising opportunities, all charitable organizations, including many North Texas nonprofits, are reeling from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In concert with the global #GivingTuesdayNow campaign, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day, the Dallas Cowboys and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas have teamed up to support those who need help the most. North Texas Giving Tuesday Now is today, May 5, from 6 a.m. to midnight. You can browse the needs of more than 3,000 local nonprofits and support the organizations of your choice here.

 

Nonprofits of all types – from arts to education, social services, and zoos – are struggling in this unprecedented time. From food pantries, to medical support and financial assistance, to displaced workers and educational programming challenges, there are people in our communities facing real needs, right now. The needs are diverse and they are many, and these organizations urgently need support.

 

To show your support for our North Texas neighbors today, please click here.