Smiling Works, Thriving on Change, Investing in a Dream, and Making Every Day Countthese principles helped Ebby Halliday guide her firm to exponential growth, year after year for over six decades. This book is about starting small and dreaming big, about leadership and partnership, and about always treasuring the moments while looking to the future. "You want to know the secret of success?" Ebby has asked audiences across the country. "Make people feel that you are interested in them. Make them feel special. Make it real." Today she adds, "Don't smoke, don't drink, and never retire!" ... Read more
Customer Reviews (6)
Very poorly written
I was hoping the book would give more information on how to build an empire on real estate.Unfortunately, the book was poorly written...including unnecessary details of how functions or events were hosted by Ebby Halliday.The writing wasn't intriguing.It was a disappointment!I didn't bother finish reading the book.
I'm sure that Ebby Halliday is everything people say she is, but this book is a huge disappointment. After all these years interacting with people, surely she has many interesting stories to tell, but you won't find them in this poorly written book. If you want her resume, this is it. Most of the book is about where and to whom she made speeches and all the awards she has won. I can't believe I paid nearly $17 to read a book length advertisement for her real estate company and for her.
Decent book about an extraordinary woman!
What an incredible woman. The book is written fair. On a scale of 1 to 10, the writing quality is about a 5-6. But anyone can appreciate the terrific attitude Ebby displays throughout her life. Remarkable
MY FRIEND, MISS EBBY
There's one thing that I noticed while studying this book, something that had never hit me in the more than forty years I've known Miss Ebby and followed her business.
Miss Ebby has those special God-given looks that let her standout in any crowd.And on top of that, the woman looks like she'd be the perfect character casting for a real estate sales person in a "Father Knows Best" episode.
She took those looks and added to them a genuine interest in every person she knows, and a grinning comment like one she once made to me: "Bill, I just know you're going to do great in this business! I'll be your mentor."
That's what she told me in about 1980 when I opened my own brokerage company (Galveston & Houston), The House Company, for the first time.
I had met her in 1964 when I was a graduate student at University of North Texas.My friend, Jeri Howe, whose daddy was an FBI agent like Miss Ebby's husband Maurice was, had told me that she had the top real estate agency in Dallas.
That just didn't compute when the industry at that time was dominated by men.
So I phoned Miss Ebby, introduced myself, and asked her if I might come by and ask her just one question:"How'd you do that?"She said sure.
So what were her secrets to the perfect formula?Send out ten personal, handwritten notes every day.Always be ethical beyond any doubt. Mentor your office staff, sales people, and all others in the industry.Be active in the community and be generous with your time and money.Join RELO, a relocation service for independent Realtors.
So with a little shove here, and a bit of tweaking there, Miss Ebby taught me how to make my company the Number 1 company in Galveston within the first year.
If you're buying this book to specifically learn how to be a successful Realtor -- the secrets -- they aren't here, and they aren't here not because she didn't reveal them to Michael Poss, her attorney-friend who is the author.
They aren't here because she doesn't have any.
For an example, she doesn't say, "Send out seven postcards a year to your sphere of influence," or "Drop off homemade cookies to the neighbors."She leaves that stuff to other real estate marketeers, like Brian Buffini and Craig Proctor, to preach in their books.
Instead, she says show people you're interested in them, and do it often.Be totally ethical, almost to a fault.Real estate listings, sales and a joyous life will come to you as a result.
So read about Miss Ebby, "the First Lady of Real Estate" for inspiration.If you find other morsals hidden in there, that's good, too.
And what you've heard is absolutely true:As I write this, Miss Ebby is 98-years old.She'll put in a full day at the company's corporate office after driving herself at least ten miles from home via Dallas freeways in her big Cadillac...the one with the personalized license plate "Ebby."When she passes you, leaving you in her dust, honk and wave to the most famous person in Dallas.
A truly remarkable entrepreneur
Born March 9, 1911, Ebby Halliday is worthy of the recognition and commendation she has received during her career, one that (to the best of my knowledge) continues as she approaches her 98th birthday. She is among the most accomplished business leaders in the business history of the DFW area, indisputably "the first lady of real estate." Michael Poss's reverential, at times adoring biography seems to have been well-researched and certainly provides about as much information about Halliday's achievements as most readers wish to have.
I would have rated this book higher if Poss had made more effective use of flashbacks. While reading this book, it was difficult (at times almost impossible) for me to understand the context in which an event occurred. I also wish that Poss had offered a more balanced account of Halliday's life and career. When did she make any serious errors of judgment and what did she learn from them? What really angered her? Why? What were her vulnerabilities and how did she overcome them? Did she make any enemies along the way or, at least, are there any people whose opinions of her are unflattering? The Ebby Halliday he often portrays is, in my opinion, too good to be true and certainly much less interesting than the woman countless others have described to me.
That said, I appreciate the biographical material that Poss provides, especially his examination of her career transition from retail sales to residential real estate during which she demonstrates the same talents and skills that proved essential to the success of her company, notably attention to detail and creative problem solving. It is also noteworthy that two of her contemporaries, Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001) and Bette Graham (1924-1980), also overcame all manner of obstacles while founding and then building successful companies in the DFW area.Although Graham eventually sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million in 1979, Ash's son Richard serves as chairman and CEO of Mary Kay Inc., a private company whose worldwide sales are estimated to be at least $2.5 billion. It is also worth noting that all three have served as a role model for generations of other women and were actively involved in community service.
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