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Imagine having one of the most ubiquitous names not only in North Texas but also in real estate. Ebby Halliday (1911-2015) was an inspiring businesswoman who built one of the largest residential real estate companies in Texas before it was sold to HomeServices of America in 2018. Since 1945, the woman behind the name was part of her business until she died and turned out to be a dynamo on and off the market.

From a single woman selling junk concrete homes to nearly 2,000 employees and handling billions in sales, Ebby Halliday remains a Dallas legend. Come back to The news archives for titles and highlights of the real estate queen of texas.

The beginning

Photo of Ebby Halliday, published in The Dallas Morning News on December 11, 1957.(The morning news from Dallas)

Halliday moved to Dallas in 1938, initially selling hats in a department store, then in his own boutique before going into real estate and starting his business in 1945. In just over a decade, The news introduced her as “the national queen by profession” on December 11, 1957, to capture her growing reputation. That year alone, she “gave 60 speeches and traveled over 70,000 miles” for engagements.

Two years later, on December 20, 1959, Halliday took a peek at the Dallas skyline, “which is symbolically ‘his'” because of his prowess in generating $ 12,000,000 in annual sales. , which roughly equates to $ 107,000,000 in today’s dollars.

70s and 80s

Ebby Halliday pictured with her "computerized real estate ad" equipment.  Published in The Dallas Morning News, September 19, 1971.
Ebby Halliday pictured with her “computerized real estate listing” equipment. Published in The Dallas Morning News, September 19, 1971.(The morning news from Dallas)

Never lagging behind, Halliday has used the best resources available to further improve their real estate services. On September 19, 1971, Halliday introduced the latest technological equipment from Realtors Computer Service Inc., “a computerized property listing service available to real estate agents across the country”.

In the 1980s Halliday became a real estate mogul with his billion dollar company. In an article published on September 9, 1983, the businesswoman spoke candidly to The News about her life and revealed that the iconic name Ebby Halliday was not her birth name, but rather Vera Lucille Koch.

Name change

Ebby Halliday pictured next to her husband, Maurice Acers.  Published in The Dallas Morning News, September 25, 1983.
Ebby Halliday pictured next to her husband, Maurice Acers. Published in The Dallas Morning News, September 25, 1983.(The morning news from Dallas)

Born in Arkansas, the future multimillionaire caught the entrepreneurial bug at 10 years old by selling balms. She credits her stepfather for instilling a strict work ethic, which she has maintained throughout her career and which she also passed on to her employees.

After graduating from high school, she moved to Kansas City to sell hats at a department store, which was the last time she passed Vera Lucille. She remembers when “one of the buyers I admired a lot told me I had to get rid of Vera Lucille. She said it was the silliest name she had ever heard. I needed something more sophisticated. I thought about it and found Ebby’s name.

In the early 1940s, Ebby moved to Dallas and opened her own store, Ebby’s Hats. She met an opportunity in 1945 that would change her life and an entire industry. A customer who loved her store’s decorations asked Halliday if she could help her husband sell 52 concrete houses. She sold them all in 14 months.

The secret? “I just picked one of the houses and decorated it,” she says. “I guess it was the first model home in Dallas. It worked really well. People liked the finished product.

Perfect success

Despite all of his success, Halliday considered his greatest achievement to be “marrying Maurice. [her]. “

Maurice Acers, whom Halliday married in 1965, was a prominent lawyer. She credited it as being an indisputable part of her business growth story. Maurice had a work ethic to match his wife’s, so much so that they brought their accountants and secretaries to their honeymoon in Mexico.

Ebby Halliday, real estate mogul.  Published in the Dallas Morning News, March 9, 2006.
Ebby Halliday, real estate mogul. Published in the Dallas Morning News, March 9, 2006.(The morning news from Dallas)

Age couldn’t stop Halliday from running the largest real estate company in Texas by sales, and the 23rd in the country. In 2006, his 95th birthday party was a hot topic, as were all the tributes for his 100th in 2011. For his 99th birthday, his favorite Dallas Mavericks player, Dirk Nowitzki, presented him with an autographed basketball. In 2012, on her 101st birthday, she attended the grand opening of Ebby Halliday Elementary School in Southeast Dallas.

Halliday died on September 8, 2015 in Dallas, where her legacy continues to prove the adage “Everyone loves Ebby”.

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