1. Why did you decide to share your personal story?

  The timing was right and so was the person. Mary Frances Burleson, the president of our company, has been asking me for years to write a book. She even gave me a book on writing a book, note pad and a box of chocolates with nuts for Christmas one year. Finally, she and Randall Graham, vice president of marketing came in my office one day and said "We want a book and we have an author selected!” They even had some cover options. I agreed on one condition, that the selected author peruses my wall of scrapbooks and not take up too much of my time. Mike Poss did just that.

2. Where did the phrase "From hats to houses," come from?

  I learned to sell at age eight. My product was Cloverine salve, which claimed—among other things—to be good for bug bites, chapped hands and lips, and dryness due to sun, wind and dust. We had a lot of that on the farm. I worked my way through High School in a department store selling everything from backlace corsets to Nelly Don dresses. Upon graduation, I got my first steady job selling ladies hats and after several promotions and transfers I eventually reached a position of Selling/Manager of ladies' hats. In 1945, I changed my product from "Hats to Houses" and became an entrepreneur.

3. Ebby Halliday: First Lady of Real Estate includes many “teachable” moments, but what would you say is the most valuable advice you’d like for readers to walk away with?

  I think the main point is that real estate services offer an excellent career for those who are willing to learn the business, operate with integrity, fulfill the client's needs and desires and willing to put something back into the communities they cover.

4. Throughout your over 60 years as a real estate professional, you have received numerous awards and accolades for career and community accomplishments. Is there one award that you most treasure?

  I would simply not be able to answer with just one. Here are three that stand out.

  • The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) from the National Association of REALTORS for years of service.
  • The 2005 Horatio Alger Award
  • The Doctor of Humanities degree for Dallas Baptist University.

5. Maurice Acers, your husband and best friend, is described in the book as the only man you’ve ever implicitly trusted. How did you know that he was the man for you?

  I was 47 years old when I met Maurice and was attracted by his energetic walk, his wonderful voice, by the way he looked. In our seven years of courtship, I learned of his good character and many accomplishments, both academically and in business. We were married for 29 years. He was the man for me!

6. The amazing photo gallery in the book gives readers a glimpse into your life from the time you were a young woman and just getting started in your career, through meetings with Presidents, and of course images of your husband, Maurice. What pictures do you envision adding to this collection in the future?

  At almost age 98, I'm disposing of and archiving photos, not adding to!

7. The real estate profession has evolved greatly over the last 60 years. With the current economy, what should agents keep in mind in order to stay positive and motivated?

  We're encouraging our associates to practice the basics of service contacting people, offering their services, sharpen their web sites, wear their name tags, circulate in the community, volunteer for good causes, stay healthy, take full advantage of all we offer as a company:

  • Training
  • Multiple Offices (30)
  • Technology
  • Our Mortgage, Insurance and Property Management Departments, our Relocation Department, E-commerce and the best address in real estate… ebby.com.

8. Can you tell us about your hobbies or passions?

   I read a lot - historical biographies, history, current affairs.We support many good causes, which require luncheons and dinners. I am an avid fan of the Mavericks and the Cowboys and a few College teams. I have been a tennis fan for many years and used to play.

9. What’s next for you and for Ebby Halliday Realtors?

   After a year of acquiring two good companies, completing build-out of several new offices and renewing and refurbishing others and confronting the effects of the world's economic challenge, AND now launching a book… Ebby Halliday, REALTORS is business as usual.