Mary Poss: ‘The Memories of Ebby Are All Wonderful’

Editor’s note: As part of our online special Real Estate Quarterly this month, we asked several longtime employees of Ebby Halliday Companies about the late founder of the real estate firm, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Mary Poss

Mary Poss works at Ebby Halliday Companies Preston Center office, and was recruited by Halliday to make a career change. This is her Q&A.

PN: How long have you been working for Ebby?

Mary Poss: “Ebby called me when I was leaving City Hall and said it was time for me to join her company, and I immediately said, “I can do that,” and I have been in Real Estate for 15 years. (Ebby had asked me to join her company in the late 80’s and I told her I couldn’t because I was a banker.)”

PN: What are a couple of your favorite memories of Ebby Halliday?

MP: “The memories of Ebby are all wonderful.  We met in Galveston at a Keep Texas Beautiful Meeting in the late ’80s.  We worked on numerous charitable events together from that day forward.  Her late husband, Maurice, recruited me to run the Greater Dallas Crime Commission.  There are endless great memories.  One was Ebby’s 100th birthday party at the Meyerson with hundreds of her friends. The festivities continued well after midnight, and Ebby was there for every minute of it. Another was a dinner to honor former President George and Laura Bush at the Bush Library. Ebby was invited and could bring one guest. I was shocked when she invited me for what was an exceptional evening.” 

PN: How has the business changed since you started working for Ebby?

MP: “The advancements in technology provide agents and their buyers and sellers much more information with which to make decisions. Transactions move faster.  You can get more done with fewer people than has ever been possible. Today, the market continues to be relatively strong using virtual tours during this COVID pandemic.”  

PN: What do you think Ebby would make of what is going on nowadays – first with the increased use of technology in the real estate world, but also selling homes during a major pandemic?

MP: “Ebby always embraced new technology. It seemed to me that she listened to the ideas of those around her, and was not afraid to take a chance with something new and unproven. I found this to be very remarkable for someone of her age.

During this pandemic, Ebby would have been constantly searching for ways to help those in need. She would have written large checks to charities and non-profits even though the luncheons and galas had been cancelled. She would really miss seeing all of her friends  and would have probably been on the phone 16 hours every day. And she would certainly be missing her favorite pastime—watching sports. 

Ebby would offer agents the following advice:  In the down times, you have to work twice a hard.  She’d tell them that her best years were the down years because she doubled her efforts and worked harder. She would tell them to stay safe and follow the guidelines.”

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

One thought on “Mary Poss: ‘The Memories of Ebby Are All Wonderful’

  • July 29, 2020 at 8:09 pm
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    Many years ago around 10PM I was working late at the Little Whit House. My cubicle was next to a window on the East wing when all of a sudden I almost jumped out of my shoes. Heels of course in those days. EBBY was knocking on the window. She motioned me to the back door. EBBY had on a beautiful dress with a jacket. She couldn’t reach the zipper! So I got it down far enough and we got the jacket back on. Now dear she said what are you doing here so late? Well EBBY I said I have 3 contracts that I need to finish distributing in the am and with 4 children ,a dog,a cat, 2 rabbits and a New Yorker husband who barely saw grass until I converted him to Texas and had no idea where all these inhabitants got to our home
    on Lakehurst, i needed the peace and quiet
    of the office. Well now it’s time to go home she said. Sort it all out in the the morning. You need to take care of yourself now.
    So I gathered it all and walked her to her back door. For a while when I’d see her she’d wink to My unzipper lady.

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