As I told you Saturday/Sunday, Ellen Terry has made the move from Ebby Halliday — her high end boutique firm was purchased by Ebby in 1995 — to Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International. This comes just a month after Ebby folded her firm into the Dave Perry-Miller brand — told you about that one first, too! Well, today was Ellen’s first day at Briggs Freeman, she said, since I broke the news of her departure over the weekend!
I got an exclusive interview with Ellen and Robbie Briggs just moments ago. First of all, she will office out of the Lovers Lane office, with Robbie. Not sure of all who will be coming along with her, Todd, her son, will come for sure. Hopefully, Caroline Summers. Ellen said she had several brokers pursuing her after the E/DPM merger, but she has admired Robbie for years and watched the incredible marketing being churned out of his office with the Sotheby’s merger. And she likes how Briggs is expanding like wildfire, too — new offices in Uptown, Southlake and soon, Fort Worth. Her new title at Briggs: Executive Vice President of Mentoring and Coaching.
“One of my passions in life has always been to mentor others to help them reach their potential,” says Ellen.
But never fear, Ellen will be selling. Her first sale was in 1976, a $400,000 home — believe it? — on Lakeside Drive to Jan Cox.
“I sold her a great investment,” says Ellen. The last time that home sold, Robbie Briggs says they handled it. It was $2.5 million.
Thirty days after she joined Coldwell Banker, her first broker, in 1976, the single mother had closed over a million in real estate sales, enabling her to pay off an IRS bill in full. In 2002 she sold, at that time, the most expensive home in Dallas, 4707 Park Lane, the $22 million Dick and Jinger Heath mansion designed by Cole Smith on Park Lane, now owned by Scott Ginsburg and listed with another high power broker at Briggs, Claire Dewar. Stay tuned: that listing is practically a blue light special!
Ellen sold townhomes for Al Hill, Jr., and most Highland Park notables.
“Since 1976, I have sold over a billion in residential real estate,” says Ellen. “Half of that was from 1996 to 2011, when I joined Ebby Halliday.”
Ellen has sold more than 173 multi million dollar homes in her career.
“Her strength is sales, listing and selling, and she will continue to do that,” says Robbie. “But I would even say that Ellen mentored me in a little way. I watched her from day one as she created two strong companies to become the leading luxury real estate brand in the market, focusing on giving the best service. That’s my goal, too.”
My goal was never to be the biggest, said Ellen, just the best of the boutiques.
“I couldn’t let him outdo me,” she said. “I had to join him!”
Oh and Robbie and his wife spent all day Sunday getting Ellen’s office ready for her, furniture and flowers.
“It’s beautiful,” she told me. “I came over here because they are having a Christmas luncheon, and I didn’t want to miss it.”
She added: I wish my former company the very best.
But tall Robbie has already been forewarned by his petite, 151st agent.
“I told Robbie to get on his knees, or I need a stool,” said Ellen.
Ellen was not at her old firm’s regular Monday morning meeting on Luther Lane today — Dave Perry Miller and Bud Bush held the podium. DPM is keeping the Luther Lane office as well as Ellen’s Lakewood offices and will soon hoist new signs on both. I’ve spoken with a few agents who tell me they were not surprised at all by the move. Word on the street last week was that Ellen had whittled her choices down to two brokerages: Virginia Cook and Briggs.
“There was never a choice,” she told me today. “It was Briggs all along.”