CandysDirt.com talked recently with Ben Jones, Senior Vice President for Allie Beth Allman & Associates, which markets luxury properties primarily in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow and Lakewood areas.
The 20-plus year real estate veteran has his own team, Ben Jones Real Estate Group. He is one of the most sought-after agents in the Dallas area and thought we’d find out more about him.
CD: Where are you from?
Ben: I came to the bright lights of Dallas from the small West Texas town of Abilene. I went to Baylor University.
CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
Ben: I have a mid-century Dilbeck in Lakewood. I like the architecture of the neighborhood, it is a good location for getting around Dallas and the people are laid-back and friendly. Of course I like being so close to White Rock Lake.
CD: We hear that you are almost as hot for cars as you are real estate?
Ben: Guess you can say that. My father restored antique cars, leaving me a collection that I enjoy.
CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???
Ben: Despite the stereotype of all successful realtors driving Mercedes Benz, I’d like to say I’ve only had my Mercedes for the past two years! I really love my 1955 T-Bird, which my father bought for me when I was 6 years old.
CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Ben: If I could afford it, I’d live in Greenway Parks. I appreciate the green spaces that can probably never be duplicated again in Dallas, the historic architecture of the homes and the strong sense of community.
CD: How the heck did you get started in Real Estate?
Ben: When I was in college, my frat brother’s mom was one of the top producers for Ellen Terry. She sold a lot in Highland Park and had a car with a cell phone in it. I found the glamorous life of a Realtor very appealing! In 1985, I started my career with Merrill Lynch’s residential division and quickly worked my way up to their Fine Homes team. After a couple of years there, I joined Abio & Adleta for 10-12 years. I stayed with Betty Abio when the team split up. After Coldwell Bank bought out the company, I looked for a new team, working briefly with Keller Williams and Virginia Cook before landing at Allie Beth Allman & Associates where I’ve been for the past five years.
CD: What’s your best/highest/coolest sale? (You’ve really BEN everywhere!)
Ben: One of my most memorable sales was selling the house of and bringing the buyer to actress Angie Harmon and her husband, New York Giant Jason Sehorn.
I’ve sold two different acreage lots on Lakeside Drive – one of them twice – that were amazing sales.
CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Ben: I’ve had contracts in my hand in 24 hours.
CD: How much did you sell last year?
Ben: When I moved to Allie Beth Allman I doubled my annual production the first year. My team currently sells $50-$60 million a year.
CD: Secrets to marketing a house?
BJ: I don’t know about “secrets,” per se. My team of dedicated, proficient and highly experienced agents work hard to kick ass. We match our clients to the perfect home for them and build relationships that last for decades. We take good care of them and they remember us later.
Many of my clients refer me to their friends and family, and they come back to me whenever their home needs change. Just to give you an idea, one of my first sales from more than 20 years ago came back to me recently to buy another home. I have another client who has completed her 10th transaction with me!
CD: If you ever change careers for an encore career you’ll…
Ben: Own a vineyard in Napa Valley and make wine.
CD: Where is your second home?
Ben: I am currently looking for a second home in the Santa Fe area. I have a friend with a vacation home outside of Florence, Italy, that I visit often. If I ever own a home outside the country, it will be near there.
CD: You are also quite the chef, and you once prepared an elegant lunch for a famously persnickety food expert?
Ben: She’s so famous… that I cannot mention her name. Well, OK, you can.
CD: You cooked lunch for Martha Stewart, and she liked it?