That pretty lady in pink hugging on the Dave Perry-Miller agents is none other than Elaine B. Agather, chairwoman of the Dallas region for JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the most powerful women not just in Dallas but in the U.S banking and private investment world. Elaine stopped in to keynote DPM’s 3rd quarter breakfast meeting at the Dallas Country Club Thursday morning and got a standing ovation! She was also duly impressed by the number crunching that had the room floating with a lot of “B’s”. For BILLIONS!
“I’m a numbers girl,” she said, ” and I’m impressed.”
The Dave Perry-Miller luxury division of Ebby Halliday Realtors sold $2,210,304,000 of Dallas real estate fiscal 2015 which ended September 30. That’s a 25% increase over last year’s numbers and represents 3600 units of real estate traded. The one billion dollar mark was reached June 27. Ebby Halliday sold $7.7 billion by end of third quarter, and DPM’s sales are responsible for almost 30% of that $7.7 billion. DPM is rocking it as # 1 in Preston Hollow, Lakewood and Uptown. The firm closed 254 houses that were prices over $1 million, just shy of $500 million in sales. They sold 60 houses over $2 million, and 19 houses over $3 million.
And lest you think it’s hard to move the “uber megas” priced at $10 million and over, well, it is but! Dave Perry-Miller moved a number of those, including Justin Leonard’s house in Highland Park (the most expensive sale in the Park Cities to date) and brought the buyer for Troy Aikman’s house. Boy do those DPM agents have mega-bucks buyers wanting to snap up athlete’s homes, which is not a bad thing with the market getting a bit tighter on the uber end. DPM is also number 1 in Lakewood/East Dallas, Preston Hollow/North Dallas, and Uptown/Turtle Creek.
“Not bad for a guy who came to Dallas with a nice watch, $167 in my pocket, and a good education.” says Dave, who became good friends with Elaine Agather and her husband, Neils, when he sold their M Streets home for $175,000.
Not bad for a luxury real estate brand that started with 22 agents 8 years ago!
As Ebby’s Ron Burgert put it, the DPM brand basically, on average, sold a million dollar house every single day in Dallas in 2015.
Maybe that’s what made Elaine say that she felt like buying another house from him after sitting next to Dave. Then Elaine offered her famous “Elaine’s 8” to the agents in the room. She talked about her life and career, how she came to be the first female bank president in Fort Worth, and how she survived 8 bank mergers, a story I chronicled a few years ago for D CEO. Here’s what I said about her fascinating ability to stay in the saddle:
Agather’s ability to stay in the saddle may help explain her other claim to fame: her resiliency in business. Few people in the tumultuous, watch-your-back world of corporate banking and finance can say they’ve been with their first employer for 29 years. But Agather has topped that, surviving eight potential golden handshakes during that time.
Over the last 15 years, U.S. banks have been so busy acquiring and consolidating, consumers can have a hard time keeping up with the hyphenated names, much less remembering which bank was the first to mega-merge with the rest. But Agather rattles off her employer’s history as smoothly as she quotes today’s prime rate.
First it was Chemical Bank of New York, where she began working in 1979 after graduating with an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin Business School (just 15 percent of her fellow grads that year were women). Chemical Bank bought Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, then snapped up First City the second time it failed. After that it gobbled up Manufacturers Hanover, Ameritrust (part of M Bank), and finally Chase in 1996, taking on the Chase name two years later.
In 2000, the stately Chase bought storied JPMorgan, with William B. Harrison at its helm. In 2004 Chase went shopping in Chicago and acquired Bank One, headed by James Dimon. Legend has it that Harrison and Dimon—who became CEO in 2006 and recently orchestrated the acquisition of the ailing Bear Stearns investment bank at fire-sale prices—wanted to create another Citigroup to take on that trillion-dollar behemoth.
With every merger, of course, comes the slashing and mad dash to see who’s staying and who’s out the door. But it didn’t used to be that way—at least not in Dallas. Inwood’s Tipton remembers “gentlemanly” banking in Dallas in the late 1970s, when no bank would dare hire another’s employees. (Tipton even recalls receiving phone calls from fellow bankers alerting him to a peeved client who was about to yank deposits to a competing bank.) But then came the great regulatory unleashing to foster competition. With the JPMorgan Chase-Bank One merger, for example, about 10,000 jobs were reported eliminated from top to bottom. But Agather lived through all of it, working 17 years in corporate banking—12 in private banking—to end up where she is today, perched on the sleek, fine-art-filled 10th floor of 2200 Ross Ave. As chairwoman of the substantially growing Dallas region, Agather is helping build wealth for rich people living in Texas as well as in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Last year, under Agather, JPMorgan Chase’s Dallas-region business grew 25 percent in a company with $487 billion in total client assets.
Her presentation was priceless, especially describing how she once dressed up as the Easter Bunny at banker J.P. Morgan. She got in the elevator in full costume with a stuffy banker in New York, who told her wryly, “you have your costume on backwards.”
The cotton-tail was hanging in the front, not back!
“Elaine’s 8” are not just great career points for bankers, but for anyone, including real estate agents:
-Saddle your own horse, then ride with a good team
-Like what you do, and then decide what to do next
-Turn on a dime, but remember to slow down
-Stay connected, but vary the connections.
-Practice free speech and sprinkle it liberally with thank-you’s.
-GET OVER IT! But spend a little time in recovery.
-Develop your funny bone, but cry with them, too.
-Strengthen your back bone.