View From Park Plaza Penthouse

Welcome to Part Seven of CandysDirt.com’s Dallas High-Rise Buyer’s Guide.  We’ve covered a lot of turf so far. Thirty-Three high-rises in fact. We began with two columns discussing the merits of buildings that include utilities in their HOA dues (here, here). We moved on to the house porn of Dallas’ most expensive high-rises (here, here) before continuing again to what passes for a high-rise mid-market (here, here).  These final two columns will focus on the gateway drugs of high-rise living … those most affordable for those with less stratospheric budgets.  It’s worth noting that many of the high-rises that include utilities in their HOA dues also fall within this more budget-friendly category. If you’re in this group (with me), it may be worth a peek back at those columns as you shop around.

The most glaring thing about this grouping is that fact that Dallas hasn’t built a new non-millionaire high-rise since 2002’s Travis at Knox and 2007’s Beat Lofts.  It’s equally been a decade since The Metropolitan was converted to mid-budget condos (covered in next week’s final installment).

(more…)

Allie Beth Allman.new photo.2009Allie Beth Allman’s charm jumps across the phone line from the very first first “hello.” From her West Texas drawl to her thoughtful and gracious answers, I felt like there was no one else she’d rather talk to than me even though I know she’s one of the busiest women in Dallas real estate.  She was somewhat reserved talking about her own accomplishments and I had to prod a bit, but the minute we started talking about her agents, she was animated and full of admiration for their work ethic, character and integrity.

For more than 30 years, Allie Beth Allman has been a real estate legend in Dallas and on the Top 10 List. For three consecutive years she was Dallas County’s Top Producer – head and shoulders above 7000 competing agents. She made national news in 2008 for helping George and Laura Bush find their new home in Preston Hollow. Her company has been named the Consumer’s Choice Award for Business Excellence in the category of Dallas/Fort Worth Executive Home sales three years running. Her team consistently ranks #1 in Park Cities sales and is recognized annually as the most productive single office in Dallas County both for sales and listings. And to crown all those achievements, in 2012 her office had over $1 billion in transactions. Yep. With a “B.” After that amazing billboard went up on Central/75 celebrating their year, we had to find out more.

CD: Where are you from originally? 

Allie Beth: Graham Texas in West Texas.  It is near Possum Kingdom Lake.

CD: How did you get into real estate?

Allie Beth: I came to Dallas originally for college. I went to TCU. Upon graduation I had a job offer in radio and TV with WFAA. I met my husband Pierce Allman there. He was the Program Director.

CD: The same one who witnessed the Kennedy Assassination?

Allie Beth:  Yes. After we got married, I quit working at WFAA and managed some apartments for something to do. In the 1970’s I sold my own home “by owner,” and then a friend asked me to sell hers. And then another friend asked for help and suddenly I was in real estate. I got my license and never looked back. I worked for a while with Hank Dickerson & Company until I had more business than I could handle and I went out on my own in 1985.

Working in the luxury marketplace just happened. I sold Jerry Jones his house on Preston Road when he first moved down here which led to more and more listings in the area. The company grew and I sold it in 1995 to Henry S. Miller so I could retire.

I missed it terribly. Luckily, I have loyal customers who wouldn’t let me retire. Sammons Enterprises, Inc. called me with a project – 130 unit high rise luxury condominium at Crestpark in Highland Park. It was a fun project. I also had many of my previous agents asking if I was going to come out of retirement because they wanted to work with me again. In 2004, I went to Henry Miller and asked him if he would support me in re-opening Allie Beth Allman.  He not only agreed; he gave me his home to list – the Park Plaza condos across the street from the Crestpark.

Since then we’ve grown to over 300 people in our office with over $1 billion in transactions in 2012.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Allie Beth:  Not only did I sell 130 condo units at the Crestpark in Highland Park, I’ve lived there myself for the past 10 years. I love it. The services and amenities are wonderful and the people are lovely.  We lived on Stratford before that, but it was too much upkeep after our children were gone.

CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???

Allie Beth: No. People will probably be surprised to know that I find cars to be unimportant. I drive my cars a long time and don’t care about the latest models.

CD: Do you have a second home?

Allie Beth:  Yes on Possum Kingdom Lake.

CD: What have you learned in 40 years of selling?

Allie Beth: I’m old school from West Texas where your handshake is your bond. I tell my agents always be honest whether you win or lose the sale. Don’t try to sell at a price that isn’t right or tell a customer what they want to hear just to get the listing. Tell the truth. It will pay off in the end. I also tell them to do what they say they are going to do and work with integrity.

If there is a “secret” to our success at Allie Beth Allman, it is excellent and honest customer service. I have the best agents in Dallas. They are smart and on the ball. They are brought in because of their character, strong work ethic and integrity.

CD: Do you still sell yourself?

Allie Beth: My agents handle most of the transactions, but there are always those every year that I do myself because of our friendship and long history together.

CD: What do you like best about real estate?

Allie Beth: I enjoy the thrill of the deal and the wonderful people. I am so happy when the kids and grandkids of my customers come to me to help them with their homes.

CD: What is next for you?

Allie Beth: I take it day at a time. I guess I’ll be Ebby one day. She set such a good example for the rest of us.