Like my mother used to tell me, don’t ever give it away for free. Smart Texas Monthly. You have to buy an issue to read Jason Sheeler’s profile of super agent Erin Mathews, Give Me Shelter, in the current issue of Texas Monthly. I suggest you buy, read, and then read it again to capture the picture of what he so very well painted of the Honeypot real estate world, Area 25, where the refrain goes like this: no one ever gets fat, ugly, poor, or has an underwater mortgage.
Jason contacted me when I was in Pebble Beach this August. He wanted to talk to me for whatever insight I could provide on selling real estate in Dallas. When I got home, we sat down at my kitchen table and chatted. I asked him why he was focusing on Erin, because yes, I knew she was a super agent, but there were others doing just as well who are a little more, shall we say, under the radar? Was there a special reason (that I was missing)? I asked mostly because I love to keep track of the best publicists in town for agents — most of the top agents have them, if not all, and of course, I had just launched CandysDirt. Publicists are just part of the game. He told me he was using her profile as a vehicle for telling the high end real estate game story. Fair enough. It says a lot about Jason that he didn’t care how much the other high-producing agents would bitch and moan that they had not been included. He was laser-focused on telling the story, and Erin was the tool by which he took the reader into the high-stakes multi-million dollar real estate game of our area. I wrote a similar story years ago for D when the game was just amping up: How Dallas Sells Real Estate. My vehicle was a glitzy party at what was once Robert and Maureen Decherd’s home on Hollow Way. After publication, agents called to complain that by publishing that, I had basically ruined their lives because now they were all going to have to spend more money on parties and promotion.
In other words, they were going to have to work harder.
What Jason showed in the TM article, and remember a good writer shows, doesn’t tell, was how hard Erin works at selling homes. (Which I told him. Of course, that is true of all the high-production agents in this town.) She embraced social media, she staged, she showed up when she was dog tired, ergo she sells. I love the vignette of the Preston Hollow house being transformed by her home stagers, hauling out boxes of fake plastic ivy (bet you two hundred it was on the top of the kitchen cabinets) and Erin and her staff moving around patio furniture in her couture, no less.
A few interesting observations I have heard:
-Note that the four major firms mentioned, this prior to any Ellen Terry-Dave Perry-Miller merger news, were Erin & her partner David Nichols, Allie Beth Allman, Dave Perry-Miller and Briggs Freeman — “like they were the only four companies that exist”.
-Some agents are asking if it is all factual questioning, I guess, Erin’s sales claims. I am sure TM’s fact-checkers did not miss a beat.
-Others say it didn’t really capture Erin’s personality, except for describing her background in fashion retail and at Neimans. (“Oh. So that’s why she likes to dress up.”)
– A few LOVE the way she carefully portrayed herself as a servant of her clients, and takes caution not to fall into the Eleanor Mowery Sheets trap of (A) overspending and (B) believing her own press releases.
– She said she doesn’t have her face on her signs. One agent said, funny, she doesn’t mind them in all those magazine ads.
– While Erin always looks like she just stepped out of Vogue, which has written about her, she lives fairly modestly even though she drives a white MercedesS-Class. Jeeze, car stature is as vital among agents as the lockbox combo.
– Some agents say Erin really IS a great agent because even Sheeler fell for her selling herself to him. Wouldn’t be the first time.
I think it was a great article. I’m only irked at one thing: he mentioned Erin’s age at the get-go as 62 (Jason, really, that’s why I wouldn’t tell you MY age!) but failed to tell us who does her microderm and what plastic surgeon, if any, she uses. Because I think Erin looks fabulous, more like 38, 40 at the most. So who cares about the number?
Photo caption: Mathews in a home she recently sold at the Creeks at Preston Hollow.
Photograph by Darren Braun