“Retire, You must be Kidding”

“Retire, You must be Kidding”



I read an article this morning about the passing of Realtor Ebby Holiday, who I was fortunate enough to have dinner with many years ago when I was at a “Relo” convention in Dallas. At her passing she was 104, no matter where she goes from here, she’ll be selling real estate.


At the time, there weren’t any affordable computers, no cell phones, no social media and that means NO blogging. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. Here was my takeaway. No matter what you do, make sure people see you and are talking about you.


 I remember her telling me that she wanted to sponsor every baseball and football team that she could. She wanted every little kid running around with an “Ebby Holiday” shirt. She told me that these kids would be her future clients, never mind the parents. Do you think she had a vision? You bet!


Most of us will never build the kind of empire that Ebby built, but that doesn’t matter. If we take care of our clients in a way that we are remembered we can grow our referral based businesses, one client at a time.


Image courtesy of jscreationzs/freedigitialphotos.net

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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Comment balloon 45 commentsJoe Petrowsky • September 11 2015 11:45AM


That is inspiring to hear of that kind of forward thinking past the age of even 65.  There is no doubt a large void with her passing.  Enjoy the weekend.  Mark

Posted by Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint, North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227 over 4 years ago

Some retire and some continue to inspire. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe Petrowsky,

Ebby Holiday built an empire  that many of us admire! She was a marketing maven and her agents represented her values..she will truly be missed but I feel like you do no matter where she is she will still be selling real estate! Classy lady!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe.  I saw this on the news.  What a visionary and a true inspiration to all of us

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 4 years ago

Oh yes, a marketing genius with a vision.  What a wonderful presence she had and a wonderful life.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

Quite the amazing woman, Joe.  Though, I am pretty sure I won't be practicing real estate when I'm 104.  I have my retirement planned at 99.  

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 4 years ago

She is a celebrity Realtor! I'm so glad I had the times I had with her meeting her at conventions and other Board meetings. She really epitomized a true professional and made many proud Texas homeowners and better REALTORS too! We here in Dallas all loved her!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe,

sounds like a Lady whom thought outside the box and would be a master at blogging today.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

I am planning on selling homes until I am ready for the cremation center. I love it when people just keep on going, not letting age stop them!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 4 years ago

Hey, I can't afford to retire !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 4 years ago

Hi Joe -- what a great memory and story.    Building a business one client at a time is always a good message.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 4 years ago

Hey Joe Petrowsky 104? Yes, I'll still be working. Why not?

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky ~ good morning, Joe. An inspirational person for sure, Joe. I've often kidded that when I've worked with middle-aged children of my friends who weren't even born when I first met those friends, that at some point soon I'd be working with their children's children and all that will have changed is that I'll be so old, they'll need to drive me around. But I'll still be able to write those contracts! (No thoughts of retiring at my end either. Retiring will be the quickest way to get old!)

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe - she sounds like a heck of a person and a heck of an agent. What an inspiration!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 4 years ago

I don't expect to still be working at 70 much less 104.  Good for her though.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Hello Joe: 104 years of age is remarkable.  A different thought from Wayne Martin above, I would like to retire and continue to inspire. Life is too short.

Posted by Janice Zaltman, South Florida Residential Real Estate (United Realty Group) over 4 years ago

Joe- I love this story.  Some people can't see past the target market of the people we know today. She was, as you say, a visionary. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

This is a great story.  She was a visionary for sure.  Its sounds so simple but when you actually follow her advice it makes all the difference.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 4 years ago

Joe funny you should post this...I just came back walking Satchmo and there is a Little League Park near us on our walk....and the kids are back for their Saturday games.....maybe I need to listen the a visionary woman.....RIP Ebby Holiday

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago


We can do our best . . . . and grow our business one satisfied customer at a time.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago

Joe-I never met Ebby but she was certainly well known in Texas. The advice she gave you many years ago is still sound. Thanks for telling the story.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 4 years ago

Joe, what a great memory!  From her obituary, you could just tell that she was totally amazing.  Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) over 4 years ago

Joe she sounds like a very special woman. 

By the way I though I saw a for sale sign on a cloud when I looked up today :)

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago


                          Thank you Joe Petrowsky for my Ah-ha moment. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

She was a great real estate agent. I have heard stories about her my whole career.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Well Ebby certainly had the right idea. WOW..104 years old. She was amazing in so many ways. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 4 years ago

She was some kind of Lady and someone we can all learn from...top of mind awareness is how to keep sales at the top !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky Ebby certainly had a vision!

As long as we make our current clients happy and ask for referrals, there is no need to even thinking of retirement!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

Sounds like Barbara Todaro today, Joe...how great.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 4 years ago

She built a well known reputation and will be remembered for it.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 4 years ago

Not sure how I missed this one Joe.....love the story, it's great.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe. What an interesting and smart woman. I'll bet you enjoyed your dinner.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 4 years ago

Thanks, Joe, for sharing this story and your memories.

Have an outstanding week.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

She sounds like a fascinating woman!  How awesome that you had the opportunity to spend time with her!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 4 years ago

I am glad that Kathy highlighted your post this week so I did not miss it!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky  i had never heard of her until Mike Rock wrote a blog about her but people ask me at times what and when do you plan to retire , I answer them never . I love this business .

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 4 years ago

Hey, Joe!

I included this post in today's "Last Week's Favorites".  Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) over 4 years ago

What a great story about a woman who actually did live long  . . . and prospered!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 4 years ago

Joe - when you are creating influence and value your referrals multiply and you never have to retire.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 4 years ago

There's a life well-lived! Selling real estate at 104 is no small feat.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 4 years ago

Hello Joe Petrowsky 

A Texas treasure has been lost with the passing of real estate icon Ebby Halliday.  I too had the great fortune to have lunch with her years ago and have never forgotten our conversation.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 4 years ago

Joe, this is a great story! I read about Ebbie Halliday passing away last week. 

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 4 years ago

Impressive that at 104 she wold have still left some people looking to her for real estate. 

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 4 years ago

I'm not sure I'll live long enough to provide real estate services to kids in little league now.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 4 years ago

Hi Joe.  I love hearing stories like Ebby.  She is what made America great.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 4 years ago