1980s Real Estate Was a Woman’s World

Unless you were Tom Rhodes making his mark through creative advertising

Tom Rhodes was one of the first realtors to market himself, not just his listings in the early 1980s.

He met Clint Smith, and together they collaborated on numerous creative ads promoting the real estate market.

“We did all kinds of attention-getting ads together,” Tom said. “One ad thanked all of the Realtors that we had worked with that year. One of our most successful ads read ‘All The Signs Are There.’ Clint designed a logo that we used in all of our advertising, ‘He Knows Your Neighborhood.’ I just worked the Park Cities, which drove Ebby Halliday crazy!”

For a while, Tom was one of the only full-time men selling residential real estate in the area, a profession that women dominated at that time. At Ellen Terry, there were 12 agents, and Tom was the only male. 

“We became a force, selling more than Ebby Halliday at that time,” Tom said. “When we grew to over 15 agents, it all began to unravel. We weren’t taking care of each other anymore. Today, people are forming small groups within larger companies. One person claims all of the production of a team – someone must be the leader.”

Tom never wanted to boast that he was the number one agent.

“I was spending $75,000 a year on advertising,” Tom explained. “Our advertising in Park Cities People was going exactly where we wanted it to go. So when I stopped advertising and began knocking on doors and talking to people at the encouragement of my real estate coach, Eleanor Mowery (Sheets) took off. If you stop advertising, it is over!”

Today, Tom works with three of his sons, Burton, Dan, and Thomas, as part of The Rhodes Group at Compass. His other son is an organic farmer in Portland, Oregon, and his daughter stocks the Gulf with redfish and flounder from her home in Jackson, Texas.

Source: North Texas Real Estate Information Systems Inc.

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