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The Daily Tar Heel

Real estate pioneer Eunice Brock honored by chamber

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous headline for this story mischaracterized which group is honoring Brock. She is being honored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The headline has been updated to reflect this change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Eunice Brock didn’t want men telling her what to do, so she became the first woman in Chapel Hill to own a real estate company.

Brock said many of her clients encouraged her to start her own business in the 1980s.

“And finally I got enough nerve to do it,” Brock said. “People thought I did a good job, so they referred their friends to me.”

Brock will be inducted into the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Business Hall of Fame for her work in the community.

She was the first person in the United States to create a residential real estate website and the first to offer full services by helping clients find contractors and decorators.

She also helped clients with personal things, like finding work for their spouses and finding ideal schools for their children.

And she was one of the few realtors who helped sellers stage their homes before selling to expedite the process.

Brock said she is delighted to be inducted.

“For one thing, I wasn’t exactly the usual cut,” she said. “I was more a maverick. I’m surprised.”

Eunice Brock and Associates was always a boutique company that focused on service by its agents.

“I was very selective in the people that I hired,” she said. “There’s many still there. They were very good. I only took the best of the best”

Bob Woodruff, chairman of the selection committee, said he is pleased to have Brock inducted.

“She was an outstanding business person that developed a real estate business that was recognized as sort of the top — one of the top — real estate businesses in Chapel Hill,” Woodruff said.

“She was also very involved in the community and distinguished herself in that regard.”

The selection committee looks for various criteria for induction, including business excellence, entrepreneurial thinking, leadership and community impact.

Brock said after buying out a building in the early ‘80s, she returned from a trip to Alaska and started working.

“I had my desk, my chair, and I said, ‘Well, I’ve better get started,’” Brock said.

Tony Hall, a Chapel Hill realtor, bought Brock’s company in 1995 after working for her for six years.

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Hall said he admired her persistence, energy and style.

“She was a very good boss,” Hall said. “She was really more like a mentor.”

After retiring, Brock started to travel.

“I was still in very good health and wanted to do some traveling,” she said. “I liked adventure traveling. I went down the Amazon, I went to Machu Picchu, I took an Africa trip to different countries.”

Brock continues to support the community by contributing to charities and endowing two scholarships at UNC in honor of her late daughter, Melinda Kellner Brock, who was a nurse at WakeMed Health and Hospitals and later worked for the family planning division of the Durham County Health Department for 15 years.

In 2011, the Chapel Hill Historical Society named Eunice Brock a “Town Treasure,” an annual award recognizing people who have impacted Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Brock said she is proud of her accomplishments in a male-dominated field.

“I wouldn’t let any of the men walk over me,” she said.