Scott Elwell

Wall Street Journal - Fieldstone Group & Douglas Elliman

Douglas Elliman Pushes Into Connecticut Residential Market

It's leasing a high-profile Greenwich office and recruiting from competitors

The Fieldstone Group team that recently joined Douglas Elliman. From left, Scott Elwell, Beverley Toepke, Lyn Stevens and Robin Kencel.ENLARGE
The Fieldstone Group team that recently joined Douglas Elliman. From left, Scott Elwell, Beverley Toepke, Lyn Stevens and Robin Kencel. PHOTO: ANDREW FRENCH

Douglas Elliman Real Estate is trying to muscle its way into the Connecticut residential brokerage market by opening a high-profile office in Greenwich and recruiting big-name producers from competitors.

The firm, which has been on a national expansion binge in the past three years, has leased a 5,000-square-foot office with 50 desks across from Greenwich Town Hall. It also has recruited more than 30 brokers, including a four-person team from Sotheby's International Realty named the Fieldstone Group, which last year sold properties totaling more than $100 million.

Howard Lorber, chairman of Douglas Elliman, says the affluent Greenwich market is an obvious target for his firm, which also has opened offices in south Florida, Aspen and Los Angeles. "Greenwich is one of those high-end markets where people travel," he said. "It's all the same customer."

The opening comes as the Greenwich residential sales market continues to recover from the downturn. It's not as strong as the New York market, especially in the $4 million-to-$8 million range, brokers say. But the market for properties for $3 million and less is active, brokers say.

According to Sotheby's, there have been 176 closings below $3 million so far this year, compared with 134 during the same time in 2014. The median sales price in 2014 was $1.84 million, according to Douglas Elliman.

But the Greenwich brokerage market also has produced stiff competition among firms lately. There have been several new entrants to the market and some brokerages have consolidated. A few firms that have tried to make it in the region have closed their doors, according to David Haffenreffer, Houlihan Lawrence's branch manager in Greenwich.

"I don't think putting a flag down in Greenwich will guarantee success," he said. "It's a matter of understanding the marketplace and having a company that can help drive results."

Mr. Lorber and Dottie Herman, Douglas Elliman's chief executive, have been driving results higher ever since their improbable acquisition of the storied New York firm in 2003. Before they took over, Douglas Elliman had gone through a series of owners stretching back to its founding in 1911.

Mr. Lorber and Ms. Herman came into the picture when they co-owned a Long Island brokerage named Prudential Long Island Realty, a franchisee of Prudential Financial Inc.'s real-estate business. Interested in expanding, they set their sights on Douglas Elliman, which at the time was part of a real-estate empire controlled by New York mogul Andrew Farkus.

In an interview last week, Mr. Lorber recalled that he and Ms. Herman made their move after he figured out that Mr. Farkus was planning to sell the company to someone else. Fortunately for them, that deal was facing antitrust issues.

"We didn't have antitrust issues," Mr. Lorber said. "So I said, 'Look, whatever deal you made with them, I'll buy it from you for the same price.' "

Mr. Lorber and Ms. Herman wanted to keep expanding their business but for years ran into problems because of their franchise agreement with Prudential. Many of the areas they wanted to add offices in already had franchisees, he said. "They wouldn't let us expand where we wanted to expand," he said.

Their franchise agreement with Prudential ended in 2012. Since then Douglas Elliman has been steadily adding offices and boosting sales.

Douglas Elliman's future Greenwich office.ENLARGE
Douglas Elliman's future Greenwich office. PHOTO: ROBIN KENCEL

The firm currently has 5,500 brokers in the U.S., and last year sold real estate worth $18 billion while expanding its reach globally by forming an alliance with Knight Frank Residential of London.

Mr. Lorber said the timing of the Greenwich opening depended in large part on finding the right people. Last year, the firm hired Roberto Vannucchi, formerly a Sotheby's director of sales.

Mr. Vannucchi has been recruiting heavily in the region. Most recently he hired the Fieldstone Group, which has worked on such deals as last year's sale by film director Ron Howard of his home in Armonk, N.Y., for $27.5 million.

Robin Kencel, one of the Fieldstone members, said the team has more than $75 million in listings and is moving partly because of Douglas Elliman's strength in the New York market, a "critical feeder" to Greenwich. She said they also liked the firm's willingness to "try different avenues" to sell property, which is especially important with homes that don't sell quickly and "need a new approach."

The other members of the team are Lyn Stevens, Beverley Toepkeand Scott Elwell. Douglas Elliman "is going to shake things up," Ms. Kencel said.

Mr. Lorber said that Douglas Elliman is still in expansion mode. "We'll probably add another Connecticut office and probably a couple more in California," he said. "Maybe we'll go to a couple of other places."

Write to Peter Grant at

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4 Cove Ridge Lane, Old Greenwich, CT - Unique Waterfront

OLD GREENWICH | 4 Cove Ridge Lane | $4,500,000

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OLD GREENWICH | 4 Cove Ridge Lane | $4,500,000

Enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Old Greenwich Cove and Long Island Sound from this superbly crafted waterfront Arts & Crafts Shingle style home. This architectural masterpiece with endless water vistas, designed by the owner with architect Louise Broadman and landscape architect, Honey Straight, was built in 1992 and renovated in 2013. Designed for maximum enjoyment of its waterfront setting, the open layout is enhanced with custom floor-to-ceiling teak windows to capture splendid views of the cove and gardens. Filled with stunning architectural details such as striking custom tile floors designed by American Craft Museum artists, unique auction house Art Deco stained glass windows, hand carved slate fireplaces and mahogany doors. The sublime interior features four bedrooms, including a first floor master suite with separate his-and-her baths and an office. The chef's kitchen has custom designed with cabinets made from solid cherry, oak, birch, and maple wood to represent sunlight and clouds in the sky. With an open floor plan perfect for entertaining, this stunning four bedroom, four and one half-bath home is situated on a tranquil, shoreline lane within walking distance to town, schools and train station.

The Property

Perched on a hill on a quiet cul-de-sac, two large slate patios with professionally landscaped gardens overlook the 150 feet of waterfront land, which includes a boat dock with aluminum ramp. Two separate lots combine to 0.74 acres of waterfront property on this peaceful lane. Punctuated with ornamental trees, perennial gardens and specimen flowering shrubs, the private fenced back yard is sheltered by tall, mature trees.

First Floor

A two-story entry hall leads to a sun-filled Great Room. Floor to ceiling windows provide stunning water views from all rooms. Leading from the great room, the family room and dining room with fireplaces, and an intimate sitting area. Maple flooring with ebony inlay extends throughout the main floor. The gourmet center-isle kitchen with marble counter tops features custom designed cabinetry. The master suite offers water views, separate his-and-her dressing areas and a luxurious master bath, an office/bedroom with separate bath and a sunny solarium. A powder room, laundry room and a mudroom, which lead to the attached two-car garage, complete the first floor layout

Second Floor

Approached by a brass and ebony stair railing are two double bedrooms with water views and an additional single bedroom/study, sharing two full baths. Two attics provide ample storage.

Lower Level

Finished tile floored basement with access to the outside and two large storage areas.

Details: 4 Cove Ridge Lane, Old Greenwich, CT 06870

MLS#: 92808    CMLS#: 99091823

Built: 1992 | Renovated: 2013 | Type: Single Family | Bedrooms: 4 | Full Baths: 4| Half Baths: 1 | Interior: 4,990 | Exterior: 0.94 Acres | Garage: 2 Car

Additional Features: Additional 936 square feet finished playroom in lower level.

Click here to view slideshow.

Click here to view property information on Sotheby's International Realty.

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We are pleased to present the inaugural edition of the Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015, which identifies the most significant markets for ultra high net worth (UHNW) residential property investment, provides a profile of the global luxury residential property consumers and offers insights into their spending habits relating to their luxury residential property investments.

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Luxury residential real estate holds a special place within the portfolio of the world's ultra wealthy. This report shows that UHNW individuals each own, on average, 2.7 properties. While they may purchase real estate for a variety of reasons - spanning from practical to passion to investment purposes - it represents one of the most intimate asset classes characterizing their wealth. For the purpose of this report, we are using the label "investment" to describe UHNW luxury residential real estate ownership, whether that was their purpose or whether the primary purpose is for their personal and private leisure or living.

The value of UHNW-owned residences globally rose by 8% in the past year, according to the report's UHNW Residential Real Estate Index. As capital continues to flow towards key cities and locations across the globe, and as available land becomes scarcer, such growth in value will continue.

The inaugural Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015 is the definitive source of data, insights and trends at the intersection between the world's UHNW population and the global luxury residential real estate industry, illuminating the opportunities that these individuals present for this sector.



Fieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens | Toepke | Kencel | Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830





GREENWICH | 1 Wynn Lane | $6,700,000

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GREENWICH | 1 Wynn Lane | $6,700,000

Located on a quiet cul-de-sac just minutes from downtown Greenwich, this elegant country home was completely rebuilt in 2002. Wonderful flow with generously sized entertaining and casual spaces. There are family rooms on both the first and second floors with game or media rooms. Master bedroom on second floor boasts a luxury bath and steam shower. Lovely property with a fenced backyard, and heated in ground pool featuring a waterfall and hot tub.

Details: 1 Wynn Lane

MLS#: 92294    CMLS#: 99091823

Built: 1992 | Type: Single Family | Bedrooms: 5 | Full Baths: 6| Half Baths: 1 | Interior: 9,335 | Exterior: 2.94 Acres | Garage: 3 Car

Additional Features: Additional 936 square feet finished playroom in lower level.

Click here to view slideshow.

Click here to view property information on Sotheby's International Realty.



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FS LogoFieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens | Toepke | Kencel | Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.618.3188 | Fax: 203.930.2808


Scott Elwell named 2014's Top Agent Under 40

We Know Greenwich.


Congratulations to Fieldstone Group partner -


Scott Elwell, named 2014's Top Agent Under 40 in the Greenwich market


- one of the leading luxury markets in the United States.


This is a well-deserved, major achievement. Nicely done, Scott!


 Scott Elwell Bios: 


About Scott

The highest producing agent under 40 in 2014, Scott Elwell was born and raised in Greenwich. Scott not only knows Greenwich real estate intimately, he also has extraordinary knowledge of search engine optimization and online marketing, two of the most critical factors in today's real estate environment.

Scott's entire career has been in real estate.  Prior to joining Sotheby's, Scott spent five years in residential lending (GreenPoint Mortgage) and four years in commercial portfolio management at Clarion Partners, where he was involved in the acquisition, disposition, and management of portfolios of shopping centers, offices, and hotel properties worth over $20 billion.

Scott is an accomplished sailor and a marathon runner.  He worked for an America's Cup syndicate in the 2000 Cup in New Zealand and he is a member of both the New York Yacht Club and the Stanwich Club. Scott is also on the Board of Directors at the Greenwich YMCA. His wife, Caroline, works as a teacher at Greenwich Academy and they have two daughters, Eliza and Christy.



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Greenwich Time - Sound Off - with Robin Kencel

Sound Off: Am I Priced To Sell?

Greenwich Time By Robin Kencel

robin's article


In 2014, a single family home in Greenwich sold, on average, in166 days.  But for most sellers who have made the decision to move on, that's probably 165 days too long.  So, when is it time to drop the price?

The answer to that is: "It Depends".   Are you competitively priced for the market we have or for the market that you wish existed?  In our team, we arrive at a price recommendation through an evaluation that is based upon a number of factors including recent sales history, inventory levels, competitive strength and emerging trends and look at these against the broader background of influencers such as Wall Street's financial health, changes within Westchester and Fairfield Counties and understanding the evolving needs/preferences of likely Greenwich buyers. Sometimes sellers look at our analysis and agree upon a price that fits the market and sometimes sellers want to test the market to see if there might be someone who will "pay up".

Like first impressions, there are no second chances when it comes to introducing a property and its price to the market. The market, spoken first through the brokerage community, is not shy to share their feelings about value. If you have a home or property that hits the emotional, aspirational or extraordinary price/value mindset of clients, then you are likely to beat the market averages. But, if you are in a competitive price segment of the market, with a property that has both strengths and drawbacks, be careful with the price variable.

2014 data reveals that 410 properties sold faster than the average number of days on market, and nearly all of them sold within 6% of the Original List Price/Selling Price. In fact, those that sold within 3% of their Original List Price sold in just 57 days, on average. The reality is this:  The longer a house sits on the market, the lower it often sells for.

Certainly, pricing is not the only lever to pull, and at The Fieldstone Group of Sotheby's International Realty, we try to pull all the marketing and sales levers available to us before we recommend a pricing revision. Buyers who toured your property are a ready information source--what are the themes within their comments that can be addressed?  These are the possibilities that should be carefully looked at as you enter the new selling season.  But equally, understanding what has happened to pricing within your competitive set since you have entered the marketplace is important.



Fieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens | Toepke | Kencel | Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830

Congratulations to Douglas VanderHorn Architects Awarded Best Of Houzz 2015

Douglas VanderHorn Architects Awarded Best Of Houzz 2015 image002image013image011

January 29, 2015 (Greenwich, Connecticut) - Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, has honored Douglas VanderHorn Architects with two "Best Of Houzz" awards for Design & Service. The firm, best known for its classic new homes along the Greenwich waterfront, was chosen by more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among a large number of active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Service. Design award winners' work is the most popular among more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz.  Service honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. "Best Of Houzz 2015" profile badges help Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional's work to learn even more about that business' popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

"Houzz is not just a popular platform to present our portfolio of work, it's also an interactive tool to use with our clients to develop the design for their home," said Doug VanderHorn, Principal of Douglas VanderHorn Architects. "Utilizing shared ideabooks has proved to be an easy, up-to-date way to understand exactly what our clients are envisioning."

Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz said, "Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project. We're delighted to recognize Douglas VanderHorn Architects among our "Best Of" professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes."


Clever spacing saving ideas are among the most searched-for categories on Houzz. This basement recreation room featuring easy-to-hide bunk beds appeared in over 1.5 million user feeds and has been saved to over 27,000 ideabooks.

image015 Houzz users seeking outdoor entertainment solutions have been drawn to this unique and dynamic pool house design.

About Douglas VanderHorn Architects With decades of experience in a range of historic styles including Federal Style, Shingle Style, Tudor and French Normandy, Douglas VanderHorn Architects strives to create homes that are architecturally appropriate for the building site and surrounding neighborhood. Projects generally have a similar intent: to build a historically inspired home that looks as if it's been on the site for decades, while creating a series of interior spaces designed for contemporary living.

For more information, visit and follow us on Houzz

Douglas VanderHorn Architects 31 East Elm Street Greenwich, CT 06830 p: 203.622.7000  f: 203.622.7008

409 Round Hill Road - Spectacular Colonial Farmhouse

GREENWICH |409 Round Hill Road| $5,500,000

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GREENWICH |409 Round Hill Road| $5,500,000

Jaw Dropping! Quintessential architecture and sophisticated modern aesthetic embodies this renovated colonial farmhouse. Built and custom designed by Sound Beach Partners, it over delivers in every way. A magical landscape welcomes you behind gated stone walls. One of a kind interiors and world class design lead to a kitchen and family room that open onto a broad covered terrace. Outdoor kitchen creates a spectacular indoor/outdoor entertaining space with lovely vistas of the property beyond. A sumptuous master suite with a rooftop terrace and 3 additional family bedrooms are located on the second level. Additional features include a wine cellar, stunning media room, gym half bath, and 5th bedroom on the lower level. A Pool house with fireplace and bath complete this exceptional property.

Details: 409 Round Hill Road

MLS#: 92120

Built: 2012 | Type: Single Family | Bedrooms: 5 | Full Baths: 4| Half Baths: 3 | Interior: 3,764 | Exterior: 1.48 Acres | Garage: 2 Car

Additional Features: Generator, security system and sprinkler system.



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FS LogoFieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens | Toepke | Kencel | Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.618.3188 | Fax: 203.930.2808