Ramblings (F) (B)

Fieldstone has Moved to Douglas Elliman - WSJ Article

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 peter.grant@wsj.com

Highest Producing Agent Under 40 - Scott Elwell

I wanted to send a sincere thank you to all of my clients and everyone that referred clients to me for making 2014 a banner year.  I just received word that I was the highest producing agent in Greenwich, CT under 40yrs old.   I am beyond appreciative for the opportunity to work with you and look forward to opportunities to continue to assist in any way I can.




scott2 Scott Elwell Fieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens | Toepke | Kencel | Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808

Greenwich CT - One of the Safest!!

In a time when we see all sorts of "top 10" lists that I'd prefer not to be included in, it's pretty fantastic to see Greenwich come up as one of the top 10 safest towns in CT!



Having lived hear nearly all of my life (born and raised) I can attest to this result. Greenwich, along with Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich (and all other areas) has provided me and my family with a wonderfully safe place to call home.

Fieldstone Group sells Ron Howard's $27.5m Home

Director Ron Howard Sells Lakeside House for $27.5 Million

Director Ron Howard has sold his home in Conyers Farm for the full asking price of $27.5 million.

The sale closed Thursday, according to Lyn Stevens of Sotheby's International Realty, who listed the roughly 32-acre lakefront estate with her team, the Fieldstone Group (Lyn Stevens, Beverley Toepke, Robin Kencel & Scott Elwell), also of Sotheby's International Realty. The property went into contract about two weeks after its listing in early May, Ms. Stevens said.

The home is located in the gated community of Conyers Farm, which straddles the border of Greenwich, Conn., and Armonk. The Howards, who have four children, bought the land in 1991 and spent years constructing the house and outbuildings. The main house, which sits on the shores of Converse Lake, is more than 17,000 square feet and has six bedrooms, five full and four half baths, a swimming pool--and, of course a home theater. There is a 2,500-square-foot guest house and a "sports barn" which includes a full-size tennis court. The property also has livestock and horse barns, paddocks and riding rings. The buyer has horses and these facilities were a selling point of the property.

The Howards said in a previous interview with The Wall Street Journal that they are selling because they travel frequently and their children are grown.


  1. Lou on

    I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is an online tool that creates readable, SEO friendly articles in minutes, just type in google - laranitas free content source

    Announcing Fieldstone Group of Sotheby's International Realty

    I'm thrilled to announce my new partnership with Lyn Stevens, Beverley Toepke and Robin Kencel.

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    Four top real estate professionals with Sotheby's International Realty's Greenwich Brokerage have teamed their talents to form the Fieldstone Group. With a $1 billion sales track record and 120 years of combined experience within the real estate field and related industries, the Fieldstone Group is Greenwich's leading real estate team. Together with Sotheby's International Realty, the renowned global luxury real estate brand, the Fieldstone Group enjoys access to unparalleled expertise and resources. From backcountry compounds to beachside cottages, the Fieldstone Group's intimate knowledge of every neighborhood and community in Greenwich allows them to offer an exceptional real estate experience that's tailor made to a client's individual needs.

    Founding members Lyn Stevens, Beverley Toepke, Robin Kencel, and Scott Elwell have garnered dozens of impressive industry awards, including consistent placement in the prestigious Wall Street Journal's REAL Trends, Inc. ranking of the top 1% of all Sotheby's agents worldwide. Additionally, they're ranked among the leading agents in the Greenwich and Connecticut markets.

    Their complementary skills and expansive backgrounds in the real estate industry, offer a unique blend of strategy, marketing, data and analysis. With a commitment to offering highly personalized service with integrity, honesty and discretion, the Fieldstone Group provides every client with an unrivaled real estate experience.

    Fieldstone Group - Facebook Page & Team Website - GreenwichCTRealEstate.com


    Scott Elwell Fieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens, Toepke, Kencel & Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email: scott.elwell@sothebyshomes.com


    Lyn Stevens

    Lyn Stevens has been a top-producing broker in Greenwich for over 19 years. She ranks among the top 10 Greenwich agents and among the leading 1% of real estate agents nationwide. Lyn has built a reputation within the Greenwich community as a consummate professional, keenly adept at marketing estate properties to and for an elite clientele. Her integrity, honed negotiating skills and attention to detail have earned her the honor of consistently being recognized by The Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 100 Agents in America. Lyn cherishes the personal connection with her clients and they in turn value the consistent communication and advice she brings to every transaction.

    Lyn was the co-founding partner of Greenwich Fine Properties, the leading luxury boutique real estate firm in Greenwich. After selling that company, she rejoined Sotheby's where she began her career and she currently ranks in their top 1% of all agents.

    Originally from Michigan and having never lost her Midwestern roots, Lyn has called Greenwich home for the past 28 years. She has residency in both London and Greenwich with an active real estate clientele in both locations. Lyn is an exercise enthusiast with a passion for horseback riding, skiing and cycling.

    Beverley Toepke

    Originally from London, England, Beverley Toepke has ranked consistently among the top 5% Greenwich realtors. With 19 years of experience in the Greenwich real estate industry, she has developed a broad-based and loyal clientele. Known for her extensive market knowledge, analytical abilities, ties to the community, and strong professional network, Beverley is exceptional at matching buyers and sellers. Additionally, she is an accomplished negotiator who is lauded for her tenacity and scrupulous attention to detail. Because Beverley has lived on three different continents including the United States she understands the complexities of relocation, locally and long distance.

    With a strong European network, Beverley has lived and worked in England, Germany, South Africa and Canada and is fully versant in German. She holds a degree in Physiotherapy from Guys Hospital in London, and a degree from the New York School of Design. She started her own interior design firm, which she ran successfully for 8 years until moving to Europe.

    Beverley is a member of the Greenwich Audubon Center and the Bruce Museum. She is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for gardening.

    Robin Kencel

    With numerous industry distinctions and awards, and 29 years of experience in the real estate industry, Robin Kencel has ranked among the top 10 Greenwich realtors. She's been the recipient of Connecticut Cottages & Garden's "Realtors You Should Know," as all as the Five Star Realtor award for Connecticut. Robin's penchant for innovative and creative thinking, and the marketing knowledge she brings from the world of consumer packaged goods, has led to consistent record setting in sales of properties at all price levels.

    Robin's experience in the real estate industry is broad and distinctive. Not only is she one of Greenwich's most prolific leaders in the restoration of historic residences, her interior design work has appeared in numerous publications. Robin's depth of experience, professionalism, integrity and honesty, combined with her discretion and conscientious approach, has earned her an unparalleled reputation in the eyes of her clients, as well as those in the industry.

    Robin graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Georgetown University and has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Business. She is a member of the Greenwich Historical Society and Trinity Church, and is on the governing board of the Colonial Governors of America. Robin holds a 2013 World Title, and is the four-time U.S. Champion in Pro/AM American Smooth Ballroom Dance.

    Scott Elwell

    One of the highest producing agents under 40, Scott Elwell was born and raised in Greenwich, his family roots running deep in the community. Scott not only knows Greenwich real estate intimately, he is also has extraordinary knowledge of search engine optimization and online marketing, two of the most critical factors in today's real estate environment.

    With a degree in Economics and Computer Science form Trinity College and an MBA, with a concentration in Real Estate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Scott offers an educational background and perspective shared by few in the field, bringing enormous value to his clients with his exceptional quantitative skills.

    Before joining Sotheby's, Scott spent five years in residential lending and four years in commercial portfolio management at Clarion Partners, where he was involved in the acquisition, disposition, and management of shopping center, office, and hotel properties worth over $15 billion. Scott is a member of the Long Walk Society at Trinity College, the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, and the Greenwich Young Professionals Group. He is a marathon runner and accomplished sailor, and worked for an America's Cup syndicate in the 2000 Cup in New Zealand. He is a member of both the The New York Club and American Yacht Club.




    Snow Emergency Street/Streets Greenwich CT www.greenwichct.org

    [If you want to go right to the list of streets we can't park on during snow emergencies click HERE - otherwise feel free to read my rant on finding this link]

    If you just got a call from the Greenwich Police stating that we have a "SNOW EMERGENCY" here in Greenwich and that your car needed to be removed from all streets declared as "Snow Emergency Streets" you should be going to www.GreenwichCT.org


    I just went to the site and can't figure out for the life of me where to find these streets. Ill keep looking and get back to you.

    It looks like this is the page the town wants you to go to - http://www.greenwichct.org/upload/medialibrary/619/Greenwich_Snow_Emergency_Regulations.pdf

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    So then you want to see what the "snow area" is....

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    Looking for Schedule XXI for these "snow routes"...

    FOUND IT!!

    Schedule XXI - Snow Emergeny/No Parking - Snow Route in Greenwich CT

    Glad they make that easy...




    Scott Elwell 

    Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - GreenwichCT.com One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email: scott@elwell.com




    Christopher/Chris Fountain article in the New York Times

    I've been receiving a lot of questions and interest about the New York Times article on blogger Christopher Fountain and Greenwich CT Real Estate. For those of you who can't find it, here is the article:

    The Gadfly of Greenwich Real Estate






    Scott Elwell 

    Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - GreenwichCT.com One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email: scott@elwell.com



    1. Christopher Fountain on


      Greenwich Time Article on North Street and Sales in 2013

      Scott Elwell, of Sotheby's International Realty,  quoted in a Greenwich Time article: North Street leads Greenwich in single-family home sales for 2013.

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      Scott Elwell 

      Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - GreenwichCT.com One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email: scott@elwell.com