The Real Deal New York

Top-grossing Town broker Robert Dvorin hops to Elliman

Exited the company on "amicable" terms; left less than a week after owners settled dust-up

March 10, 2014 12:10PM
By Katherine Clarke

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From left: Howard Lorber, Robert Dvorin and Melissa Brown

From left: Howard Lorber, Robert Dvorin and Melissa Brown

Top-grossing Town Residential broker Robert Dvorin has jumped to Douglas Elliman — less than a week after Town’s owners, Joseph Sitt and Andrew Heiberger, settled their legal battle for control of the firm.

Dvorin will be bringing his six-member team, including fellow Elliman alumni Young Lee, Ian Wolf, and Michael Brais as well as Melissa Brown, Eben MacNeille, and Leah Felix, with him to the new firm. He previously spent nine years at Elliman before moving to Town in 2011. The team will be working out of the company’s office at 774 Broadway.

Dvorin’s departure follows recent defections by Town brokers Frank Arends and Patty LaRocco, both of whom were previously at Elliman and returned there amid the dispute at Town.

“There is great talent at Town. I had a wonderful experience there and I’m grateful to part on amicable terms,” Dvorin said in a statement. “I’m now looking forward to tapping into Elliman’s reach to expand my business, especially in the development marketing division which continues to secure the most exciting projects nationally and internationally.”

Town co-chair Andrew Heiberger said he wished Dvorin and his team success at Elliman. But he also suggested that the competing firm may have had acted opportunistically by allegedly attempting to win over top Town agents while the dispute between he and Sitt was raging.

“It appears as if they are just trying to exploit the perceived weakness that stemmed from mine and Joe’s fully settled dispute by offering outrageous packages to some of our leading brokers,” he said.

Heiberger also noted that Dvorin had a record year of sales last year. The broker had more than $150 million in closed and contract-signed deals in 2013, according to Elliman.

“I think that making a change, especially when you are enjoying such tremendous success, has the potential to be a tremendous mistake,” Heiberger said.

Dvorin’s current listings include a $27.9 million townhouse at 80 Washington Place, a $16 million penthouse at 55 Warren Street, a $10 million penthouse at 2112 Broadway and a $6.95 million apartment at 1 York Street. All those listings will come with him to Elliman, he said.

In a statement, Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Robert back to Elliman. He’s a dynamic addition to the company and he will achieve great things for his business.”

Last week, Heiberger and Sitt finally settled their very public legal dispute, which had been ongoing since January. Despite a small number of key defections, Heiberger said the company is on strong footing and currently has around 550 exclusive listings.

  • Ouch

    This is hard to watch

  • david hoffman

    Notice everyone is going to Elliman. They are giving HUGE signing bonuses. I know I was called by them.

    • jon

      I wonder if he is getting the $100k signing bonus that Elliman is offering top producers at TOWN and at other firms???

  • Laughing Gas

    Plenty of other names are soon to follow. Not just because of the fight either. TicTacTech.

  • beancounter

    Executives are going next…. How can managers make money if their top producers have all jumped ship???
    Elliman is trying and succeeding at breaking Town in half… 4 of their top 5 have left in 2 weeks? That was over 33% of the company’s sales… This is crazy… Corcoran and others need to get in the game

  • I do Gary Malin’s job for him

    Heiberger’s statements are the height of hypocrisy. Heiberger is quoted as saying

    “It appears as if they are just trying to exploit the perceived weakness that stemmed from mine and Joe’s fully settled dispute by offering outrageous packages to some of our leading brokers” and “I think that making a change, especially when you are enjoying such tremendous success, has the potential to be a tremendous mistake.”

    Did Heiberger not do the EXACT same thing to build Town? Did he not gut the entire Citi Habitats by “exploit[ing]
    the perceived weakness” of that company?
    Did he not do so “by offering outrageous packages to some of [their] leading
    brokers?” When he was trying to lure these
    brokers away from Citi Habitats, Corcoran, Brown Harris and every other
    established firm, did he caution them that they should think twice about
    joining Town because “making a change, especially when you are enjoying such
    tremendous success, has the potential to be a tremendous mistake?”

    These hypocritical public statements only serve to reinforce
    what you already intuitively know about this man by taking one look at any
    photograph of this slick willy. His face
    just oozes disingenuousness and duplicity.

    • Marlene

      you are 100% correct. Sounds like a case of sour grapes to me..

    • Eric Malcome Lustgarten

      Interesting.

  • Charlotte Friedman

    hmmmmm. :):) :)

  • And Glad of It

    Heiberger’s comments are hilarious. Sitt and Heiberger make operatic, public buffoons out of themselves for weeks and weeks, and the inevitable competitive fallout is “exploitative?” What is this, the Second International? Time for the rehab, guys.

  • Eric Malcome Lustgarten

    Worts and all…

  • Eric Malcome Lustgarten

    De-matriculation and relative absorbtion rates not withstanding… It is a tough nut to swallow.

  • Alabaster Columns

    Robert Dvorin, was NOT the top producing agent at Town, however he was #1 at producing drama, for sure. And Melissa? LMAO, get one deal done, and then we can even say your name. LOL.

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