Scott Durkin, the longtime Corcoran Group manager and COO who’s been leading Douglas Elliman’s national expansion for the past two years, was just named president of the residential brokerage.
A protégé of Barbara Corcoran, Durkin joined Elliman in late 2015 and most recently served as its chief operating officer. He will retain that title and formally assume additional managerial responsibilities from Dottie Herman, CEO of the firm and a principal with Chairman Howard Lorber.
Herman will remain Elliman’s CEO. Lorber said “having everyone report to one person doesn’t work.”
“You need a filter, you need someone else in there,” he added. The CEO,” he said, referring to Herman, “should be an overall strategist and less focused on the day-to-day minutiae.”
The appointment also signals Elliman’s intention to continue growing its national footprint. This year, the New York-based brokerage completed its acquisition of Los Angeles-based Teles Properties, adding 500 agents and 20 offices, as well as Boston-based Otis & Ahearn, which focuses on new development.
“Our next stop is San Francisco,” Durkin said. “And we have a couple more we can’t say yet.”
Although Herman will remain CEO, she’s been largely out of the spotlight in recent months, fueling rumors that she was pulling back from day-to-day operations. Durkin dismissed talk of her taking a lesser role, and said she’s been working as a national spokesperson and “brand ambassador” for Elliman. She’s still an owner of the company, he added.
Lorber credited Durkin with driving higher sales at the firm and for forging a partnership with StreetEasy, which is building a back-end listing system for the firm.
During the third quarter, the brokerage closed $7 billion worth of sales and pulled in $190.4 million in revenue, up 3.2 percent from $184.5 million during the prior-year period. Due to a softer new development segment, however, net income was $4.2 million — down from $8.7 million in 2016
The appointment is the latest in Elliman’s shakeup of its management team over the past two years. Last October, Durkin was named COO after Stephen Kotler moved to Los Angeles to head the firm’s West Coast expansion.
The firm also tapped Dana DeVito as senior vice president of marketing after the departure of Nicole Oge. The brokerage has rejiggered its management hierarchy, adding regional CEOs who report to the New York office.
Durkin said he helped manage seven acquisitions at the Corcoran Group, where he spent 25 years and at one point was COO and senior vice president of Corcoran Florida.
“I know what to do, and how delicate it is for both sides of the table,” he said.