Douglas Elliman expanded to Naples, bringing on top Sotheby’s agent Michael Lawler.
Lawler, a top agent in Florida, and his team joined the New York-based brokerage in Naples roughly five years after Elliman began considering opening an office there, said Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida. Lawler and his team of about eight agents left Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples but will continue to work out of the same office at 800 Harbour Drive, which has been rebranded as an Elliman office. Elliman took over the lease, Parker said.
Lawler had been with Premier Sotheby’s for more than 20 years, and was its top producer. Since 2020, he and his team have sold more than $560 million in closed dollar volume, working in Collier and Lee counties, according to a press release. His sales volume last year ranked him as No. 15 in the country, according to RealTrends.
In April, Lawler brokered the $17 million sale of a waterfront mansion in Captiva that set an all-time record for Lee County.
Premier Sotheby’s has more than 1,400 agents from the Gulf Coast to North Carolina, according to its website. The brokerage declined to comment.
Elliman now has 21 offices in Florida, including one other on the west coast of the state. The brokerage expanded to the St. Petersburg-Tampa market in 2019, when it acquired the St. Petersburg-based Strickland Property Group. It was expected to open in Naples last year.
Parker said the high-end residential market in Naples is dealing with the same inventory and price appreciation issues as South Florida, as well as migration from high-tax states. He called it “a very important market for our clients.”