Real Estate

Dottie Herman Steps Down As Douglas Elliman CEO

Scott Durkin, who has served at the brokerage since 2015, will take the helm, according to representatives who say Herman has been cultivating him for the CEO role for years.

Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman has passed the torch on to the brokerage’s president and chief operating officer Scott Durkin, who is now the company’s new CEO as of Wednesday, according to a press release.

Herman has been appointed vice chair of the brokerage, and will largely serve in an advisory role to Durkin, Elliman Executive Chairman Howard Lorber, and the brokerage’s executives and agents across the country.

Scott Durkin | Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

“Douglas Elliman has proven to be my most rewarding professional experience to date,” Durkin said in a statement. “I look forward to expanding upon the legacy of our brand built by my friend and mentor Dottie Herman as the market leader in luxury real estate. I also welcome the opportunity to further advance our technology-focused initiatives that allow our agents to work faster and more efficiently on behalf of their customers and clients.”

Herman’s real estate career dates back to 1978 when she started out as a broker for Merrill Lynch on Long Island. About a decade later, Merrill Lynch sold its real estate division to Prudential and Herman stayed on as one of their brokers, ultimately purchasing Prudential Long Island Realty. In 2003, she and business partner Lorber purchased Douglas Elliman.

Herman has received significant recognition over the years for her work in the industry. She was inducted into the Long Island Business News Hall of Fame and listed in the Top 50 Women Entrepreneurs in America by Inc. Magazine in 2015. Then in 2016 and 2017 she was named on Forbes’ List of America’s Self-Made Women. She also was awarded the Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) in 2013, an award that recognizes outstanding service to the community.

The executive transition has been in the works for several months, a Douglas Elliman spokesperson told Inman. Herman and Lorber have had Durkin in mind for the role for the last few years now, the spokesperson confirmed, and believed Durkin has proved himself with his accomplishments at the brokerage.

Dottie Herman | Credit: Douglas Elliman

“It is a thrill to pass the CEO title to my friend Scott Durkin whose career I have watched since acquiring Elliman in 2003 when I joined the New York City brokerage community,” Herman said in a statement. “I am impressed by his experience, tenacity and his appeal to agents, managers and staff alike. Elliman is in excellent and very capable hands.”

Herman’s move out of the role of CEO follows a recent appearance on Fox Business, in which she blasted New York City’s increasing crime rates as one of the major factors impeding the city’s real estate rebound. New York-based agents Inman spoke with, however, largely disagreed with Herman’s sentiment.

Durkin began his real estate career working for the Corcoran Group in 1991 and joined the Douglas Elliman in 2015 as executive vice president of acquisitions and growth. By 2016, he had been promoted to COO, and in 2017 was named president. As CEO, he’ll continue to lead the company’s operations, tech initiatives and strategic growth efforts.

Howard Lorber | Photo credit: Douglas Elliiman

Durkin led the firm’s recent rebrand and spearheaded initiatives like The Douglas Elliman Podcast Channel and the company’s expansion into new social media platform’s like TikTok. He also helped oversee the firm’s expansion throughout New York, Florida, California, Massachusetts and Texas.

“As president and COO of Douglas Elliman, Scott has taken our firm to the next level with major initiatives to strengthen our brand, our culture, our technology and most importantly, the way our agents conduct their business,” Lorber said in a statement. “Scott is a talented, solution-driven and results-oriented leader, as demonstrated by his truly incredible performance helming the brokerage during the extremely challenging COVID-19 pandemic. He has established himself as a highly valued and respected executive and I am very proud to make this announcement.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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