Duane Davis was born and raised in Long Island, New York. His career in Real Estate began in 1997 during his last year of college at Hunter College in New York City. While attending his final year of undergrad,he worked at a small Brokerage/ No Fee Listings Service in Manhattan, Abraham and Alexander Properties. It was in this experience that peaked his interest in the dynamics of the Real Estate Industry and the satisfaction and overall love of helping people find their next home. Although not a licensed agent at this point, Duane helped individuals looking for No Fee Listings the company worked exclusively in Manhattan, NY. This role involved daily phone calls to hundreds of Manhattan property management companies to not only find newly available apartments for customers but to also develop relationships with those management companies to facilitate more access to their listings.
After graduating college in 1998, Duane continued working in the Real Estate Industry, but was looking for more corporate experience. He was then hired as a management trainee with a technical recruiting firm, based in Boston, MA called Stride & Associates. The firm was at the time one of the largest technical recruiting firms in the country for full time professional placement of IT professionals. His primary role in this company was to call into Fortune 100 companies based in Manhattan and identify open positions for candidates that the firm represented. The firms rigorous training put every trainee from day one into the full life cycle of the recruiting process. This included not only procuring the actual leads for the open position, but also advertising and recruiting for the right talent, interviewing candidates for open positions and most importantly negotiating the right salary, vacation and benefits for candidate clients. This experience was key to Duane's development as he learned to ask the right questions and really understand the needs and wants of clients. Understanding what the individual needs as well as the needs of their family and other decision makers is key to building relationships and providing the correct guidance and advice. Only through truly understanding your customer’s needs, can you provide quality representation. Within two years, Duane was promoted to run his own practice group of placement professionals in the Arlington, VA office. About two years later, as the tech boom and dot.com economy faltered, one of his peers from the New York office offered him a position working for her husband’s startup appraisal firm in Long Island, NY. Duane saw this as his opportunity to get back into Real Estate and moved back to New York.
Upon returning to New York and finishing the required appraisal courses for licensure, he immediately began his apprenticeship. He benefitted greatly from his employer’s client list, which included Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Chase. As a result, for his apprenticeship he learned to do appraisals in the high-end market of The Hamptons, NY. Most appraisers do not get this type of experience during their apprenticeship, so he focused on this market and looked to become one of the most reliable and knowledgeable appraisers on the island for high end luxury homes. Although he received his Certification, he stayed on at the company an additional year to grow more. He then took on a management and training role in the company, where he trained ten appraisers and helped them through their apprenticeships. At this point, Duane knew that his collective experience in sales, marketing, relationship building and negotiating over his career since college, had given him the confidence and depth of knowledge to go out on his own and start his own appraisal firm. It was then in 2005 that he left the firm and started his first company, The DCD Group.
Within one year of forming the DCD Group as the sole owner, business was booming and began to grow faster than he could manage alone. At this point he turned to a friend and colleague Matthew Sielken to join him and the two formed a new company called Sielken Davis LLC in February 2006. After navigating his way through the turmoil of the recession and market crash of 2007/2008, he basically got back on the phones and put his salesman hat back on. As a result, Duane landed the firms first high end lender, Citigroup Private Banking. As the business grew, he recruited the appraisers that he had trained in his former firm to provide coverage throughout the New York metro market and hired his friend and former coworker, Claudia Adamo to help him run the day-to-day operations of the business. Shortly afterwards, he landed two Appraisal Management company clients that allowed them to take the company to the next level.
The first office was opened in Williston Park NY, near his childhood home of Garden City Park. The goal was to grow this firm with higher quality lenders and become a firm that was well versed in all types of residential properties throughout the boroughs of New York City and the suburbs of Westchester and Long Island, while also further developing the specialty of luxury high end homes. By the end of the lease in Williston Park, the company had grown into a high-volume appraisal company that was taking in over 500 appraisal orders per month. With this growth and since the office staff was commuting from different parts of New York City, Duane decided to move the office to Long Island City, New York. Duane and his partner Matthew Sielken came to an amicable split and Duane took control of the firm. Shortly after, having built a team of 20+ high quality appraisers covering the markets of the Hamptons, Long Island’s Gold Coast, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester the firm continued to build a higher quality clientele base. The firm quickly became a successful appraisal firm servicing lender’s including but not limited to JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Citi Private, Goldman Sachs Private Banking, UBS Private Banking, Charles Schwab, HSBC and Morgan Stanley.
Duane now takes on the primary role of reviewing the work of the appraisers in the field as well as business development and client relations. Through his experience working for Private Banks, Duane became one of the most reputable appraisers in the Hamptons and Long Island luxury markets and is called upon to appraise some of the finest homes in Long Island. Although the firm has multiple appraisers with experience in the high-end markets, Duane goes in the field for any Long Island appraisal over $20,000,000 and is one of the most experienced appraisers in this range and has the expertise in appraising homes up to $50,000,000.
Now, with partner Claudia Adamo he is well on his way to achieving his goal: Growing a full-service Real Estate Brokerage with not only the resources to compete with the larger firms but with a different approach to sales, marketing and customer relationships. The Davis Real Estate Group is a combination of Claudia’s organizational and brokerage management skills with Duane’s experience in Sales, business management and Real Estate Valuations.