The Raveis family is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary in one of CT’s most beautiful towns, Greenwich. This quarter century has been full of special events and people, helping the company become intimately familiar with the Greenwich community.
William Raveis’ success in Greenwich is attributed to the vision of entrepreneur and company founder, Bill Raveis. After opening his first office in 1974, Raveis rapidly expanded through Fairfield County, reaching Greenwich in the mid-eighties. The company acquired Thomas N. Cooke Inc., a highly respected family-owned real estate firm founded in 1899 and located at the corner of Greenwich and Putnam Avenue. This purchase has always been of high value, for the acquisition has made William Raveis the oldest real estate firm in continuous service in Greenwich. In 2002, William Raveis purchased the Connecticut offices of Douglas Elliman, a prestigious, long-standing firm, in Greenwich and Darien, adding to the company’s ambitious efforts at expansion.
Bill Raveis’s keen familiarity with the Greenwich community takes the form of long-lasting relationships developed with many people, organizations and clubs in the town. Of particular importance are efforts to maintain Greenwich’s cultural heritage through a wonderful partnership with the late Claire Vanderbilt and her husband, Hugh. The relationship with the Vanderbilts traces a 24 year history, when Bill was first getting to know the Greenwich community. Through a meeting of the minds, Bill and Claire worked to create a program paying homage to historic homes in Greenwich for the Historical Society of Greenwich. It was called “Signs of the Times” and featured over 200 plaques underwritten by William Raveis Real Estate; the program is still active today. The relationship with the Vanderbilts is held close to the company’s heart, as this was the foundation toward building a synergy with Greenwich and understanding the town’s rich property history. Company involvement with the town includes sponsorship of The Greenwich Riding and Trails Association-Hunt Ball, The Greenwich Arts Council “Art on the Avenue,” Junior League of Greenwich “Enchanted Forest” and Montifore Children’s Hospital-Greenwich Polo Benefit, to name a few.
These deep relationships have resulted in some memorable stories to tell. Through the mid to late eighties, William Raveis would occasionally meet with corporate clients on a chartered yacht called the Honey Fitz (formerly owned by John F. Kennedy). Bill met with owner of the Honey Fitz and Kennedy fan, Joe Keating, to arrange for chartering the yacht that was docked in Greenwich. During their encounter, Bill playfully mentioned how fond he was of Keating’s suspenders. In a humorous exchange, Keating gave Bill his suspenders, leaving behind a whimsical tale still spoken of in offices today.
William Raveis’ core mission to ensure the company stays true to its roots as a family – owned business can be seen in the new office on 45 Field Point Road. Commitment to family is written clearly in the company mission statement, but is also present in many unique, subtle touches in the new Greenwich office. Bill’s wife and talented artist/designer, Candace Raveis, has decorated the office with traditional company colors, as well as adding an exotic finish to furniture with raw silk and other unique materials. She has been instrumental in designing all the company offices and her work on her gardens at their home, Applewood, has recently been published in “At Home gardens! magazine.”
Much of the Greenwich community is intricately tied with New York City, commuting to work in the financial district or with hedge funds throughout Manhattan. Several of these people choose to stay away from the hectic New York lifestyle and prefer the allure of Greenwich’s quiet elegance. William Raveis understands the link between New York and Greenwich and is planning to open offices in the city by the end of this year. Despite a challenging market and unpredictable activity on Wall Street, the company also expanded into Westchester County (another important link to Greenwich and New York City) last year.
William Raveis expects to spend many more years in Greenwich, marketing the town as one of the most beautiful in the nation. Amidst a sea of corporate realty agencies and consolidations, Bill plans to stay true to family roots. The company will continue into future generations, becoming more familiar with Greenwich’s market, people and special history.