Who’s Who in Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate

Lisa Anne Brown

Jim Feiner, Principal Broker
Feiner Real Estate, Chilmark
Home: Chilmark
Number of years in real estate: 25
Specialty: Most people associate me with up-Island towns because we live in Chilmark.
Came to be in real estate: Following college, I was trying to get into a career in advertising, and when no one was hiring me, I decided to get a real estate license just in case. My mother, who was practicing real estate for fun, offered me one of her clients, to whom I sold my first house.
What would you be if you weren’t in real estate? Maybe a photographer or an artist. I like to do mosaics, and frequently do them for clients I sell houses to, as a thank-you.
Any interesting stories about your work? I was selling a piece of property, and at the last minute we got a notification from the state that the best place on the property for a house actually had a 37-person graveyard, which the sellers never notified me about and I never realized. It was unmarked and not obvious, and it could’ve been almost anything.

Fred Roven, Owner/Broker
Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents, Edgartown
Home: Edgartown
Number of years in real estate: 17
Specialty: Exclusive buyer agency (we take no listings and only represent buyers.)
Came to be in real estate: I needed a source of income, and had not been on a time clock since college. Real estate seemed like a perfect next step. My fascination with the changes happening in real estate at that time, from sub-agency to buyer agency, was what first attracted me.
How did you come to buy your own house? I had been renting for many years, first with the Island shuffle and then year-round. I walked into my current home, and knew it was mine. I made an offer on it a few days later. I am not certain I was actually looking, but I was ready.

Peter C. Fyler, Owner/Broker
SplitRock Real Estate, LLC, West Tisbury
Home: West Tisbury
Number of years in real estate: 26-plus
Specialty: Exclusive buyer agency
Came to be in real estate: My family owns considerable holdings out of state.
What would you be if you weren’t a Realtor? Probably retired, but I enjoy helping people too much. It’s my calling.
Favorite activity on the Island? Landscaping and gardening.
Philosophy: You have to be part psychologist to be good at this. Empathy is important.
People love to buy, but don’t like being sold — they can smell it a mile away. This business should be about service and not sales, but it is too easy to get into and come and go at whim. As the universal law proves, “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Russell Maloney, Broker/Owner
Russell Maloney Real Estate, LLC, Chilmark
Home: Chilmark
Number of years in real estate: 9
Specialty: Unique antiques, mid-century modern masterpieces, smashing contemporaries
Came to be in real estate? I retired from a career on Wall Street and moved to Chilmark for a quieter pace of life. It was a natural progression for me to share with and show others how great life can be away from the rat race on an Island paradise.
What would you be if you weren’t a Realtor? I don’t know what I would be, but I always wanted to be an accomplished musician.
Favorite room in your house? The room with the piano and the paintings.
Any interesting stories about your work? There was the time that a renter in Edgartown met me at 6 am on an August Saturday morning and paid me $15,000 in $100 bills.

Lisa Stewart, Owner
Lighthouse Properties, Edgartown
Home: Oak Bluffs
Number of years in real estate: 24
What would you be if you weren’t in real estate? Architect or interior designer. My husband and I have designed and built a number of homes on the Island, and we would like to get into that again.
Any interesting stories about your work? I once had a house burn to the ground a few days before closing. The sellers had stored some mattresses in a sunroom that had a propane-fired stove, and inadvertently had mattresses leaning against the stove. A fire broke out in the early morning of Thanksgiving Day. The firefighters came and put out the fire, which at that point was contained to the one room. However, the fire did not get completely extinguished, and a few hours later, the fire started again and the entire house burned to the ground. Needless to say, the buyers did not want to go forward with the purchase, and my sale literally went “up in smoke”!

Arthur Smadbeck, Owner
Priestley Smadbeck & Mone, Edgartown
Home: Edgartown
Number of years in real estate: 25
Specialty: Residential sales
Came to be in real estate: I went into partnership with my mother, Justine Priestley, in 1989.
What would you be if you weren’t in real estate? I was previously in the coal business, and would probably still be if I hadn’t gone into business with my mother.
How did you come to buy your own home? When my wife and I moved here, we looked at many, many houses. The problem was that we had five very active boys, ages 3 to 10, and couldn’t find a house that worked for that configuration. We ended up building a house to fit the need.

Kathleen Kendrick, Broker
Homes on Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown
Home: Aquinnah
Number of years in real estate: 3½
Specialty: Residential and commercial sales and purchases
Came to be in real estate? I had always wanted to work in real estate. My first careers were in special education and then product development. I decided to write a short book that, hopefully, would help young adults with attention deficit disorder. I was working with a graphic designer on-Island, Tjark Aldeborgh, to format the book for Amazon. Tjark had started Homes on Martha’s Vineyard during that time. When he knew I had my license in real estate, he invited me to join his company.
Favorite room in your house? My music room. I can lose myself for hours on the piano. It is also a peaceful room for reading or writing.
Favorite activity on the Island? To walk the beautiful walking trails that we are so fortunate to have here. That includes frequent visits to the Polly Hill Arboretum.

Leslie Pearlson, Co-Owner/Broker
Tea Lane Associates, West Tisbury and Chilmark
Home: Vineyard Haven
Number of years in real estate: 15
Came to be in real estate? My aunt, Eleanor Pearlson, founded Tea Lane Associates 47 years ago with her partner Julia Sturges. I learned the business from her, and took it over gradually, alongside my cousin Abby Rabinovitz.
Philosophy: I see myself as a matchmaker, finding the right fit for our buyers and sellers — whether it is the best property or rental for the buyer or the best buyer or tenant for the owner. This is a very human profession, and we pride ourselves on being instructive, knowledgeable, and intuitive, which is the result of years of experience in this unique Vineyard market. We work with folks who are either beginning their dream, changing their dream, or ending their dream. This can be an extremely intimate and complicated process. I try to softly guide my clients through each step.

Neal Stiller, Broker/Office Manager
Cronig’s Real Estate, Vineyard Haven
Home: Vineyard Haven
Number of years in real estate: 32
Came to be in real estate? I was born on the Island, and have lived in Vineyard Haven my entire life, except during college. After college I was looking for a profession that would allow me to live on the Vineyard. I decided to try my hand in real estate. My great-uncle, Henry Cronig, started Cronig’s Real Estate in 1917. My uncle, Carlyle Cronig, followed him into the business right after WW II. Carlyle’s son, Peter, joined his father in 1979. After one year with another real estate company, I joined Cronig’s Real Estate in 1983.
Favorite room in your house? My den. It’s my getaway room where I can relax.
Favorite activity on-Island? Swimming, whether at the beach or in my pool. Unfortunately the Vineyard summer season is much too short.

Judy Federowicz, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker Landmarks, Vineyard Haven
Home: Vineyard Haven
Number of years in real estate: 34
Specialty: Residential properties, with an interest in antique homes
Favorite room in your house? The dining room — this is where the best conversations happen, when everyone is gathered around the table after a wonderful meal. It’s a time of good conversation, lots of sharing, laughter, and storytelling. The room radiates with good cheer.
Any interesting stories about buying your own house? When we purchased our first home, we left the closing with a dime in our pocket and the gas in the car, and that was it! Thank heaven payday wasn’t too far away! We never regretted “stretching” to buy that first house; it was the beginning of building an asset as well as creating a home. Over the years we have owned several houses, usually buying houses needing repair and restoration. We were not afraid of expending some elbow grease, and learned some interesting skills along the way. Owning a home is still the American dream.

Alan Schweikert, Owner/Broker
Ocean Park Realty, Inc., Edgartown and Oak Bluffs
Home: Oak Bluffs

Number of years in real estate: 41
Came to be in real estate? In the early ’70s I came over here to manage Mattakeeset Properties, along with selling the last few condominiums that were still available. After the season I was contacted by Land-Use Associates to manage and sell their properties in Sengekontacket. In 1979, I opened up Ocean Park Realty.
Favorite room in your house? The great room. It has pleasant visuals into the other rooms, and beautiful views of the meadow, forest, and bodies of water around my property.
Favorite activity on the Island: I enjoy the Island in every respect, in that I love to swim, hike, fish, and play golf.

Stephanie Burke, Co-Owner/Broker
Martha’s Vineyard Seacoast Properties, Edgartown
Home: Edgartown
Number of years in real estate: 32
Came to be in real estate? I started in Manhattan at a small boutique Upper East Side firm. I moved to Martha’s Vineyard 30 years ago, kept my license, and worked full-time in hotels that were condominium-owned; occasionally units were shown and sold. From there, I went to work for Linda Bassett Real Estate, and managed her office until 2007, when I bought the business with my business partner, Renee Ortiz.
Philosophy: Real estate is a people business — relationships with clients, brokers, attorneys, and more. In this day and age, technology and social media are key, and this has a huge impact on marketing and public engagement. If you treat your business relationships with care and are honest, ethical, resourceful, and collaborative in nature, you will be successful.

Kerry Quinlan-Potter, Owner/Broker
Breakwater Real Estate, Oak Bluffs
Home: Oak Bluffs
Number of years in real estate: 12-plus
Specialty: Community of East Chop
Came to be in real estate: My father was a broker in Canada. I have always been in sales, having run an advertising and publishing company before moving to Martha’s Vineyard.
What would you be if you weren’t a Realtor? I own a retail shop in Vineyard Haven [The Collection] that satisfies my creative outlet, as well as allowing me to be surrounded by beautiful things!
How did you come to own your own home? My husband and I bought a building lot on East Chop at the height of the real estate market, and built a “spec” house we had hoped to sell. Six or seven years later, we still live in the house, though it is twice the size we need and many rooms are left unused. We are in such a great location that we just settled in, and time has passed.