Meet The Real Estate Partners Behind Miller | Smith - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Meet Cliff and Todd from the Miller | Smith real estate group, experts in the “Golden Triangle” of Fairfield county. They are available to discuss a marketing strategy that would work best for your specific property. Each home has its own story and deserves its own unique approach to be successful in today’s real estate market,  call Miller | Smith at 203-258-8918 or email at: [email protected] to find out more.

When did you form Miller | Smith and what led you to start your own Group?

We have been selling high end real estate together for the past seven years throughout Fairfield County. The concept for Miller | Smith began to materialize in 2019 where we focus on the “Golden Triangle” of Fairfield County; specifically New Canaan, Darien and Greenwich where the NY buyer tends to gravitate toward. Miller | Smith specializes in bringing NY buyers to CT through our unconventional marketing and key relationships with top NY brokers. Since our launch we have sold $80M in 2019 and $90M YTD in 2020; including the highest sale in New Canaan over the past five years.


What is your differentiator in selling real estate?

Miller | Smith is a game changing real estate Group that has inspired a new way of thinking in the industry. We are passionate about changing the current “cookie cutter” approach to selling real estate in CT through our unconventional marketing strategies.


Do you both live in Fairfield? How many children do you have and what are their ages? 

Cliff: Yes, I live by the beach in Fairfield with my wife Amber, son Camden (5yrs), and daughter Kennedy (3yrs).

Todd:  I live in Easton with my wife Jill and son’s Brandon (14 yrs) and Ryan (11 yrs).


What brought you to town? 

Cliff: My wife was already living in Fairfield when we met so I ended up spending a lot of my time here. In a very short time I not only fell in love with her, but the town as well! Fairfield, much like New Canaan has such great shopping, dining options and is an amazing community to raise a family.

Todd: My wife and I liked the charm of Easton.  It reminded us a bit of Martha’s Vineyard where we always go on vacation.  It has a bit of a rural feel like the Vineyard. 


What are your favorite family activities to do in the area? 

Cliff: We love going to the beach on weekends and enjoy an occasional dinner on the beach with the kids during the week. Fairfield County as a whole has so much to offer so it’s fun to try new things in all of the different towns. We love finding something new for the kids to enjoy throughout CT.

Todd: The four of us love eating at different restaurants in Fairfield 

County. We are definite foodies!  


Tell us about the “Golden Triangle” of real estate…

Cliff & Todd: When forming Miller | Smith we wanted to focus on the high end market of Fairfield County. Specifically, towns that complement each other when buyers from out of town are coming here to find a new place to call home. New Canaan, Darien and Greenwich all offer their own flare to differentiate themselves, while also providing an amazing place to raise a family, a wonderful sense of community, great schools and a safe place to live where everyone supports one another.


You recently sold a home in New Canaan that was the highest transaction in five years. What was your strategy?

This was one of our proudest moments for two reasons. As any working parent knows, the time we spend with our family is so valuable. At work we thrive off our success stories because those successes make it all worth it. Second to this, our record setting transaction validated all of our marketing strategies that we have dedicated so much time and research to over the years. Through targeted social media campaigns and strong relationships with top NY brokers we were able to create an off market bidding war. Lastly the trust of our client to have faith in our “outside of the box” marketing strategies made for a successful sale! 


How has the Fairfield County real estate market changed after COVID?

Cliff & Todd: Prior to COVID the focus of buyers in lower Fairfield County was to  live closer to I95, the train, shops and restaurants downtown, and close to the shore.  They wanted an easy commute and to be close to the action. Now, COVID has changed the market dramatically. Those locations are still sought after, but we are seeing a great deal of buyers seeking out more land and privacy which is helping such areas that were a little slower of a market prior to the virus (Back Country Greenwich, New Canaan). The higher end of the market has prospered as well with the NY buyers seeing good value in an estate that they could purchase for the same price they were spending on  their coop/apartment in the city that was a fraction of the size.


What is the good news for the 2020 and 2021 market?

Cliff & Todd: The good news for 2020 is that it should end the year without a slowdown and real estate in our area will continue to prosper. For 2021, we feel the Spring market will be just as strong and will be a great opportunity for anyone considering listing their home. It is our opinion that the summer of 2021 assuming a successful vaccine is in place will begin to slow down just a bit. Sales will not be as dramatic as 2020 and Q1/Q2 2021. We will continue to see New Yorkers trickle in during the remainder of 2021, but at a slower pace. 


What advice are you giving to sellers? Buyers?

Cliff and Todd:  It is always good to plan ahead this time of year. We have many listings that are coming on the market in January and February 2021. We like to take exterior pictures in early Fall when homes look their best and pools are still open. Pictures never look good in the Winter when snow is on the ground and leaves are off the trees. Remember, your first “showing” is on the Internet where buyers will decide if they want to see it in-person.  Having your home look as good as possible with amazing pictures is key! 


What are the top things you hear from buyers that they are looking for in a house? 

Cliff & Todd: The top three wish list items that we are hearing repeatedly from the NY buyers are: 

  • Outdoor space  
  • Multiple work stations/home office space  
  • Pool

Since the pandemic NY buyers have been holed up in their apartments often times without even an outdoor balcony or patio to safely get some fresh air. When making the decision to flee the confines of the city they are demanding plenty of space for the family to enjoy, kids to run, and just be outside without jeopardizing health and safety. Second to this, we are seeing many buyers needing multiple work space options for their kids to engage in distance learning or their older children who are coming back from the city as well to work from home. Multigenerational living has become a top request. Lastly, properties with pools have been in high demand as homeowners were desiring a fun stay-at-home option for the family instead of heading to public pools or the beach.


What other new or current amenities in town that are attracting new buyers to the ‘burbs? 

Cliff & Todd: We love to poll the buyers coming into town every chance we get to continually educate ourselves on the latest trends and “must-haves”. Buyers during the pandemic have been putting a premium on towns much like New Canaan and Darien. They desire open space, sidewalk lined streets to take a stroll, restaurants with outdoor dining, a sense of community, and top tier school systems. New Canaan and Darien check all of the boxes.

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