Neil Rain Persad, a British ex-pat is the Broker and owner. He was born, raised and educated in London where his father held office at the United Nations for 33 years. While from very humble beginnings, he received a half scholarship for excellence and was privileged to attended Emanuel Secondary school, founded by Elizabeth I. Regarded as one of the top private schools in the UK, with roots dating back to the 1500’s, the education and experience there proved to be life changing. Enamoured with the architecture of the school’s various buildings and grounds, it laid the foundation for what would later become a passion in real estate.
Everything from working on construction sites in central London for extra money as a student, to annual decorating projects with a very handy uncle contributed to a love for property and architecture. Growing up in London, living amongst 100’s of years of history, architecture, and frequently travelling throughout Europe provided significant experiences that contribute to the wealth of knowledge shared with his clients today.
Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Prague and Milan were frequent destinations on well-timed budget trips as a starving student. This ultimately provided invaluable exposure to architecture, interiors and furniture. Having a father and close uncle in the foreign service opened up the world of mingling with delegates, ambassadors, city and government officials from an early age. In his teens, he loaded 40′ trucks in a warehouse in London for a music event firm for 3 years, and managed to save $3,000. When the plane arrived in Los Angeles in 1998 he had $3,000 to his name and didn’t know anyone. Embarking on a professional career that began in a Robinsons May warehouse and a bus pass, he eventually headed business development and technology divisions of Fortune 100 companies such as Disney, Sony/Ericsson, Goodrich and most formally Merrill Lynch.
After leaving the corporate world to pursue his passion, he spent the next decade at various Beverly Hills based real estate brokerages becoming acclimated with the players, the etiquette and using his business and analytical background to identify what was wrong with real estate in LA.
“With over 6,000 registered agents and 2,000 brokers in the greater Los Angeles area, I knew I wanted to do something different. Everyone seems to follow the trends, dress, talk, and look the same, drive the same car, and use the same forms of marketing. Perhaps the most disturbing thing for me as a Brit living in LA was the cut-throat approach to luxury real estate. It seemed to be a “no-matter-the-cost” mentality. There are some great agents in the city that I have fantastic relationships with, but most are focused on closing no matter the concerns or needs of the clients, and brokers are pushing for volume. The clients needs and welfare are secondary to the sales numbers. I do the exact opposite. It’s all about the client, no matter the loss of business to us. You won’t find this level of commitment, integrity and knowledge anywhere else, simply because no one else cares enough and everyone else seems to have a time limit on their patience.” Every time a new firm is formed, they seem to start on the right foot, then end up fitting the same mould as everyone else. Some survive, some don’t. Kensington & Beverly will always be here, doing what we do best.”
“As a relationship and service first based firm, I take the time to get to know the clients well and upon sharing much time together have become good friends with them all. I’m often there at the holiday parties, bar-mitzvah’s, and on one occassion, the lemonade stand with their children. Ask me about the highlights of my career and it will likely be those moments.”
In his personal time, you’ll find Neil; boxing at Terry Claybon’s gym, grappling at Rey Diogo’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at a Mercedes AMG racing track, scouring the John Varvatos store, playing guitar, the odd video game, or his favourite toy, a 4K projector. Searching for good eats and cocktails around Los Angeles seems to be a daily routine, but most of all, being an advocate for animal welfare is a role he takes very seriously.