LA Lifestyle Specialist

Neil McDermott Navigates Clients to the Right Neighborhood and Home

Neil McDermott, VP of Hilton & Hyland

Neil McDermott, Vice President of Hilton & Hyland

When I first met Neil, he was listing high-end condominiums for one of my clients in a prestigious neighborhood of Pasadena. Upon our introduction, I learned that he had listings for other spectacular condos in Downtown LA and on the Sunset Strip.

What caught me off guard was that he was Vice President of the prestigious Beverly Hills firm, Hilton & Hyland.

“Neil, you know the Beverly Hills market is completely different from Pasadena and DTLA… So why are you here?” I commented to him as we met for the first time in the condominium.

With his light laugh and chuckle, Neil outlined his unique approach to selling and listing homes, detailing specifically how he services his clientele. As a former international marketing executive at a major studio, along with his international MBA education, Neil explained his world view of Southern California and what makes him such an asset to his clients.

“I represent many clients that are relocating to the LA region for business that don’t have the knowledge or experience of living and working in our vast urban area. For example, I had an executive being relocated to Pasadena and he and his wife wanted to live near the beach. They researched Manhattan Beach online and thought it was the best community for them. On the internet, the distance from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena didn’t seem far, with direct access serviced by the freeways,” Neil recalled.

“Now, you and I both know that if your executive job is in Pasadena and your home is in Manhattan Beach, the commute time and traffic would be unbearable. So, what I did for this client – and what I do for all of my clients – is explain the various affluent neighborhoods of LA, the different lifestyles each offers, and the reality of commuting between these neighborhoods and their offices. People think of LA as one city like back east, but we are more like a country with each neighborhood actually being a distinct city. For instance, DTLA has become a place to live, yet even in this enclave there are various neighborhoods and cultures. The Arts District has become a preferred place to live with large warehouse lofts and a more creative vibe than the South Park District, which features newer high-rise condominiums and many foreign investors,” Neil explained.

Being a former studio executive and raising his family in Hancock Park, Neil knows the reality of life in LA. “The same holds true with the Wilshire Corridor and the neighborhoods north and south from Hollywood to Hancock Park. When selecting the right neighborhood for my client, a lot of factors come into play. Price, commute time, schools, cultural ambiance – there is a whole host of criteria. My in-depth expertise is what sets me apart from the more traditional ‘neighborhood’ realtor,” Neil concluded.

Neil offers clients the ‘global’ knowledge of LA while patiently guiding them through the relocation process. It has been nearly ten years since I met Neil in that exclusive Pasadena condominium. We have become good friends, and he is one realtor I sincerely trust to refer friends and associates to when relocating to LA.

To learn more about Neil, visit

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