Growing up around the corner from Universal Studios is just one of the reasons contributing to Associate Partner Kevin Dees’ familiarity with the Who’s Who in Hollywood. As the son of renowned radio personality and performer Rick Dees, Kevin’s earliest encounters were famous in their own right—a precursor to the people he would eventually work with as a top producing agent with Partners Trust. Whether he’s representing a retreat belonging to the owner of a major sports team or Johnny Depp’s Penthouse Collection, Kevin is uniquely qualified to help navigate a roster of high profile clientele towards achieving (or relinquishing) their prized properties.
But what, exactly, is the “secret sauce” to working under the spotlight and dealing with such personalities?
We caught up with Kevin in between showings to learn more about catering to celebrity listings, the challenges that can arise, and the traits that he believes are as essential as talent or experience.
PT: How does one stay grounded while growing up with a father whose face was plastered on billboards and buses all over town?
KD: Although my parents were both in the industry, they are also the least “Hollywood people” you could ever meet. What I mean by that statement is that they have always expressed a genuine and humble attitude towards others. My father makes it a point to make others feel special, to uplift those around you, and my mom is the same way. They certainly lead by example and I bring that same sensibility to my own business.
PT: You’ve said that “entertainment world expertise is in my DNA.” Can you elaborate?
KD: I was privileged to be around very dynamic personalities throughout my childhood and adolescence— interactions that certainly wouldn’t be considered as “normal” to everyone but that were normal for me. These experiences helped me to shape the way I deal with influential heads of industry without me even being conscious of it.
PT: What’s the first rule of thumb when representing high-profile clients?
KD: You need to know how to follow directions—closely. Ultimately, your job is to protect the interests of your client, making sure that their wishes are carried out exactly as we have been instructed, and that involves certain parameters that need to be adhered to.
PT: In what ways does your expertise prove invaluable to clients looking to escape the gaze of the paparazzi and social media?
KD: I try to be prepared for anything. Usually, a lot of different people have to weigh-in on decisions and protocol, so you aren’t just managing your client but their entire camp and all the different personalities involved.
PT: Is there truth to the statement: “You’re only as good as your last sale?”
KD: There definitely is, which is why I believe it’s imperative to always be grateful for the opportunity that has just come your way and never take it for granted. I treat people with respect and dignity. All things being equal, people want to do business with people that they like.
PT: Is there a secret to having longevity in this business?
KD: The people who have longevity in this town are some of the realist, most genuine people you could ever meet. That being said, always be genuine and respectful and business will find its way to you.