Real Estate Insider: Dustin Cumming of Hilton & Hyland

As told to Danielle Accovelli

Photography by Paul Jonason

From commercial to residential real estate, L.A. native Dustin Cumming plies his insider market savvy to service the discerning Westside. As a product of his family’s trade, the span of his industry aptitudes was honed early, if not innately. Today, Dustin’s multifaceted skill set pairs perfectly with the client-concerned and standards-first boutique real estate firm Hilton & Hyland.

How did you get your start in real estate?    

My father was a contractor and real estate developer; I grew up in the business. First, by hanging out on job sites with my siblings as a young child, and then working for my family as I got older.

What, specifically, makes you so passionate about the industry?

On the brokerage side, it’s a blast meeting new people and working with them to accomplish whatever their goal may be in the real estate sphere. On the residential development front, it’s amazing being able to take something from start to finish and participate in that process at every step.

How has your work in commercial real estate at Skechers USA given you a competitive edge in the industry?

As I have been in real estate in one capacity or another my entire life, I have had an opportunity to experience nearly all aspects of the industry. My time at Skechers provided me the chance to work on the commercial acquisition and development side of things, and this is where I gained the skills required to work with the most sophisticated partners and clients in a very corporate, structured environment, where performance and accountability were paramount.

What drew you to residential real estate?

The challenge of working with a diverse group of clients from all different socioeconomic standings, and nearly everywhere in Southern California, to accomplish all sorts of different real estate-related goals. My team and I, we do it all, whether it is a condo, a single family home, an investment property, or an apartment complex. It keeps you on your feet.

Will you describe your real estate philosophy?

Knowledge is power. We don’t operate in a vacuum, so you have to constantly work hard to stay abreast of the macro and micro variables that affect our business. In a micro sense, it’s things like trends, inventories (both on market and, most importantly, off market), codes and ordinances, etc. In a macro approach, it’s the financial landscape, interest rates, the fed, and so on.

What distinguishes your firm from others in the same market?

Performance. Being surrounded by other top-producing agents not only facilitates the flow of information and access to deals, but also motivates everyone—my team and I included—to perform better. We are constantly researching, evolving and working to hone our craft in an ever-changing marketplace so that we can continue to perform at the highest level.

Having grown up in Los Angeles, has your knowledge of the market and area contributed to your success?

Absolutely, it’s invaluable. I have a lifetime of local connections and insight into different communities and what they were like in the past, what defines them now, and how they are evolving.

What makes the Westside market so covetable?

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