Dustin Nicholas is the founder of Nicholas Property Group, a Los Angeles-based boutique brokerage specializing in the luxury market.
Describe the most beautiful room you’ve ever been in? This is a loaded question considering that my response continually evolves in relation to what is en vogue. I’m a huge fan of Ravenseye, a Harry Gesner masterpiece I currently have listed in Malibu. It’s a vast room that embodies the essence of the world’s best-known bachelor, Agent 007.
What is your favorite architectural style? I’m biased towards midcentury modernism; there’s something about the open spaces and the blend of earthy materials that piques my interest.
What is your idea of the perfect view? Anything that makes you feel as if you’re in the very first row of a movie theatre.
What is your most cherished article of clothing? A loafer, worn sockless, of course. My favorite pair is from Stubbs and Wootten: there’s an image of a screw embroidered on the left shoe, and I’ll let you figure out what’s on the right one.
As a child, which room of the house did you spend the most time in? The kitchen or the TV room, where I could be found playing my NES.
What is the one thing you can’t live without? Hair product.
What qualities do you appreciate most in your friends? Integrity and honesty with a side of dry humor. Why would you share your time with those that don’t possess these traits? After all, time is your most valuable commodity.
What is your greatest fear? Heights.
Which three people, living or dead, would you invite to your dinner party? My late father, immediate family, and perhaps Albert Einstein to mix things up and throw everyone for a loop.
What aspect of your personality has created the most problems for you in life? With problems comes success, in my opinion. I’ve viewed my biggest failures in life as recipes for future success, because it’s only when you hit very sharp lows that you can break through a fresh 52 week high. Be vulnerable and positive and achievement follows.
Who is your favorite architect? Richard Neutra.
Which song always makes you cry? “Talk,” by Coldplay. I have two sisters, one older and one younger, and for some reason, this song speaks to me.
At what point did you become an adult? When I was too young. I was 12-years-old when my father passed away, and that moment forced me to grow up quickly and learn how to adapt to new environments.
When did you first fall in love? The day I landed at LAX when I was 18 years old. I can still recall the tainted smell that filled the air.
When was the last time you surprised yourself? Flying a light plane off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Because I’m afraid of heights, my chest was throbbing until we became airborne.
When do you feel powerful? Every day between the hours of 7:30 A.M. and 10:30 A.M. after my espresso enema.
What is the most challenging thing about aging? Figuring out new hairstyles as your hairline recedes. Speaking of which, how’s my hair?
What was desperately important to you when you were young that no longer seems quite so pressing? I don’t need to run with the cool kids anymore.
Which movie can you watch over and over again? “The Big Short.”
What is your definition of luxury? Any state of great comfort, and for me, that state of comfort is large open spaces accompanied by endless city light views.
What is your greatest extravagance? The ability to make others laugh while being dry and candid at the same time.
What’s the most widely held misconception about money? When dealing with wealthy and powerful people, it is very easy to get caught up in bubble vision. Know who you are and where you came from. Be grounded as you can’t take it with you. Happiness can’t be bought.
What three things never fail to bring you pleasure? A massage, good food, and the right company.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Outside of the one woman who grounds me, it would be my real estate career. I thrive on stress and challenging situations — that’s when I’m my happiest, most authentic self.
When and where were you happiest? When I’m with the love of my life, even when she drives me crazy.
Which talent would you most like to have? An interest in sports. I’ve never really watched a sports game, in person or on television, and I was never interested in sports while I was growing up.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Providing for my mother and family.
What’s your idea of an important achievement? Gaining the trust of my peers, friends and clients. Those strong relationships are paramount to me, especially in a field that is stereotypically vapid and mendacious. Trust goes a long way.
What is your most treasured possession? Buddy, my overly friendly French Bulldog who licks everything and wonders why he throws up.
Who are your heroes? Those who have emerged from the grit of life and financially, physically, or mentally defeated all odds. I always vote for the underdog. It’s the fight in me that wants to see someone less favored overcome.
What is your greatest regret? Not spending more time with my family.
What’s the most significant historical event that’s occurred over the course of your life? I was sent to an all-male “tough love” troubled teen program located on an isolated island called Upolu in Western Samoa.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in life? The passing of my father. I was too young to understand it, and the life lessons and hard knocks I experienced following his death made me who I am today.
What is a small kindness we can all extend to one another today? It starts with something as simple as a smile.