4th Generation Real Estate Professional Joins Mario Carey Realty
When Ashley Brown's great-grandfather, Ernest John Henry “Harry” McPherson, sold his first piece of property in The Bahamas, it was the late 1930's. Acreage in New Providence was going for a song. The Royal Victoria had been built with a government grant of $25,000. The internet was decades away and MLS sounded more like a medical diagnosis than a way to list property.
A generation later, McPherson's daughter, Mary, wed David “Lester” Brown who followed in his father-in-law's footsteps, a natural for someone who married into the family that owned a good chunk of what are now Paradise Island and Cable Beach. But Lester Brown added a new twist. Unlike McPherson, who had taken up real estate as a last-ditch second career later in life, Brown was a pilot with a sense of adventure. He had served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, achieved the rank of Squadron Leader and later received the Distinguished Flying Cross. For him, real estate was the perfect excuse to fly his plane and show off the remote Bahama Islands he loved.
"I remember as a little girl going with my grandfather on his seaplane while he showed property in Exuma. He loved flying and he loved selling property, I'm not sure which one he loved most." says granddaughter, Ashley McPherson Brown, recently licensed sales agent.
Lester Brown became partner of McPherson & Brown Real Estate in 1952 with his father-in-law and was one of the founding members of the Bahamas Real Estate Association in 1959 along with H.G. Christie, Edgar Bain, Frank Christie, Jack Hughes, and Bert L. Roberts in the days when only a handful of Bahamian Realtors existed. Today, there are more than 650.
By the time Ashley’s father, Ian Brown, got into the real estate business with his father, McPherson & Brown had become Real Estate Sales & Rentals which included a few other prominent realtors: Geoffrey Brown (Lester’s brother), Barbara Brown (Lester’s sister), John Morley, Lester Smith, and Mike Lightbourn. Ian specialized in private islands and cays.
Nearly 75 years later, Ashley Brown is carrying on what has become a family tradition in careers--the high-energy pro with a degree in architecture is picking up the mantle of a real estate professional under the tutelage of Mario Carey. Like her family before her, Ashley is bringing enthusiasm to the profession that seems to come naturally.
"Ashley is a great addition to MCR," says Carey. "She's young, energetic, eager to learn, and brings a strong knowledge of the current trends in sustainable design for buildings as well as social media and marketing."
Ashley will fit right in with the high-end residential boutique at Mario Carey Realty. Carey, who has sold over $1 billion in luxury properties, was recently named to Who's Who in Luxury Realtors. For Ashley, success in luxury sales is inevitable.
"With a degree in architecture, I understand the importance of a good floor plan and how initial design affects the outcome of the built structure. I notice these things the minute I walk into someone’s house. I look at the use of natural light, ventilation, layout, and apply my expertise to help with showings. You can see clients really appreciate this kind of knowledge.” explains the young Brown, who studied at Northeastern University in Boston prior to completing her degree in Architecture with a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax. When she returned to Nassau after graduation she was handed a magazine with her grandfather's photo on the cover. It was a 1956 issue of the Bahamian Review and David 'Lester' Brown was named “Man of the Month”. As she read, she felt a natural calling to want to follow in her family’s footsteps.
"I think real estate was in the cards," laughs Brown. "Or at least in the genes."