By Emily Glynn
Several short months ago, as the negligible Arizona winter frost made way for spring, The Agency was officially introduced to the Phoenix market with a sumptuous and swanky affair. The launch party, held at a private studio in Scottsdale, was attended by some of the Valley’s most influential individuals, eager to welcome the Los Angeles-based luxury real estate brokerage and lifestyle company to Arizona.
Amongst throngs of beautiful people and walls of proprietary crimson-red roses, was Mauricio Umansky, looking as sharp as ever in a fitted charcoal-gray suit. The company’s charismatic CEO and founder was deep in his element, exuding the same ingenuity that has played a subtle role in elevating The Agency to superstardom.
While some may be surprised to see the celebrity real estate mogul and his team about town, Umansky’s presence in the Southwest has been a calculated move, spurred by the reality of luxurious properties and local aptitude.
“Arizona has been part of our expansion plans for some time, and finding the right talent and ownership team was crucial to making our move,” Umansky says. “Our Arizona partners will change the face of luxury real estate in the Valley as we work globally to position Arizona as an international destination for luxury homebuyers.”
The Agency has already established partnerships with four of the Valley’s top luxury agents (Raul Siqueiros, Racquel Barbey, Jack Luciano and Roxanne Johnson). The Arizona partners have been working tirelessly with Valley developers on several luxury projects, including TrueCraft Residential, ENVY Residences, Edison Midtown and Inspire Downtown Scottsdale by Scottsdale-based developer Deco Communities and Two Biltmore Estates by Phoenix-based Geneva Holdings.
The Arizona office, which specializes in luxury homes, new development, resort real estate, residential leasing and luxury vacation rentals, is already creating quite the buzz for its unprecedented methodology.
“The Arizona market has rapidly become a global destination for luxury homebuyers,” Umansky affirms. “These forward-thinking projects are continuing to lead the way for innovative real estate.”
Since its founding in 2011, this type of innovation has been The Agency’s guiding light. With innovation, however, often comes risk, and both Umansky and his co-founder, design and architectural specialist Billy Rose, have always acknowledged the precariousness of their original vision.
“As entrepreneurs, we were really putting everything on the line – including stable, lucrative careers – with no guarantee of success,” Umansky recalls. “We funded the company as partners, so we could own [it] outright and get things up and running, setting up shop in a tiny strip mall office with six agents and a handful of folding chairs.”
From there, they crossed their fingers, waiting for other agents to join and vying for market share while competing against much larger, more established competitors.
“Despite the potential of failure, we were driven by the notion that we had to take a chance if we wanted to leave our mark on an industry we care so much about, and we haven’t looked back,” Umansky says.
Their fearless perseverance persisted and The Agency went on to redefine the world of real estate, shunning the traditional brokerage model in favor of collaboration and teamwork amongst agents. In an industry known for its habitually aggressive ways, The Agency’s approach transformed the experience of buying and selling, promoting a collaborative culture where agents feel empowered to share their contacts, expertise and spheres of influence in order to guarantee superior client representation and an indispensable competitive edge.
“This culture has allowed The Agency to extend far beyond what a conventional brokerage firm offers, creating curated experiences for our clients,” says Umansky, alluding to the business’ personalized approach. “[Growth] is important, but more importantly, we have to grow organically and strategically to maintain our authentic boutique feel.”
The same attentive and distinctive way of life has also led to the development of The Agency’s in-house creative division, The Agency Creative (TAC). The division, the first-ever of any brokerage, is comprised of graphic designers, analysts and tech gurus dedicated to providing strategic marketing solutions for buyers, sellers, developers and investors worldwide, bringing brands to life through captivating web design, branding and advertising.
“We are not afraid of making mistakes, trying new things [or] taking risks,” Umansky explains. “We don’t simply envision The Agency as a brokerage, but as a luxury lifestyle company committed to … telling stories … and connecting global communities.”
The Agency’s international reputation, sustained by a strong foundation of collaborative culture, world-class teams operating on the U.S. West Coast, and in both Mexico and Turks and Caicos, comes as no surprise. Where integrity and ethics are involved, everything falls into place – global clout included.
Although Umansky certainly encountered his fair share of challenges while navigating his way to the top, the real estate mogul demonstrated the traits (tenacity, ambition, intuition – the list goes on) required to achieve the staggering success he enjoys today from a young age. Following a brief stint as a pizza delivery boy, Umansky founded a fashion line with his father at the young age of 25, growing the company to make $30 million in sales per year. Umansky now ranks as the No. 1 top-producing real estate agent in California and No. 5 in the U.S. and has been recognized among the top 10 real estate producers in the country on REAL Trends’ annual list for seven consecutive years, an accomplishment he credits to consistent and conscientious attention to his clients’ needs.
In 2010, his career took a slight turn for the unconventional when his wife, Kyle Richards, was cast on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a TV show on Bravo. Though he was already well established at the time, the unscripted hit show provided a unique opportunity for Umansky to showcase his business to upwards of one million viewers.
“While star power is an added bonus, I’ve learned that the exposure wouldn’t be so influential if it wasn’t backed by a meaningful and impactful brand. The Agency’s involvement in reality television has made us a household name, expanded our reach and generated publicity, something our competitors aren’t able to provide,” he explains. “But if it all went away tomorrow, The Agency has established itself as a leading player in the luxury real estate market, with or without the cameras.”
Umansky also uses his influential platform to give back to the community. Aside from serving as a board member for Giveback Homes, a network of real estate professionals dedicated to creating social change, he also supports the National Breast Cancer Association, HOLA Foundations and The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where he battled blood disease as a child.
The motive behind everything he does, however, from the hectic schedules and open houses to the enduring jetlag and countless media appearances, comes down to one simple thing.
“My family is the reason I do this,” he says of his daughters and beloved wife of 21 years. “They give me purpose to work harder [and] put meaning into everything I do.”
For more information, visit www.theagencyre.com.