Episode 19: Mauricio Umansky


“I gotta tell you, as an immigrant coming to LA, young, having my ups and downs, there’s no doubt that I am living the American Dream.”

We couldn’t wait to meet up with Mauricio Umansky, owner and CEO of The Agency, one of the most successful real estate and brokerage firms in the world. During an interview at his Beverly Hills home, we had the opportunity to learn the inside story of his success…and to pick up a few valuable business tips.

Business is in Mauricio’s blood. In 1976, when Mauricio was six years old, his family moved to the United States from Mexico to start a textile company.

“That helped shape me in what I now do, which is selling,” Mauricio explains. “I’ve been selling all my life.”

In 1988, Mauricio began working with his dad selling garment dye. Despite increasing profit by 50% the first year, ultimately the family had to sell the company.

“Sometimes, in life, you need a tragedy in order to create something great,” Mauricio tells us, his optimism contagious. “A new path in my life started—selling real estate—which is really what I always loved.”

The first year, working for Hilton & Highland, Mauricio made a promise to himself to improve his sales every consecutive year and has kept that promise for 25 years.

Mauricio is a man who has taken chances with his career. As a real estate agent in the early 2000s, the housing market crash of 2008 could have devastated him. Instead, he used it to make a name for himself.

“I was thinking to myself, how in the world can I take advantage of this crash?” Mauricio explains. “Well, I didn’t have money at that time… So, I said to myself, what can I do that no one else is doing to make myself different than everybody else?”

Mauricio began to buy all of the advertising in Los Angeles.

“If you opened up the LA Times, you would basically read ‘Mauricio Umansky, Mauricio Umansky…’” he laughs. “So, the perception became that the only person selling during this terrible time was Mauricio Umansky.”

That year, Mauricio became the number one real estate agent in California and ranked seventh in the country. A few years later in 2011, he opened The Agency.

“We wanted to change the way you sell real estate,” Mauricio explains, his signature energy making everyone he meets feel like close a friend. “We were going to sell real estate through storytelling, through lifestyles.”

In the years since, The Agency has met with roaring success, opening over 36 offices worldwide and being featured on multiple reality TV shows. He attributes much of his success to his wife Kyle Richards.

“You know they always say ‘behind every great man, there’s a great woman’… Well, I can tell you that I have a great woman in front of me, not behind me,” Mauricio shares. “Kyle has just been there for me from the beginning when we had absolutely nothing. She’s super supportive, motivational, and always helps me get my head back on track.”

Running The Agency is now a family affair, with two of Mauricio’s four daughters working alongside him. Now that the company has reached international acclaim, there are many trying to duplicate The Agency’s success…but they’ll have a hard time mimicking Mauricio’s personality.

“You know what you can’t copy in a company? You can’t copy culture,” Mauricio explains. “That’s really what sets us apart. And the culture of The Agency is defined by two rules. Number One: no assholes. Number Two: we like to have fun.”

We can get behind that.