On Friday last Your Mama passed along the inside dish passed along to us by favored informant Babbling Babette about the unexpected merger between three of Los Angeles' most successful real estate agents.
We received a quick confirmation of the merger last week when we queried one of the then-rumored-to-be partners of the new agency; Today we received a press release that announces the official formation of The Agency, a new fangled kind of boutique real estate brokerage co-founded by–as we revealed last week–Blair Chang, Billy Rose, and Mauricio Umansky.
Mauricio Umansky, joined by his father Eduardo Umansky, vacates his place among the top of the heap at Hilton & Hyland, a company co-owned by the younger Umansky's wife's sister's husband Rick Hilton. Mister M. Umansky is well known around the Platinum Triangle for his many deals in the high-wattage and high-priced Beverly Park community and last year, as per the press release, Mister Umansky's "sales volume exceeded $185 million."
Misters Rose and Chang leave Prudential California where they founded and successfully operated the brokerage's Architectural Division. They have been named more than once, as per the press release, by The Wall Street Journal as "one of the Top 100 Real Estate Teams in the U.S."
The press release goes on to state that The Agency was created to be a "collaborative culture of partnership," an antithesis to the typical cut-throat model of real estate brokerages in which agents within the same office pull hair and claw another agent's eyes out for a good listing. Mister M. Umansky says:
I think the current real estate brokerage model is broken...What you have now is a bunch of mini-companies all competing with one another under one brokerage roof. At The Agency, we're creating a culture where agents collaborate in partnership and are proud of what their colleagues are doing, rather than looking for ways to stab them in the back.
That's a fairly brutal assessment of the real estate business by Mister Umansky, but trust Your Mama when we tell you that he's right. We may not toil in the purveyance of property but we none the less know well that real estate can indeed get u.g.l.y. ugly, particularly at the upper end of the market where the egos can be hungry and vast and the amounts of money being dealt with fearsome, astronomical and sometimes inconceivable.
Not surprisingly, given the upscale and celebrity clientele of the principal founders, The Agency will focus on the upper end of the market in Los Angeles and around the globe. They've additionally created a separate division to specialize in the marketing and selling of luxury apartment tower residences.
The Agency's offices are located in Beverly Hills–natch–but south of Wilshire Boulevard on S. Beverly Drive, well away from the well-known stretch of N. Cañon Drive that's jam-packed with high-end real estate brokerage offices.
Mazel tov gentlemen.
P.S. Oh, wait, now we see this from Friday last week from the fine folks at Curbed. Somehow we missed this. Anyhoo...
photo: The Agency