One of the fastest-growing boutique real estate brokerages in the world recently opened its first office on the Gulf Coast. With the debut of the Naples office, The Agency opened its twenty-ninth franchise in a growing network of offices throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Mauricio Umansky, CEO and founder of The Agency, as well as an influential person in real estate and star of Netflix’s Buying Beverly Hills, flew to town in early February to celebrate grand opening events for The Agency’s Naples location on Tamiami Trail. We caught up with him in the lobby of the Inn on Fifth—just steps away from where crowds gathered for the Cars on 5th event—for a quick chat.
NI: Is this your first visit to Naples?
Umansky: It’s my third. All three were business-related. Someday I want to visit with my wife [Kyle Richards] and spend time exploring the area. And I really want to play some golf here.
What were your first impressions of Naples?
It is absolutely beautiful. I love water and have been spending time swimming in the Gulf.
Are you planning on purchasing real estate here?
[Laughs] Not at the moment. I have too many houses.
How do you determine where you will open your offices?
Wherever I like to travel! If I don’t want to go there, you probably won’t find an office there.
But really, we follow the money. We look at markets—like Toronto and the Midwest—and find out where these people are wanting to live. For example, right now lots of Americans are buying properties in Europe, like Portugal and Spain. Lisbon is our next location [opened in mid-February] and Mallorca soon after. We recently opened offices in Nashville and Palm Beach.
Your firm exhibits a youthful, edgy, California vibe—one that pushes the envelope. The No. 1 rule espouses “No Assholes!,” and rule No. 9 says: “Dare to Dream: We seek out like-minded rebels, who embrace our core standards of integrity, collaboration, and creativity.”
Exactly. Our goal has always been to modernize the real estate experience through innovation.
How do you do this?
Real estate marketing and advertising were and are often boring. We wanted a more experiential approach. We host lots of events and open houses, bringing clients and businesses together. We curate a lifestyle, using lots of storytelling, video, and digital marketing—acting more like a media company. Clients get to imagine how they would live in a home.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
When I’m not hanging out with my girls [Umansky was excited about getting back to a family cookout], I like adventure travel—from heli-skiing in the Rocky Mountains to hiking the Hunter Creek Loop in Aspen.
How many pairs of red shoes do you own?
At least four.
And with that last answer, Umansky was off to shake more hands at Cars on 5th.