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A conversation with The Agency Founder & CEO, Mauricio Umansky

We sat down with Mauricio for an open conversation on how the Agency grew to become one the most recognised property brands and the secret to hiring the best talent in the game.

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What sets The Agency apart from other real estate agencies, and how do you position the agency in the minds of your customers and clients?


First and foremost, we prioritize building authentic relationships with our clients. We take the time to truly understand their needs, preferences, and aspirations, which enables us to provide personalised service that exceeds their expectations. Another factor that is particularly rare in property is our commitment to innovation. We're constantly exploring and embracing new technologies, marketing strategies, and industry trends to stay at the forefront of the luxury real estate market. By adopting cutting-edge tools and platforms, we're able to showcase our properties in the most attractive and engaging way possible, reaching a wider audience and maximizing our clients' success. We think about how can we use tech to help our clients in every decision we make, and what else can we introduce here to solve the problem we have in front of us. Asking ourselves questions like that keeps tech at the top of our mind. 

With all of that said, our team is clearly the most important asset that puts us ahead! We've cultivated a diverse and talented group of people who bring a love for property, brand, locations, expertise, creativity, and passion to every project. 


What inspired you to start The Agency, and how did you bring your vision to life?

When I started The Agency, my primary goal was to create a full-service luxury real estate firm that focused on collaboration and innovation. I wanted to break away from traditional brokerage models and build a company that truly put the client first. To bring this vision to life, I knew I had to surround myself with people who shared the same passion, drive, and commitment to excellence. It wasn't easy, but with dedication and a clear focus, we've managed to build something extraordinary.


I have to add, it was not always so positive and people should be aware of set backs and to look around the corner to expect them. There was a time when we were competing for an exclusive listing of a high-profile luxury property. This listing had the potential to establish The Agency as a major player in the luxury real estate market, and we knew that winning it would be a game-changer for us. The competition was fierce, and we were up against some of the most well-established firms in the industry.

We worked tirelessly to prepare an outstanding presentation that showcased our unique approach and exceptional marketing strategies. On the day of the presentation, we faced an unexpected obstacle - a major traffic jam due to a city-wide event. Time was running out, and we were at risk of missing the appointment, which would have cost us the opportunity.

Thinking on our feet, we decided to ditch our cars and sprint to the client's location, carrying our presentation materials and still dressed in our formal attire. We arrived at the meeting, slightly out of breath but with adrenaline pumping, and delivered a passionate and convincing pitch. Our determination and dedication to secure the listing left a strong impression on the client, and ultimately, we won the exclusive rights to represent the property.

That day was a true testament to our team's grit, resourcefulness, and commitment to excellence. It not only left a lasting impression on all of us but also reinforced our belief in the power of perseverance and teamwork in overcoming any challenge that comes our way.

How do you ensure you're hiring the best talent for The Agency?

Hiring the right people is crucial for our success. I love getting into the weeds of what makes a great person inside The Agency. We want people who are excellent communicators, who thrive in a team environment, and who bring a ton of passion to their work.

In the interview process, it's not just about getting the 'right' answers. We're looking for folks who show enthusiasm, are good listeners, and can think on their feet. We've also got hands-on tasks to see how they tackle real-world situations. But, we don't just rely on interviews. We dig a bit deeper. We check out their past roles, look for signs of initiative, teamwork, and if they've consistently gone the extra mile. And we also get a sense of their aspirations to see if they gel with our company's vision.

I have to say, we're not afraid to color outside the lines. Sometimes the best talent doesn't fit neatly into a box but could add something unique to our team. So, we're open to guys and girls who might seem a bit unconventional but have that spark we're looking for. We're on a mission to build a diverse, passionate team that's dedicated to delivering top-tier service to our clients. It's like we're on a treasure hunt for those perfect additions to our team!

What strategies do you employ to keep your employees engaged and motivated?

We're all about growth here at The Agency, so we have a bunch of training and development stuff going on pretty much all the time. It's like we're always in 'level up' mode.

It's like we're a bunch of lifelong learners here, always eager to up our game. We're constantly offering a variety of training and development opportunities to keep everyone at the top of their game. This could range from workshops on the latest industry trends, to in-depth training sessions on new tools and software that could help us serve our clients better.

We also believe that everyone has unique talents and strengths, so we offer personalised development plans. This means we sit down with each team member, figure out their career goals, and then map out a plan to help them get there. It could include things like attending conferences, participating in leadership programs, or even getting further education. It's not just about formal training. We also encourage a culture of knowledge sharing and mentorship. More experienced team members often share their insights and experiences with newer ones. We encourage everyone to share their expertise, ask questions, and learn from each other.


Letting employees go is never easy. How do you handle these difficult decisions?


It's true, parting ways employees and friends in some cases is one of the toughest parts of running a business. I believe it's essential to approach these situations with transparency and empathy. We ensure that the individual understands the reasons behind the decision and offer support to help them transition to the next phase of their career. That said, letting someone go should never come as a surprise to them. You have a duty as a leader to be clear in your communication and let people know your expectations of them. 


How do you ensure your company culture is maintained as The Agency grows and evolves? 

This is a common problem most growing businesses face and as we have grown, we're mindful to keep our culture at the heart of everything we do.  At The Agency, preserving our culture as we scale is a bit like tending to a growing garden. It's a careful and continuous process, and it's at the heart of everything we do.

When we welcome new team members, we're not just looking for skills or experience. We're looking for individuals who understand and resonate with our values. It's about finding those who naturally align with our ethos and who can add their own unique perspectives to our diverse mix. We've found that this approach helps keep our core culture intact, even as our team evolves and expands.

Now, nurturing our culture doesn't stop at the hiring process. It's interwoven into our everyday practices. We have regular open discussions, where everyone can voice their thoughts and ideas. It's like a constant pulse check to ensure our culture is alive and well, and that it's serving us as we grow.

We also make it a point to celebrate our wins and milestones together. These moments of shared success reinforce our sense of unity and remind us of our collective mission. It's in these moments that our culture truly shines.


You have to be mindful and understand that as you grow, your culture may need to evolve too. And that's okay. We're not about being rigid or stuck in our ways. We're open to learning, adapting, and refining our culture as we move forward. So, in essence, preserving our culture as we grow is about being mindful, being open, and above all, staying true to who we are as a team. It's about keeping our roots strong, even as we reach for new heights.

How does The Agency's culture translate into the service you provide to your clients?

When we talk about collaboration as a cornerstone of our culture, it directly influences how we interact with our clients. We don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we work closely with each client, treating them as partners in the process. We take the time to understand their unique needs, preferences, and goals. This collaborative approach ensures that we can provide personalized solutions that truly resonate with each client and deliver value beyond their expectations.

Our commitment to excellence, another key facet of our culture, ensures that we never settle for "good enough". Instead, we're constantly striving to deliver top-tier service that sets us apart in the marketplace. This drive pushes us to stay abreast of industry trends, continuously hone our skills, and uphold the highest standards in all that we do. As a result, our clients can trust that when they work with us, they're getting the very best in the business.

And let's not forget our innovative spirit. At The Agency, we're always looking for new ways to elevate our services and provide unique, forward-thinking solutions. We're not afraid to think outside the box or venture off the beaten path if it means we can deliver better results for our clients. This zest for innovation ensures that we're constantly evolving and improving in our quest to exceed our clients' expectations.



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