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The Agency's Mauricio Umansky on the Whale Realty Game

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Los Angeles-area broker Mauricio Umansky—yes, he of Real Housewives fame—has handled some of the largest property transactions in Southern California in recent years and tackled a few high-priced properties that well, let's say, required some finesse. But you don't get to be the number one broker in Los Angeles by shying away from a challenge, particularly when whale-sized amounts of money are involved. Curbed asked the ever tight-lipped Umansky—who is the founder and CEO of L.A.'s The Agency—for some insight on the business and the wants and needs of his high-end clientele.

? The Mexican-born Umansky came to the United States when he was just six years old and, with a lifelong interest in "architecture and sales," followed his father, Eduardo, into the real estate business. Father and son worked alongside one another at storied L.A. agency Hilton & Hyland, before partnering with Prudential vets Billy Rose and Blair Chang to form The Agency. Umansky says he sought out the duo because he "knew that Billy and Blair were at the top of their game in the architectural brokerage world and were both #1 at Prudential."

Maloof Manor

? But what of the brokerage whale's appearance on Bravo's reality hit, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Umansky says "it has neither helped nor hurt my business. If anything, it's helped bring more exposure to me and The Agency." That said, he can't be too disappointed with landing the listing for Real Housewife Adrienne Maloof's over the top mansion in the Holmby Hills. Listed for $26M, the 20,000-square-foot personal palace/TV set sold after a month on the market for just shy of $20M. Those listings that required finesse, yes, this is one of them.

? Umansky is known for his discretion, at least off-screen, and is happy to keep his trap shut when it comes to celebrity home sales. He wouldn't comment on the Carolwood Estate, a massive mansion built by billionaire Gabriel Brener on land that previously belonged to Walt Disney. Shielding sky-high asking prices behind "Price Upon Request" is commonplace—the Brener place is said to be asking $90M and The Agency won't comment on that either—but Umansky says, "privacy is definitely important," but the real goal is "ultimately achieving the highest and best possible price."

The Agency handles so many high-value estates that we thought it not unlikely that a jet-setting billionaire had purchased a whale-worthy mansion sight unseen. Alas, "we have not had the fortune of selling a $20M+ house sight unseen," says Umansky, "however, we've had multiple homes over $20M that sold just after one showing."

Asked if he'd ever fielded any odd requests from clients, Umansky says, "I wouldn't consider any of my clients requests particularly peculiar." But that might just be because he is accustomed to supplying them with what he calls "white-glove service," which includes "helping and serving our clients with many of their personal needs such as private chefs, private jets, tickets to sporting events, among other things." You know, just the basics, or, at least, maybe the "basics" for Barry Bonds, who is said to be the owner of a $25M estate that was just listed by The Agency. Of course, when asked about the property, a rep from The Agency had this to say: "I, nor anyone at The Agency, have anything to share or confirm with respect to this listing." Maybe privacy is the secret, after all.

· Mauricio Umansky [The Agency]
· Real Housewife Adrienne Maloof Lists Hideous Faux Chateau [Curbed National]
· Over-the-Top Mansion on Disney's Last Property Asks $90M [Curbed National]
· Real Housewife Adrienne Maloof Lists Hideous Faux Chateau [Curbed National]
· 'Real Housewife' Maloof Sells Hideous Chateau for $20M [Curbed National]
· Slugger Barry Bonds Lists Pumped Up L.A. Pad for $25M [Curbed National]