The countdown is on until The Agency officially launches in New York City.
It hasn’t planted roots in the Big Apple yet, but the Los Angeles-based firm’s apparent closeness to local brokerage Triplemint has sparked speculation of a formal alliance.
The connection began in February, when The Agency’s president Rainy Hake Austin appeared on a panel alongside Triplemint CEO David Walker.
The firms kept in touch and when The Agency’s CEO and founder Mauricio Umansky was in town this fall, he had lunch with Walker and co-founder Philip Lang. Afterward, they checked out an office space together.
Triplemint has been expanding its footprint in the Tri-state area, inking leases for three new offices this year. Founded eight years ago, the firm embarked on a strategic growth spurt in 2019 after Tyler Whitman, one of its founding agents, was cast on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.” Whitman and the firm stepped onto the same stage that turbo-charged the careers of Fredrik Eklund and Ryan Serhant.
Meanwhile, The Agency has been on its own expansion tear. Since founding the brokerage a decade ago, Umansky has grown it to more than 700 agents and has 48 offices spread across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Earlier this year, the firm launched operations in Connecticut and Canada and announced plans to enter the New York City and Hamptons markets early in 2022. This fall, The Agency signed its first New York lease for an office on the North Shore of Long Island. Though Umansky has kept his plans for breaking into New York under wraps, he previously said his firm would concentrate on Manhattan and the Hamptons, with a particular focus on new development.
In an interview, Umansky said Walker and Lang’s presence on the office tour was not because of any agreement between the two firms. (Umansky also noted that he didn’t like the space.)
“We had lunch and they came with me,” said Umansky, who described the meeting as a casual lunch. “We’ve developed a good relationship with Triplemint and there’s really no story.”
Umansky denied that there were any discussions occurring between his firm and Triplement about a partnership, merger or acquisition.
“Nothing has been talked about or decided at this point,” said Umansky. “We have multiple options for entering the New York market and we have not made a decision on how we want to enter it.”
The Agency has for years been hounded by speculation that it is for sale, according to Umansky and multiple California-based sources. A source with direct knowledge said The Agency was being marketed for sale last month, but Umansky dismissed the report as inaccurate.
“I’m not a seller, period,” he said. “Those rumors started 10 years ago when I opened. I am a builder, not a seller.”
In a statement attributed to Umansky emailed after the interview, he said The Agency was “open to private investment to elevate our technology and other proprietary systems.”
Walker said he had no knowledge of The Agency’s plans and refused to engage on questions regarding a potential deal or related discussions between the firms.
“I have a friendly relationship with leadership at The Agency and respect how they’ve grown their business on the West Coast. As to specific rumors… I don’t comment on rumors,” said Walker. “I’m not here to give credence to any of these rumors.”