The Agency taps Compass vet for Silicon Valley entry

Follows mid-market move into East Bay, “not about bringing Beverly Hills to NorCal,” says Umansky

From left: Rainy Hake Austin and Quetzal Grimm in front of Palo Alto (LinkedIn/Quetzal Grimm, LinkedIn/Rainy Hake Austin, iStock)
From left: Rainy Hake Austin and Quetzal Grimm in front of Palo Alto (LinkedIn/Quetzal Grimm, LinkedIn/Rainy Hake Austin, iStock)

The Agency is widening its Bay Area footprint with its first Silicon Valley offices, and the Los Angeles-based high-end brokerage has snagged former Compass Sales Manager Quetzal Grimm to head the new branch.

“I have had the pleasure to know and work with Quetzal Grimm over the years and am so pleased to welcome him to The Agency,” Rainy Hake Austin, president of The Agency, said in a statement.

Austin was Compass’ head of West Coast operations before taking on her current role in October 2020. Last year The Agency sued Compass for blocking Austin from recruiting her former colleagues at the firm.

Grimm is a Bay Area native and longtime Redwood City resident who oversaw $4 billion in annual sales volume produced by over 150 agents across offices in Woodside and Los Altos, according to the release. He also held several leadership roles at Alain Pinel, where Austin served as COO before the agency was acquired by Compass in 2019.

The Agency’s new Mid-Peninsula offices will focus on listings in Los Altos, Woodside and Palo Alto. It marks the latest foray into Northern California for the brokerage, which was founded in Los Angeles in 2011. It first entered into San Francisco with a Noe Valley office in 2017 and now has branches in Sonoma, Marin, Carmel and, most recently, the East Bay.

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“Silicon Valley is a pivotal market for The Agency as we continue to expand our luxury presence and global network,” Mauricio Umansky, CEO and founder of The Agency said in a statement. “It’s not about bringing Beverly Hills to NorCal, it’s about bringing the strength of the brand, our innovative practices, and our proven track record to advance our agents’ successes.”

The Agency is known in Los Angeles for its high-end deals––two of its agents star on the Bravo hit Million Dollar Listing. It recently co-listed a $25 million home in Los Altos with Compass, and is the only agency on a $5-million Alamo home near downtown Walnut Creek.

But it is also leasing rentals in San Francisco and represents several properties for under $1 million in Sonoma, according to listings featured on the company’s website. It recently inked a deal to join forces with East Bay-based Reiser Group to start a new division, dubbed The Agency New Home Development Group, to represent suburban homes in master planned communities that start at around $500,000.

“It doesn’t scream luxury,” Mike Leipart, who runs the company’s new development arm, said of the deal. “But it screams The Agency.”

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