Layoffs hit The Agency

Cuts at Beverly Hills-based luxe brokerage come amid expansion push

A photo illustration of The Agency’s Rainy Austin and Mauricio Umansky (Getty, The Agency)
A photo illustration of The Agency’s Rainy Austin and Mauricio Umansky (Getty, The Agency)

The Agency is the latest residential brokerage resorting to layoffs.

The California-based firm confirmed to The Real Deal it had let go of 15 people, or about 4 percent of its staff.

“We are not immune to the economic environment that all companies, especially real estate companies are facing right now,” company co-founder and CEO Mauricio Umansky said in a statement to TRD. “The Agency continues to make efforts to be fiscally responsible and is fundamentally committed to profitability and long-term, sustainable growth.”

The layoffs come amid an aggressive expansion push by the brokerage, which less than a year ago made its New York City debut after acquiring local brokerage Triplemint.

At the time of the acquisition, The Agency said it had raised $35 million in growth capital from strategic investors, giving it a valuation of $350 million. The Agency, sources said, is now attempting to raise further capital, but the company declined to comment on any fundraising efforts.

The brokerage, co-founded in 2011 by Umansky and Billy Rose, has since grown to 1,500 brokers. The firm launched 11 offices in 2021 and another six in the first quarter of 2022 by way of its franchise model.

The cuts place it in line with other residential players that have responded with layoffs after a historically strong 2021 gave way to a downturn stemming in large part from historically high mortgage rates.

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Compass, which laid off roughly 800 tech employees last year, did a third round of layoffs last month and put space in its global headquarters up for sublease.

Anywhere, the conglomerate that owns brands like Corcoran, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International Realty, has laid off roughly 11 percent of its staff since August, after a second round of layoffs in January.

The market’s ripple effect set off waves in the proptech world, with giants Zillow and Redfin also cutting sizable chunks of their staff. Along with exiting the iBuying business, Redfin has shed 30 percent of its workforce since early last year and Zillow executed two major rounds of layoffs affecting 2,300 in the span of a year.

A profile of Umansky published by the New York Post last week described him as having built a “$57 billion real estate empire” based on the brokerage’s global sales volume since its inception. In reality, real estate brokerages get to keep a miniscule portion of sales revenue in commission income.

Hiten Samtani contributed reporting.