How you grow is even more important than how much you grow.
The founding partners at The Agency understood this from day one. We began with one boutique real estate office in Beverly Hills and grew the company into a global brokerage with over 60 offices in six countries in just 10 years.
What I am most proud of as a founder and CEO is that we accomplished this while accruing zero debt, growing strictly through revenue and profits. The founders and partners never distributed money during our initial 10-year growth period. And we stayed true to our founding mission from the start, offering a boutique, luxury experience and choosing quality over quantity every step of the way. We didn’t just build a business, we built a brand that would resonate in multiple countries and across continents.
Up until this point, The Agency’s growth has been driven by finding synergy across staff, agents, and global partners that match our core culture and mission.
In our 11th year, The Agency met its match. We acquired Triplemint, a software-powered, independent firm based in New York City. Triplemint had crafted a fully integrated tech solution to help agents generate more business more efficiently. Innovation has always been one of The Agency’s core values, and our acquisition of Triplemint allows us to deepen our commitment to technological advances that foster the human connection. Together, we combine luxury-brand prowess and proprietary technology, creating a boutique, agent-first, tech-driven approach unlike any other brokerage offering in the world.
Ahead of the acquisition, we jointly raised a $35M round from minority investors who are aligned with our mission to grow The Agency globally and sustainably, while maintaining our boutique service culture.
While still fully immersed in the integration of our two companies, I can say that the acquisition process is a lot more challenging than I ever anticipated. But what entrepreneur isn’t inspired by a good challenge?
One of my favorite quotes, “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry,” is perfectly suited (pun intended) to the acquisition process. The real estate industry is extremely fast-paced, and it’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle. However, it’s vital to pause, reflect, and focus on the details every step of the way. From the moment acquisition conversations begin, there is a nonstop influx of go and no-go decisions to be made on both sides of the table. Multiple negotiations are a natural part of the process. Throughout the due diligence and legal processes, you learn more about your partners and the key to a meaningful partnership. For The Agency and Triplemint, the key is the culture and character of the people.
Remember, with any decision of this magnitude, take your time and stick to your values.
Throughout this process, The Agency and Triplemint teams have learned from one another and navigated challenges together, just as we will in the years ahead. Along each step of the process, we’ve discovered something new about each other and how to collaborate and problem-solve as a team. By prioritizing people, we’ve come to know and understand how to work together to honor the collaborative cultures each of us has built. This people-first commitment to culture is what united our companies from the beginning.
Another key factor in any successful acquisition is communication. I can’t say this enough—if working through an acquisition, communicate early and often. Create a strong foundation, much like a marriage. Share your respective visions for the future, be patient, never forget your end goal, and always return to your “why.”
Our “why” is multifaceted and focused on creating a simpler, smarter buying and selling experience. We firmly believe that real estate is a highly personal business, and the agent must remain at the heart of the client experience. We are focused on creating technology and systems that make our brokerage and staff more productive on behalf of our agents. This way, they can spend more time personally advising their clients and selling real estate on their behalf. A shared “why” among the founders and people at the helm of the company is vital for an acquisition’s success. You wouldn’t rush into marriage; you surely shouldn’t rush into an acquisition.
Triplemint shared our values, mission, and boutique approach while offering complementary platforms and service structures ideal for evolving The Agency’s founding vision. Quality over quantity is our non-negotiable and will remain so moving forward.
If I can offer any advice as a founder and CEO going through a fundraise or acquisition, I would say keep an open mind. A partnership of this kind can open endless possibilities, foster strategic growth, and make both sides of the table more profitable. After all, a win for one is a win for all.
Mauricio Umansky is the Founder and CEO of The Agency, a billion-dollar brokerage that utilizes world-class technology and innovative marketing strategies to assist agents and their clients in achieving their real estate goals.