Mauricio Umansky is getting candid about current real estates trends, and what it was like working with his daughters on their new reality show about his successful real estate firm The Agency.
Fans of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” will remember the significance attached to Mauricio creating his own real estate firm in relation to his wife Kyle Richards’ relationship with her sister Kathy Hilton. Mauricio used to work under Kathy’s husband Rick Hilton, co-founder of Hilton & Hyland.
In season one of the show, Mauricio made the decision to leave Rick’s agency in order to start his own firm. It is speculated his decision to leave, coupled with Richards opting to produce a show about her upbringing, which Kathy disagreed with, led to the feud between the two families. Kathy and Richards reportedly didn’t speak for 10 years partly due to the Hiltons feeling betrayed by Mauricio.
As The Agency is now one of the leading real estate firms – plus with the success of Richards on her show and the success of other shows about real estate – Mauricio is set to lead a new series set in the offices of The Agency, called “Buying Beverly Hills.”
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Asked about the current state of the market right now, Mauricio admitted as agents they are a bit confused as to where it’s headed, stating they are in a bit of a slow season right now.
“I think you’re definitely seeing a little bit today, a bit of a slowdown,” he told Fox News Digital. “It can also be like a seasonal slowdown. We’re a little bit confused.”
“I mean, obviously, you’ve seen interest rates raise a lot,” Mauricio explained. “The buying surge that occurred over the last two years was extraordinary, and it’s going to be really hard to make that up.”
As for the show, while Mauricio promises viewers will get to see some amazing real estate and “cut-throat realtors,” he says the highlight of filming the Netflix show for him was getting to work with his daughters Farrah Aldjufrie, who Richards shares with her first husband and who Mauricio helped raised after marrying Richards, and Alexia Umansky.
“The opportunity to film with my two daughters has been extraordinary. I mean, we’ve all been doing ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ for a long time, but obviously that’s in the shadows of all the lives and the girls and the drama and all of that stuff,” Mauricio said. “For me, the experience to be able to film with my two daughters, Alexia and Farrah, in what we do every single day of our lives, which is work was extraordinarily fun.”
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It seems as though the common warning never to work with family doesn’t apply in this case, as Aldjufrie and Alexia echoed their dad’s statements that working all together was great. Both the girls admitted to having conversations as a family they wouldn’t necessarily have had if it was not for the show, with Aldjufrie saying it allowed them space to have “a lot of growth” and to have “a lot of fun.”
“We definitely got a lot closer. We just we went through this experience together. It was fun. It was hard. It was emotional, and it really just made me a better person, agent and daughter,” Alexia added. “Honestly, I think it strengthened my relationship with my dad and my sister, which I didn’t think was possible because we’ve already been so close to begin with.”
According to Aldjufrie and Alexia, there was no doubt about whether they wanted to participate in the show or not, with Alexia revealing she was “internally freaked out” wondering “is this really happening,” before coming to the conclusion that doing a show together was “inevitable” and that she was comforted knowing they would all be doing it together.
Meanwhile, Aldjufrie said she initially thought she and Alexia weren’t going to be part of the cast because no one seemed to show any interest in them during the casting process.
“When everybody in our office was kind of interviewing for the show, Alexia and I just weren’t involved. We didn’t make any interest, only to find out Mauricio was like, ‘Oh yeah, well, actually, you’re doing it, I signed you up,” Aldjufrie said. “Then we got really excited because obviously we wouldn’t want to be left out of that experience. We had the best time doing it, and I’m really excited for it to come out. I think people are going to love it.”
Mauricio is excited for real estate fans to see all the luxury homes, celebrity appearances and even the inclusion of some celebrity homes. He teased “some amazing celebrity homes” as well as “some homes that have celebrity history” that audiences have previously seen on TV. One home in particular is said to have been worth $100 million.
Mauricio promises “Buying Beverly Hills” will be different from all the other reality shows about the real estate business. He mentions his show as being more realistic than “Selling Sunset” because everyone who is featured on his show already worked in his office.
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“I think that’s kind of what separates it from ‘Selling Sunset,’” Mauricio said. “Some of the cast seems like they’re not real estate agents, they were cast, for the show. “I think ours would just be very, very real behind the scenes.”
In his opinion, his show is much more based in reality than “Million Dollar Listing” because it features employees who are on all ends of the spectrum in terms of experience. He also said that the other shows he mentioned sometimes make real estate look much easier than it actually is and that by showing the mistakes these younger agents are making, they are showing how hard the business can actually get.
“[The show is] going to look at more youth and younger people getting into real estate at the best global real estate firm in the world,” Mauricio explained. “A lot of the cast makes mistakes on television. They’re not perfect. They make a lot of mistakes, and we show that behind the scenes.”
In terms of making mistakes on camera, no one can provide them with better advice than Richards, who has put her life out there for the public to scrutinize for the past 12 years. Aldjufrie and Alexia both admit to taking a few pages out of their mom’s playbook to get a better understanding on how to handle being in the spotlight.
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“After I signed on, [I] just kind of asked her how to navigate,” Aldjufrie shared. “How did the interviews work? Do you get the questions in advance? How do you navigate wanting to be vulnerable and authentic, but also making sure that know we’re always looking professional and having each other’s back. So there’s definitely a fine line that you have to walk because you want to be able to be real.”
“I’m always talking to my mom, and I’m with her through the good days and bad days of Housewives, so… the biggest takeaway of advice from her that I got without really asking for advice for this was just be extremely honest and be extremely real,” Alexia said. “I’m definitely one of those on the show that makes a lot of mistakes. And I struggle and I get embarrassed…she was just like, ‘At the end of the day… people are going to relate to it. It’s okay because it’s real’ … she was just she made me feel a lot better in those tough days that it was all going to be okay, because I don’t have to be this fake, perfect person, which I’m very much not.”
One thing is for sure, both Aldjufrie and Alexia are very proud of their father and the work he has put in to making The Agency such a success. Alexia remarked that none of this would have been possible had her dad not come up with the idea for this firm almost 12 years ago. Upon hearing how proud his daughters are of him, he said he was “smiling from ear to ear, listening to these interviews.”
“It was simply an idea in my dad’s head 11 years ago. If you were at the office every day, you would see that there’s such a pride that comes with the people that work at The Agency,” Alexia said. “I’m so proud of the company, but it’s really just I’m so proud of my dad, and to be able to represent his company and the agency just makes me feel so proud as a daughter.”
“Buying Beverly Hills” premieres on Netflix on November 4.