The courtship is over. The Agency, a Beverly Hills-based brokerage that has been around since 2011, announced Tuesday that it has bought Triplemint, a Manhattan shop started in 2013 by Yale college classmates David Walker and Phillip Lang.
Rainy Hake Austin, president of The Agency, declined in an interview to say how much her firm, a private company, paid for Triplemint.
But it was an all-equity transaction, The Agency said in announcing the deal. The brokerage also touted Tuesday that it raised “$35 million in growth capital from strategic investors” and plans to open a “NYC East Coast Headquarters later this year.”
The Agency’s acquisition of Triplemint has been scuttlebutt in luxury brokerage circles for several months. In December, The Real Deal interviewed Agency CEO Mauricio Umansky, who admitted he spent a day office-space shopping in New York with Triplemint brass.
As part of the acquisition, Triplemint will rebrand as The Agency. Walker will become The Agency’s Chief Strategic Officer and Lang its Chief Business Officer. Triplemint, which has billed itself as being adept at using predictive analytics to steer customers to the right home, is expected to help The Agency augment lead generation for its agents.
In an interview Tuesday, Walker said that Triplemint’s staff “of over 75 software engineers, data scientists, marketers and strategists” would not face any layoffs. In fact, Walker asserted that the company is looking to aggressively recruit more software engineers — as well as expand the ranks of the 250 agents Triplemint is bringing over to The Agency.
The move is the latest, and perhaps greatest, indication that The Agency is moving beyond being a west Los Angeles fixture, whose top performers are regulars on reality TV, to establishing a presence in wealthy enclaves across the country. In the past year alone, the brokerage expanded into several Canadian locations, including Toronto and Montreal — in addition to U.S. locales such as Boston, Honolulu, Denver, Las Vegas and Naples, Florida.
Hake Austin said Tuesday The Agency also is looking to expand further into Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and Texas. She described the brokerage, now ensconced in the complex dealings of New York City — where there’s no centralized multiple listings service — as pursuing a strategy “to build out in California and New York” and then “fill into the middle” with largely franchise affiliates.
Making an initial public offering is “an option, but not really the only option” for expansion, Hake Austin said.
The Agency started as a Beverly Hills brokerage launched by Mauricio Umansky, who left Hilton & Hyland, a business locally famous for never expanding its office footprint beyond Beverly Hills.
Umansky, whose wife is reality TV star Kyle Richards, is a TV presence himself on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” — along with Agency agents James Harris and David Parnes. (Triplemint also increased its brand awareness after Triplement agent Tyler Whitman started appearing on “Million Dollar Listing” in 2019.)
Umansky, Harris and Parnes also are part of the business leadership of PLS.com, a group that has filed a lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors, contending that it’s so-called pocket listings ban, which requires homes to be placed on the Multiple Listings Service, is a violation of antitrust law. Last week a federal appeals court reversed a lower court’s dismissal of the case and remanded it to the federal district court in Los Angels for review.