After being offered various shows throughout the past 13 years, Mauricio Umansky told Inman he wanted something “real.” And to him, that meant an authentic cast, showing the struggles and creating teachable moments.
“I think that a lot of real estate agents hate on reality TV because the depiction of reality TV and real estate. It’s almost just like, I snap my fingers, and I make a sale,” Mauricio said.
He believes real estate agents will love Buying Beverly Hills’ depiction of deals and the struggles along the way. Not every deal closes. Not every deal goes great, and they deal with real clients while on camera tending to their day-to-day businesses.
Get to know the cast
The show is focused on young professionals and their struggles in figuring out if they have what it takes to make it in real estate, sell high-end luxury homes and work at The Agency.
To find its stars, The Agency put out an open call for cast and invited interested agents to put themselves “on tape.” From there, they narrowed down about 80 video submissions to the final cast.
“And I can tell you, it was a really hard selection,” Mauricio said. They set out to find young professionals so that the audience could watch their growth, rather than simply choosing top agents.
We chose a lot of our young, rising stars that, hopefully, make it, Mauricio said.
Mauricio Umansky is the co-founder and CEO of The Agency, a billion-dollar boutique brokerage that has locations worldwide. Before founding The Agency in 2011, he was with Hilton & Hyland, co-founded by his brother-in-law Rick Hilton, of Hilton Hotel fame. The move reportedly caused tension between Umansky’s wife Kyle Richards and her sister Kathy Hilton and was depicted on RHOBH.
Since founding The Agency, it has grown to 48 offices and franchises in four countries. Mauricio’s team, which includes Alexia Umansky, Farrah Brittany and Eduardo Umansky, has sold nearly $4 billion in real estate; the most homes above $20 million; and The Playboy Mansion, the Walt Disney estate and homes of stars like Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan and Prince.
What to watch for: In the trailer, you see Mauricio offer some stern words of wisdom to Alexia, “The consequences in the business world are a lot different than those at school.” However, during our Zoom interview, he couldn’t help but beam at Alexia the entire time. Watch for a mix of tough love and fatherly pride.
Farrah Brittany has been with The Agency since its founding, first serving as director of client relations, and then obtaining her license in 2011. She’s worked alongside Mauricio on The Umansky Team and sold multimillion-dollar homes as a solo agent.
She’s a top producer who’s been recognized by The Wall Street Journal, REAL Trends, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine and The Los Angeles Business Journal.
What to watch for: When discussing how unstaged the show is, Mauricio shared with Inman that Farrah Brittany’s engagement was a complete surprise — to everyone. No one knew her fiance was going to propose on camera. Even afterward, when everybody finished filming, the producers called him up and said that all the producers and all the camera people were crying, Mauricio said. “It was just one of those beautiful moments that was captured.”
Alexia Umansky has been a real estate agent for three years and has grown up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills since she was 13. She admits to being nervous about putting her business life on camera, but her mom, Housewife Kyle Richards, gave her great advice: “Nothing that bad can happen to you if you’re just yourself. The best version of you is who you truly are, and whether you make mistakes, or you get emotional, or sometimes you have a bad day and you do something that’s not your most proud moment, that’s OK because it is real life, and nobody’s perfect.”
Alexia told Inman that her high points on this season of Buying Beverly Hills include selling her family home (it was a close call whether it was going to happen before the season wrapped) and bringing her creativity to real estate events.
What to watch for: Alexia told Inman she had a couple of great events she was proud of. Keep an eye out for a dog adoption open house and an influencer brunch. She also sold the Richards-Umansky family home on Milldale for $6.1 million, which was only on the market for 10 days under Alexia but had been previously listed for $7 million in 2017, according to The New York Post.
Allie Lutz is the managing partner of The Agency South Bay. She’s been ranked in the top 1.5 percent of agents nationwide and named LA Magazine’s Real Estate All-Star, been involved in more than $500 million in real estate transactions and consistently recognized nationally for her success, according to the company.
Her father is Bob Lutz, a four-time U.S. Open champion and one of the best doubles tennis players of all time, which she says taught her the importance of hard work and being fully committed to excellence at a young age. She and her husband are on the board of a non-profit crowdfunding platform that builds bridges between families who want to adopt and children who need homes called “Adopt Together.”
Melissa Platt specializes in “providing turnkey moving services for professional athletes, handling every detail from exquisite decor to a stocked refrigerator — whatever is required to make a house feel like their perfect oasis,” according to the company.
She brings her background in fashion and public relations (including an internship at Prada) to real estate. She launched her career working for top agent Alejandro Aldrete, which gave her invaluable mentorship and experience; the two sold $150 million together and broke records along the way.
Hailing from Sucre, Bolivia, Santiago Arana is the principal and partner at The Agency, alongside Billy Rose and Mauricio Umansky. Ranked No. 6 in the country with more than $4 billion in real estate, according to The Agency, he specializes in new high-end construction in coveted LA neighborhoods.
For the second consecutive year, he’s been ranked No. 1 agent for sales volume by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and has been featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential People in Real Estate in LA.
“I distinctly remember going to the grocery store with my mother as a child and taking all of the free real estate magazines,” Brandon Graves said in his bio. “I would analyze every home and circle the homes that I would dream of one day purchasing.”
But his foray into real estate wouldn’t come until after studying music and dance, becoming a principal dancer for the NBA and WNBA, and working in the private health insurance industry for 15 years.
Although Jon Grauman sold 822 Sarbonne Road for $75 million, the No. 10 highest sale in LA history, he doesn’t just focus on high-end real estate. His team proudly works with a variety of price points across Los Angeles.
He sold more than $230 million in 2019, making him the No. 20 agent in LA county, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. He’s also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Magazine and other media.
Joey Ben-Zvi started the BZP Group (Ben-Zvi Piller Group) with Brandon Piller, after receiving invaluable mentorship from The Umansky Team. He focuses on creating a white-glove experience for his LA clients, who range from small business owners to global celebrities.
He prides himself on communication, complex transaction knowledge and marketing.
If you’re an American Idol fan, you might recognize recording artist Sonika Vaid, who placed in the top 5 season 15 and continues to create music (new songs to drop soon). Her music has been covered on Radio Disney, E! News, Entertainment Tonight and Cosmopolitan, to name a few.
She contributed to $680 million of sales in 2022 as a part of Grauman Rosenfeld Team.
Ben Belack has been in real estate for a decade and spent the past seven years at The Agency’s HQ. He’s been recognized in The Wall Street Journal and Variety for his sales achievements, which include participating in $400 million of sales.
What to watch for: Mauricio assured Inman that all the real drama takes place on the backdrop of really sexy real estate porn, like Belack’s current $14 million listing 9422 Sierra Mar Dr. The Agency also currently has $29,995,000 1035 Stradella Rd. listed, which belongs to Dr. Paul Nassif, who you might recognize from E!’s Botched or former seasons of RHOBH.