The drama filled history of Buying Beverly Hills' The Agency

inside the history of the agency
Inside the drama filled history of The Agency Netflix

Buying Beverly Hills has been the Netflix show of the week, with fans from around the world obsessed with watching the eight part series about The Agency, a real estate group based in Beverly Hills, with some calling it even better than Selling Sunset.

The Agency was founded Mauricio Umansky, who Bravo fans will recognise from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as the husband of long time cast member Kyle Richards. In Buying Beverly Hills Mauricio is joined by his two of his four daughters, Farrah and Alexia, who are both agents at The Agency. The series follows the family and their colleagues’ professional and personal lives. Think million dollar homes, OTT parties and the occasional office romance.

inside the history of the agency
Netflix

Whilst many viewers have been enjoying the show, those who have followed Mauricio and his family’s life for over 10 years, were left asking a few questions after the series premiered.

During the first episode Mauricio discusses opening The Agency, but doesn’t mention his earlier career working for his brother-in-law Rick Hilton at real estate agency Hilton & Hyland.

One person tweeted: “I guess Mauricio is going to skip right over the fact that he worked for Rick Hilton before he founded The Agency." nother said: “RHOBH fans watching Mauricio tell his life story but leaving out the Rick Hilton part."

As fans of RHOBH will be all too aware, Mauricio leaving H&H caused a lot of problems for his wife Kyle Richards and her sister Kathy Hilton, the wife of Rick and mother of Paris Hilton.

So what exactly is all the drama surrounding the beginning of The Agency? And have the problems been resolved? This is a full timeline of The Agency’s controversial past:

2011 - Mauricio creates The Agency after leaving Rick Hilton's agency

After many years of working for Rick Hilton's real estate agency Hilton & Hyland, Mauricio decide to leave and start his own, calling it The Agency.

At the time, there were rumours online that the new business was causing problems between family members, with Kyle Richards (Mauricio's wife) and Kathy Hilton (Rick's wife) experiencing the majority of the issues.

As seen in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Mauricio was not invited to Hilton family events, most notably the wedding of Rick's daughter Nicky Hilton.

inside the history of the agency
Netflix

At the time, it was rumoured the biggest issue was that Mauricio allegedly "poached" a number of Rick's agents, despite them having a "gentlemen's agreement" not to.

Years later in 2015, a source claimed to E! News, : "There are problems between Kyle and Mauricio and Kathy and Rick, and that is because Mauricio went behind Rick's back when he started his business.

"Rick did everything for Mauricio to get him started, he gave him clients, he introduced him to people. And then when Mauricio set up his own company, he did it covertly and informed Rick via email. Mauricio was not made a partner as he was not being 100 percent above board and so there were trust issues.

"Finally, once Mauricio's new company was set up, Rick and Mauricio came to a gentleman's agreement that they would not go after each others' agents, but then Mauricio went back on that promise and tried to poach staff. It's a huge mess."

inside the history of the agency
Netflix

Mauricio has since denied the allegations in a statement released to Cosmopolitan UK in November 2022. In it, he states never poached any staff from Rick, but if any staff from Rick's agency came to him, he would accept them.

He said: "I founded The Agency with the aim of making our industry better and raising the bar for luxury real estate. This is the true reason I branched out on my own. Rick and I did make a pact about recruiting and I never did poach an agent from his firm. If an agent reached out on their own, we welcomed them.

"In our industry, agents move around to other firms all the time. We partner with agents who match our culture of collaboration and are a mutual cultural fit. After all, our number one rule is 'no assholes'. This has been the driving force for us as we expand into new markets."

2018 - Mauricio and Rick make up

In 2019 during an interview with Inman, Mauricio explains his "fight" with Rick was very much real, but that the pair and their families have been getting along well for over a year.

He said: "We’re good. We’ve made up, we’re family. The families have made up. We’ve been good for over a year. We were definitely in a fight for a while. And it was real. But the families have made up and it was fantastic. We’ve been good for solidly over a year.

"At the end of the day, time heals everything. Eventually when you put family together for different events — Christmas, Thanksgiving, a birthday party — time eventually heals it. And I think that’s what happened with us. And thank God."

August 2018 - The Agency is sued

At the beginning of 2018 The Agency was sued over the sale of a property in Malibu in 2016.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, accused Mauricio and The Agency of "tricking" him into selling his Malibu home below its value.

The house was bought in 2016 for $32.5 million by Mauricio Oberfeld, but the lawsuit alleges it could have actually been sold for as much as $70million.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang had to sell the property as part of a deal with the U.S. Justice Department. In his lawsuit he claimed Mauricio Umansky withheld higher offers in order to work with Oberfeld and flip the house for $69.9 million.

inside the history of the agency
Netflix

In an interview with Inman, Mauricio commented on the lawsuit and said it was not affecting anyone at The Agency and his side of the story would be told one day. He said: "There are two sides to every story. Mine has yet to be told. It’ll be told soon and it is not affecting anybody at The Agency.

"If I had to do it again in hindsight, I would do it the same way I did it last time. I wouldn’t change a thing."

In November 2019 it was confirmed a settlement had been reached to end the lawsuit.

October 2019 - Mauricio said he doesn't 'give a s***' about agents leaving his company

In October 2019, reports online suggested there were rumours The Agency had lost 45 staff members. Mauricio addressed the rumours in an interview with Inman and confirmed whilst they did lose 45 agents, he only cared about losing six of them.

He said: "Look, we’re not immune to losing agents. We’re not immune to the Compass lure of money. We’ve lost some good agents. Out of the 45 agents that we’ve lost, I think we’ve probably lost six good ones. Okay.

"The other 40, quite frankly — and I don’t like to talk bad about people — but I don’t give a s*** about. They actually opened up space for us to be able to bring in those 110."

2022 - Buying Beverly Hills airs on Netflix, but fans are confused over Mauricio not mentioning the start of his career

At the end of last week a reality series about The Agency dropped on Netflix, following the professional real estate careers of the agents at The Agency, as well as their personal lives.

During the first episode of the series Mauricio explains how he started The Agency with Billy Rose in 2011.

inside the history of the agency
Netflix

However, some fans were confused as to why he did not bring up the start of his career of working with Rick Hilton, with some saying Mauricio should have given Rick "credit" for his career.

Now, in a statement to Cosmopolitan UK Mauricio has acknowledged his career with Rick, saying: "While I was fortunate to have started my career at Hilton & Hyland, as I worked my way up the ranks, I had the vision to create a firm that would completely disrupt the industry and foster a culture of collaboration between agents.

"Billy Rose and I founded The Agency in 2011 with a handful of agents and over a decade later, this mission still rings true today and we have grown across 65+ locations in seven countries and counting. "

Buying Beverly Hills is available on Netflix now.

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