By Heather Bilyeu

2003 was a booming real estate market in Las Vegas. I was selling homes within seconds of coming on the MLS, sight unseen, waiving all contingencies and offering 10-20% higher than the listed price. It was incredible. I had just graduated high school and was already a top-producing agent at my company within one year. As the market started to decline, I had to get creative about picking up business. I door knocked FSBO’s and started to pursue investment groups with cash, but the market crashed.

I was 22 when I moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue a real estate career. I decided to research the top agents in the business and contact them for a meeting. Billy Rose was one of the top agents I contacted and who, surprisingly, agreed to meet with a newbie like me. The majority either never returned my call or told me to look on Craigslist. Billy gave me great advice on breaking into the high-end real estate market in Los Angeles. He gave me referrals to other top agents who were looking for assistants, as this was the best way to get a thorough education in L.A. real estate and network within this tight-knit community where outsiders are not always welcomed. I took Billy’s advice and assisted two top brokers for four years, soaking up every bit of information like a sponge, from techniques on marketing and negotiating to how to price a property from Hollywood Hills to Malibu. I gained a wealth of knowledge and knew it was time for me to stand on my own as an agent.

Timing was kismet! My good friend Mauricio Umansky and Billy Rose had partnered to create The Agency. I interviewed four other brokerages before meeting with Billy and Mauricio. Even though I knew they would be the best, I had to perform my due diligence like a good agent would.

Redefining real estate: What a concept! Billy and Mauricio’s vision of a collaborative culture amongst agents was a breath of fresh air. The Agency is a family, a partnership; we work together and celebrate each other’s successes. In addition to a healthy culture, Mauricio and Billy are arming their agents with the knowledge and expertise they have accumulated over the course of a combined 27 years in the business. Having two real estate agents who consistently rank at the top of the real estate game heading the brokerage is not only an advantage to the agents in the office but to our clients as well.

My philosophy is to surround yourself with successful people you respect and admire, and you too will become successful. I am pleased to announce that I am the newest member of The Agency. I respect and admire Billy and Mauricio on a business and personal level, and I am grateful to have them as my mentors and team members. I love The Agency’s vision. I believe in it and am very excited for what’s to come.


Our Agents’ Corner features posts written by our agents and management team about a broad range of topics, from thoughts on the real estate industry to commentary on everything but real estate, including entertainment, art, charity, food, sports and more. All views shared are those of the writer, unfiltered.