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The Agency Discusses The Dealmaker with Mauricio Umansky

by | Nov 17, 2023

Craig Knizek, The Agency’s Managing Partner of Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Calabasas offices, interviewed the company’s Founder and CEO, Mauricio Umansky, about his book The Dealmaker as part of an innovative company book club. The intimate interview delved into critical real estate issues and practices, yielding valuable insights for the attending company agents.

Mauricio began the evening discussing the creative book writing process and how much he enjoyed collecting his illustrious career’s key thoughts and stories. His motive was similar to what compelled him to start The Agency twelve years ago—to change the real estate industry, be different, and create a collaborative culture.

One of the questions centered on which personal attributes Mauricio felt were important. As Craig noted, the book and Mauricio’s message aren’t intended to provide a road map on how to “be like Mauricio, but rather develop the tools to be the best that person/agent can be.”

Much of the book touches upon Mauricio’s unique brand of optimism—bringing confidence and a positive perspective to relationships and challenges. Mauricio talked about whether that is a ‘switch” in your brain. He said it was a mantra that must be repeated, citing his experience on Dancing with the Stars to tell himself, “You are a dancer” continually.


The wide-ranging conversation touched on all the cornerstones of Mauricio’s book, including how vital psychology, philosophy, and religion are to the sales process. Mauricio noted how he didn’t finish a formal education but instead relied upon the family lessons of his upbringing and how that shaped his personality and understanding of human behavior.

Craig also noted that the most crucial sentence in the book didn’t occur until page 116: “Work smarter, not harder.”

Mauricio shared a great story about “two cents” impacting profitability. The agent audience related to the struggle of negotiating daily for commission. He shared specific techniques to help agents keep those two cents.

An issue that Derick Vallance, Sales Manager in The Valley, thought resonated with the group was Mauricio’s message about selling luxury. When dealing with affluent sellers or celebrity buyers, agents are challenged to maintain their bearings and not put these clients on a pedestal but realize that they are just people. In his book, Mauricio wrote that it’s wise to “treat everyone like a VIP.”

A favorite personal mantra for Mauricio is, “Dress me slowly; I’m in a hurry.” Craig asked Mauricio to explain further how that famous Napoleon Bonaparte quote applies to himself and his approach to business and life. He shared his response:

Since Craig has worked with Mauricio and the Agency since its founding in 2011, he knows many of the stories and details of how the company has been built successfully. The two have participated in many deals together, with Craig pointing out one deal in which he truly learned one of Mauricio’s principles in the book, “Don’t be a hero in the deal.” 

View the full interview here.

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