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Farrah Brittany was there from The Agency’s beginning.

The year was 2011, and the Beverly Hills-based luxury brokerage was still in its planning stages. Founder Mauricio Umansky had his sights set on Los Angeles, to start — with big ideas for conquering California — and asked Brittany, his stepdaughter with wife Kyle Richards, to join him in the new enterprise. Still in her early 20s, the Californian, born and raised, accepted a job as her father’s assistant — not to mention a co-founder title — on the spot.

“I got to be there for the journey and then decide if I wanted to be more on the business side of The Agency or more on the real estate side,” Brittany, the niece of Hilton & Hyland co-founder Rick Hilton, told Inman from her home in Beverly Hills. “I thought it was a unique experience being able to be with a company from day 1.”

“I guess the pitch was successful and I decided to work with him,” she added of Umansky.

Now, more than a decade later — and with earlier plans for a career in psychology on hold — Brittany has grown by bounds as one of The Agency’s top performers, tallying more than $5 billion in real estate transactions collectively with her colleagues at The Umansky Team while also holding the distinction of selling more homes priced above $20 million as a team than anyone else in the United States.

But in addition to her robust book of business and star wattage on Netflix’s Buying Beverly Hills alongside Umansky and her sister, Alexia Umansky, Brittany has also cultivated an impressive social media following, with 646,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 32,000 on X, formerly known as Twitter. That’s on top of her designation as a 2024 Inman Global Real Estate Influencer.

“My approach is constantly evolving when it comes to social media,” Brittany told Inman. “I understand that with the way the world is now, you’ve got to have a presence on social media. I think of it like a business card — whether it’s getting a buyer from posting one of your listings or pitching yourself to a seller when they look you up online, that’s the first thing people check nowadays. And it’s nice when they have a bit of your history and can get to know you on a personal level.”

Farrah Brittany | Credit: Neue Focus

Curious from the start

Even as a toddler, Brittany was learning the real estate ropes. In his early days as an agent, Umansky would bring the 7-year-old to open houses on Sundays, a tradition that included the entire family.

Britanny loved it, she told Inman. She became enthralled with home design and obsessed over every home detail, as well as the neighborhoods Umansky showed her in Los Angeles.

“As a child, I was definitely very observant,” Brittany told Inman. “I asked a lot of questions, was a very curious kid.”

“I was obsessed with homes,” she added. “Especially those that had two stories. I loved stairs.”

When it came time for college, Brittany studied psychology for two years at New York University, then decided to transfer closer to home to finish her degree at the University of Southern California — Los Angeles.

During summer break, she interned as Umansky’s assistant, shadowing him during business hours. At that point, she thought of working in real estate as a temporary gig while gaining business experience to add to her resume.

But when Umansky got the idea to launch The Agency and asked if Brittany had an interest in being involved from the get-go as a partial partner and founder of the firm, she knew it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Working through doubts

Brittany started at the bottom at The Agency as Umansky’s assistant. As she began working as an agent and interacting with clients two years later, she had her moments of doubt and imposter syndrome.

One of the reasons Brittany initially wanted to pursue a career in writing or psychology was due to what she described as her quieter, introverted personality. In her first years as an agent, she feared her personality — less outgoing than many agents she seen on television — wouldn’t produce dividends in an industry, and market, that rewards the bold and brash.

“I was worried that I wouldn’t be aggressive enough or that I wouldn’t be salesy enough,” she said. “But I realized over time — it took a while for me to understand — that I have different strengths, and that has been one of the main reasons I’m successful [as an agent], in my opinion.

“I meshed my experience with psychology and understanding how people think by leaning into my empathetic side, combining that with being a very tactical and strategic negotiator,” Brittany continued. “I don’t need to necessarily fit this mold of what you think a real estate agent needs to be. There’s somebody for everyone, and all my clients appreciate how I handle things.”

By getting more experience under her belt over the years, Brittany said she gained the confidence to trust that she could be a successful agent while just being herself and embracing her own personality.

Mauricio Umansky and Farrah Brittany | Credit: Neue Focus

Establishing her own name

As the stepdaughter of one famous real estate CEO and the niece of another, Brittany has benefitted from built-in connections in the industry and overcame the challenge of establishing her own name within it. In addition, Brittany’s mother, Kyle Richards, is nationally known as well, starring on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for several years.

But because of those valuable connections, Brittany said she works hard to show that she’s deserving of the clients she gains on her own.

“I have the ability to meet a lot of people and work with a lot of properties, so the door was open for a lot of opportunity,” Brittany said.

“People assume that I don’t have to work hard,” she added. “But I also have worked hard to try to build my own business that’s not tied to my family. So it’s been important to make a name for myself irrespective of my parents and their names.”

Building those relationships with her clients that go beyond the transaction is one of the most rewarding parts of the business, she said.

“The most fun is building true friendships with my clients when it starts as a business relationship,” Brittany said. “By the end, they are some of my closest friends, and it feels like so much more than a transaction when you can do that. To be able to guide them through the most important business decisions, financially and sometimes personally, and be there for those wins is really what’s gratifying to me.”

On social media

When posting on social media, Brittany said it’s not all about showing off her team’s sales figures or highlighting new listings.

“There are lots of wins, but there are some losses, too,” she said. “I think it’s a great thing to share both sides.”

Being open on social about her vulnerabilities and moments when she has faced imposter syndrome has allowed her to connect with people in a more authentic way.

“I feel like those have been the posts that have resonated most with people,” Brittany said. “People really appreciate when you break the perfect façade and talk about the hard day here or there … It’s those moments where you connect on a human level that social media can be very positive.”

To extend her lifestyle content, Brittany also recently launched her own personal website that bridges real estate, fashion, wellness and more, which allows her followers to learn more about her life and interests. It also helps satisfy a bit more of her creative side.

Sophia Umansky, Alexia Umansky and Farrah Brittany | Credit: Neue Focus

The next generation

Brittany paved the way for her younger sisters, Alexia Umansky (27) and Sophia Umansky (24), who have also started working at The Agency in recent years, all of whom are also set to appear on Season 2 of Buying Beverly Hills when it drops on Netflix on March 22.

She said she loves being able to work with and mentor her sisters on the job as they learn the ins and outs of the trade.

“It’s so fun having my sisters join us as part of the family business,” Brittany said. “I just hope that they are as passionate and love this industry [as much as I do, and know] I am always there to answer questions, whether it’s from contracts to how to negotiate a deal to how to speak to a client. I am always a guide for them.”

Thinking more about the next generation, Brittany added that she would advise new agents to not focus too much on the number of deals they’re closing but rather think about continually trying to learn from everything and everyone.

“There’s so much you can do to provide value to your clients,” Brittany said.

“I remember, I felt very overwhelmed at first [as a new agent] about how I was going to retain all this information or understand how to speak to clients because they’re often a lot older … But over time, it all comes together. If every day you can take time to gather knowledge, learn the data, learn the comps, read about real estate news, and know who’s bought what, then you can give the perception that you have a lot of competence. You don’t need to wait to close deals; there’s so much you can do.”

Even after becoming like a “sponge” to Mauricio Umansky and taking in all the knowledge from him that she could as a young agent, Brittany said that her own work to educate herself and improve her skills is never over.

“I’ve applied so much of what I learned from him to my own business, and even still, my work is not done,” Brittany said. “I have sought out mentors and coaches throughout the years. I always call more senior agents to get their opinions and ask questions … I think all agents — new, in the middle, or at any point in their career — should always be doing that. There’s always more to learn.”

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Email Lillian Dickerson

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