How Mauricio Umansky Turned An Irate Kelsey Grammer Into A Client

“Mauricio, you are a scum bag,” Umansky recalled the “Frasier” actor shouting in a voice message. The Agency CEO shared how he converted Grammer during Inman Connect Miami on Wednesday.

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Mauricio Umansky was golfing one day when he got a call from a number he didn’t recognize. Umansky, the founder and CEO of The Agency, didn’t answer the call, but when he checked his voicemail he was surprised to discover it included 3 minutes of actor Kelsey Grammer yelling at him.

“Mauricio you are a scum bag,” Umansky recalled the actor saying. “You are an absolute piece of shit.”

Grammer was upset that a deal for his home in which Umansky was involved had fallen apart. But rather than get upset, Umansky — who recounted the story while on stage Wednesday at Inman Connect Miami — realized he now had the actor’s phone number for the first time. So he called Grammer back and quickly set up a meeting.


During the meeting, Grammer and his wife yelled at Umansky at length about how much they hated the house and no longer wanted it. But when they finished, Umansky pointed out that if the couple didn’t want the home, he could sell it for them. Suddenly, things changed.

“I walked out of that room with a listing,” Umansky said. “I sold his house in Beverly Park in 30 days, and ended up with a new client.”

Moderator Brad Inman, left, and Mauricio Umansky at Inman Connect Miami Wednesday. Credit: AJ Canaria

Umansky recounted the experience while offering advice to real estate professionals who might want to improve their business. And among other things, he argued that agents always need to look forward to the next sale — which is something some people struggle to do.

“[Agents] close a nice big transaction and all of a sudden you don’t see them for two weeks,” Umansky said. “I ask them, ‘Where did you go?’ And they say, ‘I went to Cabo.’”

According to Umansky, disappearing immediately following a big deal is a problem because it means agents aren’t laying the groundwork for future sales.

“It takes a long time to get to the transaction,” he said. “You need to create you business so you’re already looking forward to the next deal.”

Umansky also said that this particular moment is a challenging one because many sellers have unrealistic expectations about the value of their homes. But agents who aren’t frank with their clients only make matters worse.

“That’s a recipe for disaster,” Umansky said. “That’s a recipe for you to lose your listing, spend a bunch of money on it.”

Among other things, Umansky Wednesday also urged agents to dress professionally, have deep and exclusive knowledge of their markets, wake up early, and set themselves “up with your mindset to be present.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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