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Improving Company Culture

High-end brokerage imposes no jerks rule — and sticks to it.

(Mountain Lakes, NJ, December 14, 2017) — The business of selling mansions in Beverly Hills doesn’t always draw the kindest, gentlest souls.

But that doesn’t mean Mauricio Umansky wants jerks, energy vampires, or backstabbers working at his company. Umansky, chief executive officer and founder of the 212-agent firm The Agency, imposes a strict "no assholes" policy at his firm.

His pithy rule isn’t precise, Umansky acknowledges, but it encompasses such areas as ethics, honesty, and collaboration.

When one of The Agency’s top producers proved to be relentlessly difficult, Umansky invoked his human resources rule and fired her.

"She was amazing. She crushed it," Umansky says. "But [she] constantly put us into ethics issues and did not collaborate."

Ultimately, her downside was compelling enough, Umansky says, that he had to let the agent go.

In terms of company culture, firing cads might seem difficult, but it’s a move that’s appreciated by others.

"When you actually make that decision, it’s amazing how many people come up to you and say, ‘I didn’t want to work with you because you had that person,’" he says.

Umansky’s 10 rules for keeping the wrong people out of your company appear in the December issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider.

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