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A fascinating dollop of Hollywood glitz and glam comes along with the opening of Kelowna's newest franchise real estate office.
The local angle is that 'The Agency Kelowna' is headed up by veteran Kelowna realtor Alexandra Axsen as managing partner.
The Hollywood is that CEO and founder of 'The Agency' is Los Angeles-based Mauricio Umansky, who has appeared in popular reality TV series 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' 'Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,' and 'Buying Beverly Hill.'
Umansky popped up frequently on 'Housewives' as the husband of housewife Kyle Richards, whose sister, Kathy Hilton (and Paris' mom), was also on the show.
He was a regular on 'Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles' and he also has his own show -- 'Buying Beverly Hills'
Umansky has sold more than $5 billion worth of real estate and represented such famous properties and stars as the Playboy Mansion, the Walt Disney Estate, Prince, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan.
Currently, Umansky's priciest listing is the $113-million, 10-bedroom, 19-bathroom, 21,000-square-foot The Reserve, a glassy, modern estate in LA's Holmby Hills.
He also works with resort and hotel brands such as Ritz-Carlton, One&Only and Rosewood.
"We're thrilled to continue our expansion throughout British Columbia with the unveiling of our new office in Kelowna," said Umansky.
"Alexandra Axsen is one of the most celebrated real estate authorities in her region and we are confident that she will be an incredible steward of our brand and culture."
'The Agency' has a network of 97 offices in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, including franchises in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.
It is billed as one of the fastest-growing luxury boutique brokerages in the world.
Axsen, formerly of Lake Okanagan Realty, has been a realtor and broker in Kelowna for 17 years with expertise helping clients buy and sell residential and commercial real estate, sell new residential developments and buy and sell investment properties.
"It's an honour to be part of 'The Agency's' growth in Canada and lead the new office in Kelowna," she said.
"The Kelowna market holds incredible synergy with 'The Agency's' boutique, global brand and we look forward to continuing to elevate our service offering in this next chapter."
Axsen's had a string of successes locally -- setting Okanagan records for selling the highest-priced lot of under one acre and the priciest non-lakefront, single-family property, being named a Top 40 Under 40 by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, a Top 10 Kelowna Realtor and a People's Choice Award for small business in BC.
She's originally from South Carolina and earned her degree in public relations from private university Pepperdine in the tony LA oceanside suburb of Malibu.
Axsen moved to Kelowna 20 years ago and stayed to build a career in real estate, raise her family and enjoy the lifestyle that, for her, includes running marathons, skiing in the winter and boating in the summer.
'The Agency' Kelowna is located at 1152 Ellis St. in the base of the city's tallest building, the 36-storey One Water Street condominium complex.