Sharon Umansky Benton & Karen Lowe
Sharon Umansky Benton and Karen Lowe of The Umansky Team at The Agency specialize in Palos Verdes, the surrounding Beach Cities and the entire South Bay area. Sharon was born in Mexico and grew up in the Beverly Glen area of Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in finance and management. After working in the garment industry, purchasing her own homes over the years and helping friends do the same, she joined The Agency five years ago. Sharon spends most of her free time with her husband and three children. She is a longtime resident of Rolling Hills Estates and is actively involved with the local schools.
Raised on the Westside, Karen Lowe has been a Palos Verdes resident for 30 years. She began her career in technology sales before moving into real estate. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Karen and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 9 years old. She and husband John have been married for 29 years, and they have three children.
What does it take to become a top earner in real estate?
Sharon: “Providing a high level of service to our clients has taken us to the top of our field. We pride ourselves on putting the client first. The Agency has created a work environment that supports agents like us so we can provide that service. We don’t cut corners, and we feel that integrity and ethics will take us to the top.”
Why is real estate such a profitable, stable market in this country?
Sharon: “People always need a place to live. Land and homes have been a driving force of wealth in this country since its establishment. There are always people buying and selling for one reason or another. Even with the ebbs and flows of the market, real estate is and has always been a solid investment. Even if a home burns down, there is always the land value underneath it. So if you can hold on to a property—whether to use or rent—the value will go up.”
Karen: “Real estate will forever be the most profitable place to put your wealth. Your risk for loss will usually stay greater than other ways to invest your money. Similar to holding on to your stocks long-term, if you hold on to your real estate, you will always build equity.”
Speak about the flexibility required to be successful in this industry.
Karen: “I think being flexible is key to being a successful agent. That is why I waited to start this career until I had much less responsibility at home and knew I would be available with my time when my clients need me.”
Sharon: “As a real estate agent, I find that we have to be very flexible. I am constantly adjusting my schedule and time based on the client I am working with. It is my job to make this very emotional and sometimes stressful time in people’s lives as easy and comfortable for them as I can. That is why I make myself available as much as I can and respond as quickly as possible. When I have a client who is stressed about something, the best thing I can do is be there to listen and help as fast as possible. I also find that I have to be flexible in my role. I have planted plants, pulled weeds, cleaned floors, removed spiderwebs, moved furniture, managed contractors and much more. My role is different for every deal and every client.”
What do you love most about your job?
Karen: “Becoming a real estate agent at this time of my life has truly turned into a second act. Living and raising my family in Palos Verdes for the past 30 years has given me the opportunity to help our clients bring their properties to market and skillfully match clients to their dream homes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the surrounding Beach Cities. Being new in this great industry, I am most excited for the opportunities I will have in seeing my clients acquire their dream homes, or helping them sell their homes in the most painless and most profitable way!”
Sharon: “There is nothing better about my job than handing keys to a buyer who is so completely thrilled to be getting into their new home, or telling a seller that I got them a fabulous offer with incredible terms. Those are my favorite days.”
What is your firm known for?
Sharon: “The Agency was founded by my brother, Mauricio Umansky, and my father, Eduardo Umansky. We are best known for selling luxury real estate to high-end clients. We were recently ranked as one of L.A.’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies 2021 in the Los Angeles Business Journal and have been featured on the TV show Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles since its inception. We are an industry leader in technology and collaboration.”
Tell us about your partnership.
Karen: “I am absolutely thrilled to have partnered with my sweet, dear friend Sharon! What is so great about partnering with a friend is that we can truly count on each other for anything so that we can continue to maintain a healthy balance of work and family. Knowing that one of us will always be there to take care of our clients is the greatest peace of mind.”
What are the benefits of a career in real estate?
Sharon: “The most enjoyable part for me is that I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most interesting people. Whether they are clients or coworkers, I have been blessed with meeting fabulous individuals and look forward to meeting more.”