Award-winning agent, Ayres Neto serves as the managing partner for The Agency Portugal, where he is responsible for mainland Portugal as well as the islands of Madeira and The Azores. Ayres told The Portugal News “I have been working for the company for a month now, it was a long negotiation process to reach this level but the company has been open in Portugal since 7th of February and we have a total of 45 real estate professionals.”

The Agency is an American company and it was created in 2011 by Mauricio Umansky, the owner of the brand and co-founder Billy Rose. It is well known in the US as a leading brand when it comes to the luxury real estate market which expanded to Canada then the Caribbean and then Holland and then they opened here, then Mallorca and they have an ongoing global expansion.

Most recently The Agency has reached new levels of fame through the Netflix series ‘Buying Beverly Hills’ which Ayres affirmed was a very successful show and a great way to promote their brand. When asked if Portugal could be on the map for a follow-up series, Ayres told The Portugal News: “The future is hard to predict. It shows how Mauricio is and how we operate as a company and it really highlights how client-focused, we really are. A lot of our clients have seen the show and of course we got calls because of the show but whether it is going to take place in Portugal in the future, I don’t know but I hope so.”

The Gateway to Europe

When asked why The Agency decided to expand into Portugal, Ayres explained “I think there are a variety of reasons. Firstly, Portugal is the gateway to Europe. Portugal has a very high English Proficiency Index so lots of expats look to Portugal when it comes to the market, there are a lot of retirees and a lot of remote workers who relocate to Portugal.”

Adding that “The D7 Visa is thriving where there is a lot of people with passive income in the US and Brazil and even Asia that want to relocate to Portugal and see Portugal as a perfect country. Great weather, great infrastructure, a good healthcare system and safety.”

Interestingly, Ayres touched on the subject of Social Media, which he believes has caused Portugal’s popularity to soar. “In the last five years everyone is coming here and taking Instagram pictures and sharing that with their friends so that is creating a social chain migration. That creates a wave of positivity, not to mention all the awards that Portugal has had.”

“Feeling at Home”

Ayres has lived in America for 20 years so I wanted to know his take on the increase of Americans moving to Portugal “I think there are a variety of reasons as mentioned above but in addition to that, when it comes to Americans especially Californians, it is the weather, it is the similarity of what they find here. Home is a very powerful concept. I have done a lot of Zoom calls with Americans and I always go back to the HBO show Big Little Lies where the opening is of her driving along the coast of California and it is so similar to Portugal and that analogy resonates with them so much because it feels like home.”

Golden Visa

At the beginning of the month, we have seen that the Golden Visa Scheme come to an end, with Ayres telling The Portugal News “I do not think it is going to affect in a major way the Portuguese market because most of the buyers that are coming from the outside are not Golden Visa and the number of Golden Visas is very limited with less than 1,000 in the last 12 years.”

Adding that “D7s are much more important, there are a wide variety of buyers who do not rely on Golden Visas including Europeans. Our weather is so fantastic so it is a never-ending source of attraction for foreigners to come here. Golden Visas are a little fraction of the situation so I do not think it will affect the market in any meaningful way.”

A White Glove Service

When it comes to what sets The Agency apart from other agencies, Ayres told The Portugal News “I think it is a question of mentality and also how the company was built. It was built by a real estate agent; Mauricio Umansky. We have similar ideas about Real Estate; very collaborative, very open-minded, with the philosophy that agents need to help each other and are 100% client-oriented.”

“I think The Agency is more proactive than other brands. In my team, I have agents from over a dozen countries who speak over a dozen different languages because we want to be proactive in this market. Buying a house is a scary process, so we need to make sure our clients feel safe with us and are well attended. The same way if I am representing a seller, we want to make sure it is a smooth process from the start to the end. The Agency thrives in every single aspect of that.”

A Note to Potential Buyers

Ayres assured The Portugal News that “It is a great time to buy, especially when it comes to medium-high to the luxury market because there is a lack of inventory. When there is a lack of inventory what happens is the prices will keep going up until supply meets demand which is not bound to happen for the next two to three years. So, it is a great time to buy because prices will keep getting higher.”

Plans for Expansion

Ayres told The Portugal News “We rented a space close to Avenida da Liberdade, a very nice building projected by Aires Mateus but it is under renovation so we are using an office in Oeiras, Lisbon, for now until our real office opens.”

As for the future, The Agency hopes to expand into Quinta do Lago in the Algarve, Porto and then Cascais. “There are great properties all over the country and this is a fantastic country so we want to be where our clients are whether they want to buy or sell a property.”

The Agency is currently recruiting selected professionals, “99% of our staff speak two or more languages because that is the profile we need. We are looking for people who are open-minded and collaborative. It is our company philosophy to work together to grow which means we have a friendly relationship with other agencies and companies.”

The Agency Portugal is located at Rua Barata Salgueiro, 21 – Loja A in Lisbon. For more information, please visit


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes