MADISON HILDEBRAND, A MILLION DOLLAR SOUL
Madison is one these few and rare characters who despite the fact of being SUPER busy, does not feel the need to express that to others, and, in exchange, is always showing a gorgeous smile and just looking to have fun and enjoy.
He is currently being featured on season 9 of Bravo TV’s hit Million Dollar Listing, and has just returned from one of his dream vacations: hiking one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, Mount Kilimanjaro.
We all know Madison Hildebrand from some time now: a successful entrepreneur, the nicest real estate agent you could find in LA,….everybody loves Madison. But how would you describe yourself as a youngster, in high school, for example? Were you one of the popular guys? Did you start developing your social skills by that time?
A lot of my social skills were developed because my family moved across states back and forth. I moved to seven major cities across five states. Therefore, I had to learn how to make friends pretty quickly because no one likes to eat at the lunch table by himself. Yes, it is in my personality to connect with people and make them feel good about themselves. That is just who I am. I do not have a lens that is able to see people or things as a pessimist. Everything is an opportunity and everybody gets the benefit of the doubt.
Was your family supportive of your plans for a future, for a career?
My family was not an advocate of spending a hefty six figures on a four-year education at Pepperdine University to realize I was going to be a real estate agent (we do not need a college degree). By the time I got into the real estate industry, there were only a few young Realtors and it was not a “cool” profession. On top of that, I added TV cameras and a reality TV show which did not excite my family who is relatively private. However, after I became “Rookie of the Year” within my first year of real estate, and purchased my own Malibu house and car, they quickly saw that I was this profession was my true calling. In reality, all my father actually cared about was that I follow my passion.
You moved to Malibu after finishing your studies and seem to have found your place in the world, but do you ever plan to go back to Arizona?
I moved to Malibu to study at Pepperdine University and after I graduated I decided to make it my primary residence. I only lived in Arizona for a few months. However, that is where my nuclear and extended family base is. I do not intend to live anywhere other than Malibu, the South of France, or South Africa.
If we called any of your former bosses, what would he say about you?
They would ask “why is Madison always so happy?” They would say he is a really happy and positive person to be around. His laugh is certainly contagious and he is very focused on doing a good job.
Describe someone outside your field of interest who inspires you and why?
Elon Musk and Richard Branson. They live a similar lifestyle of dreaming anything is possible and making it happen. They also do a great job at keeping their way of life normal and relatable to the general public.
What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
All of the money in the world cannot create the same feeling that I have when I give back to others. Whether it’s volunteering my time or supporting a charity I am passionate about. For me, success means achieving the goals that I put in front of myself and at the same time having those goals translate into giving back to others.
I applaud myself on living a balanced life by dedicating most of my time giving back to others.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest risk I have taken was a two-way risk. On one side, the initial risk was agreeing to film my career and personal life on a TV show. The second side was quitting the reality TV show after six seasons. I did not know if it would positively or negatively affect my career or even affect it at all.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about people. That is what my book is titled: “Activate YOUR Passion, Create YOUR Career.” My passion has always been people - mainly children and the elderly. I find them the most interesting. I am also a huge animal advocate.
If you could be anyone else who would it be?
Kim Jong-Un (just kidding). I would love to be living a life that would be completely opposite to mine. Therefore, I choose to be P. Diddy for he is lyrical, a serial entrepreneur, overly showy and ridiculous, and self-made rich, which makes him really, really rich (a rich soul is buried in there, somewhere).
If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?
When God gives you lemons, make lemonade. If I inherit land, it depends on where the land is located because I would do whatever makes optimal sense for the best eternal investment.
What projects are you currently working on and when will they be released?
The next project I am working on is relatively new and I can not reveal much. What I can tell you is that it excites me because it has everything to do with luxury, real estate, design and a creative process. Essentially, I am collaborating with a very established company to design a special collection.
On what do you spend the most: clothes, eyewear, accessories, perfumes, underwear, or anything else?
I enjoy spending my money on things that make feel good. For example, my Monday mornings start with IV therapy, an hour session with a personal trainer, orchids, and a weekly massage appointment. These are all on “payroll.” Because of my roll on television, the need for constant in fresh outfits forces me to spend money on clothes and a stylist. I do enjoy these things, but I have to say that traveling and fine dining is what it is all about.
What do you do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I garden and spend time with my dogs and those people in my life that I care about. Sometimes, I like to just be still.
Where do you think you will be in 25 years from now?
I will be yachting the Italian coast along the French Riviera with my family and friends. I will be thinking about how hard I worked to achieve the lifestyle I am living, while knowing I had an amazing time getting there. I see myself in good health and a long-term partnership. Maybe perhaps some diapers and baby formula.
Is "The Malibu Life" your dreamed job?
Currently, “The Malibu Life” is my dream job. I am very much the type of person that only does what makes me happy. Eventually, I see myself running a large consulting firm for small and medium businesses that are seeking outside expertise in order to create a more positive, efficient and lucrative business place.
The houses that you sell are incredible; do you have any favorites where you would like to live?
I do see a lot of amazing places, however, my heart is always where my home is. Surely, there are certain homes that are fascinating. Certain elements about art designs both interior and exterior in the properties that I sell inspire me.
Do you keep in touch with your clients or ever go to the houses after the selling?
Of course. My business is all about networking. Luckily, I have a business partner who has a family. Therefore, she works business hours and my schedule demands for a lot more socializing, networking, attending events, and meeting new people. I make it a point to stay in touch with as many clients as often as possible. If they're not thinking of me, they’re thinking of someone else.
How many houses do you own and where are they located?
Currently, I own two homes and they are both located in Malibu. However, I am now on the hunt to find my third home in West Hollywood in early 2017.
Which celebrities do you believe to be the most influential?
Define celebrity? I do not really get myself wrapped up in the world of celebrity vs common people. I think we all have the ability to make a social impact. To answer the question, I think anyone who is doing selfless work is high on my list as a positive influencer: aka celebrity.
We know you are a product designer for a line of candles, how did that come through?
That was an idea that my brother and I came up with when looking for an out-of-box idea that would add value to someone's home and was congruent with something that I personally would enjoy. Since candles are one of my favorite things and they have a long shelf life, we decided it was the perfect product not only to sell, but also spread around town. The candles have been a huge success.
Recently you have signed with DocuSign as Brand Ambassador and also became the spokesperson for Leverage Global Partners, how do you feel about that? Do you have any other goal in mind?
I am also the Brand Ambassador for “Giveback Homes,” Go Smile and SickysWorld.com (eyewear line). I am always flattered when brands trust my company and want to coexist with my name and brand. Although, pairing with the right companies is crucial. Thus, future goals I have in mind would be continuing to align myself with the right brands. I think the opportunities are limitless.
Let's talk about something more personal. You once said that you were single because it is hard to know if people wanted you just for your fame and fortune, are you still single or did you find love?
As far as my personal life goes and who I date, it´s something I choose to keep rather personal. I have not met the “one” but I am definitely in the scene and enjoying the process.
Do you plan on writing another book as "Activate YOUR Passion, Create YOUR Career"?
I do not plan on writing another book. I did it and enjoyed the process very much, but I am enjoying my other hobbies for the time being. Nonetheless, I did release a 2nd version of my book 2 years ago and added a few chapters, images and updated information. It is a wonderful, productive read for those who want to hear the reality of what it takes to be successful, some shortcuts, how I learned to receive success, and finally how it is all connected.
Interview by Carlota De Armas