Madison Hildebrand, the star and original cast member of Bravo’s hit TV show “Million Dollar Listing,” is quitting TV life and joining a small, independent Los Angeles brokerage.
Hildebrand, 34, began filming “Million Dollar Listing” seven years ago within six months of beginning his real estate career with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He says the move away from TV and a big real estate brand is a chance for him to focus on other aspects of his real estate career and to join a firm that will allow him to grow as he sees fit.
“I want to focus more on my brand and my business,” Hildebrand told Inman News. “I needed to close one door to open more.”
Hildebrand is joining Partners Trust, a Beverly Hills-based brokerage with approximately 200 agents. Hildebrand and his business partner, who worked out of Coldwell Banker’s Malibu office, are taking their “The Malibu Life” team of three agents and three support staff to become founding partners of Partners Trust’s new Malibu office.
Coldwell Banker was good for him when he started out, Hildebrand said. As a newbie in the industry, he leaned on the brand. “I wasn’t selling myself, I was selling the company,” he said.
Now, with a sterling brand built through his TV work, books and public speaking, he is looking to leverage his brand at a smaller, more nimble brokerage that he says aligns with his ethics and brand.
Hildebrand said he realized Coldwell Banker was a little too stolid for what he was trying to accomplish. He wanted a firm to encourage him to stay on the cutting edge, take risks and implement the latest technology. Using emerging tech like Instagram well is a challenge for a big brand like Coldwell Banker, he said. (See Coldwell Banker’s Instagram account here.)
“Smaller brokerages have an advantage,” Hildebrand said. “I learned quickly — support for individual agents (at smaller firms) is dramatically different than the big dogs.”
After interviewing several brokerages, Hildebrand settled on Partners Trust and believes its business model allows him to have some control and input as he expands his real estate business.
TV was great for his real estate career, Hildebrand said. For example, it gave him instant credibility with the uber-exclusive, high-end clientele he was after. A Saudi Prince looking for a Malibu property would consider reaching out to a guy with his own TV show, he said.
But it started to wear him down. “I needed and wanted some of my privacy back,” he said. The almost year-round filming was not good for some aspects of his life, including dating.
Hildebrand says he will continue his public speaking and look to expand into other interests. He has a candle line now and he has a new version of his book “Activate Your Passion, Create Your Career” coming out soon.
Hildebrand also serves as a brand ambassador for DocuSign.