Celebrity Spotlight: Madison Hildebrand
Though reality television enthusiasts are used to seeing Madison Hildebrand's million-dollar smile on BRAVO's Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles for the past eight seasons, this summer he could be found everywhere from a yacht on the French Riviera to wielding a shovel and mixing cement in Managua.
He started the summer as an ambassador with Give Back Homes, traveling to the capital of Nicaragua to build a home for a local family.
"With every brick you lay and shovel you shovel, every pile of rocks you move, you feel good. It's blood, sweat, and tears in the heat, but you can't help but feel good about it," Hildebrand said.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Hildebrand mixed service with business and pleasure by meeting with Partners Trust and Leverage Global Partners while in Nicaragua-but in a slightly different locale.
"We took a helicopter across the country to Guacalito, which is a surf town. To get there you fly over a massive volcano, which is incredible, and land at Mukul Resort. They hosted us and gave us a four-bedroom villa, a butler-it was an amazing couple of days," he reflected. "It was awesome and refreshing. It's one of the coolest things to build a house and experience a different part of the country."
Hildebrand has summered abroad every year since moving to Malibu in 1999 to attend Pepperdine University. This year's odyssey took him along the azure coasts of Italy and the French Riviera.
"This summer I had the fortunate opportunity to board a 110-foot yacht that one of my clients and best friends booked. We flew into Florence, then eight of my best friends took the yacht from the port down to Positano, where one of my friends got engaged."
From Positano to Corsica, Monaco, Nice, and Antibes, Hildebrand described the theme of the trip as "you don't even know what you don't even know," as only the host knew what adventure awaited them at the next port.
An avid traveler, gardener, real estate guru, and enthusiast of joie de vivre, Hildebrand believes in loving what you do and doing what you love. His company, The Malibu Life, is inspired by just that: the aspirational lifestyle that draws people to the area's more laid-back, yet glamorous, sensibility.
"It's really that we are an extension of selling the lifestyle more than just a house. It's a very chic, but casually sophisticated group of people with all sorts of backgrounds," Hildebrand explains. "More than anything, Mother Nature is a key element that ties it all together, but you're still on the cusp of everything LA-so you still have fashion and the entertainment events-but out here it's much more easygoing and relaxed."
Hildebrand wears many hats, including acting as a concierge of sorts. "My brand and myself are resources to live the lifestyle they came here to live. If they want surf instructors, or they want horseback riding, I have all those connections. You want fancy cars? I've got a car dealer. If they need a private jet, I've got an affiliation with that company."
One of the roles he's taken on again this past year is appearing on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. He "retired" after season 6, but fans will see him come out of retirement with his own episodes midway through this season. Hildebrand said his hiatus from the show came from his regular practice of reevaluating priorities.
"Our show in particular is one of the longest-filmed shows for reality. It takes about ten or eleven months to get the 12 to 14 episodes, and between filming and wardrobe, it's absolutely exhausting," he explains. "At the end of the day it was time to look at why I was doing it, and I just felt like it was time to tap out. I've come back because it can be on my terms, and I'm excited to update my fans on what's going on in my life."
Hildebrand's priorities this fall include hosting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Play For P.I.N.K. golf tournament in October, a cause close to his heart after losing his grandmother to the disease. He will participate in another Give Back Homes buildsite in San Diego in November, as well as speaking at the National Association of Realtors Conference.
Hildebrand's life won't be slowing down anytime soon-and that's just how he likes it.
"I think you're either expanding or contracting," he said. "That's just the way it is. If you're not lifting weight, your muscles are deflating; if you are, they're inflating. Your mind is the same way. If I'm not doing something good for my soul like gardening or exercising, then I'm doing something healthy for my mind-so if that's meditating, reading, learning something new, or finding another passion, that's also a big part of who I am."