Not so long ago, taking up 15 minutes of Josh Altman’s precious time had to pay off with a hefty sales commission, or at least another seven-figure mansion on the books.
Today, however, the sharp-suited wolf of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (Foxtel/9Life) is in a far more altruistic mood as he chats down the line to The Carousel from his gilded Beverly Hills office.
The man who has sold $2 billion of real estate in just a decade – and counts Kim and Kanye as friends, among many other celebs – says it’s time to give back.
He’s jammed more than a few success nuggets into his best-selling motivational book It’s Your Move; the rest you can hear for yourself when Josh and his brother and business partner Matt storm Australia for a three-city speaking tour beginning on June 14 in Sydney. Click here for event details and tickets.
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to look at it, the show only shows one side of me,” says the realtor whose TV persona could make Ari Gold from Entourage break into a cold sweat.
“I do like to give back, that’s why I have so much fun travelling around the world speaking; whether it’s to 50 realtors or 5000 realtors, I really get such a kick out of it.”
A lot of Josh’s drive to share comes from his rags-to-riches past: If I can do it, so can you!
He and brother Matt arrived in Los Angeles from home-state Massachusetts with barely a dime between them.
They were so broke they slept at a frat-house – and neither were in the fraternity.
Fuelled by little more than unwavering self-belief – Josh began on $7.50 per hour in a mailroom – the brothers somehow managed to pool $5000 to buy a $400,000 condo.
They ‘flipped’ it for $600,000 in the space of two months and they were on their way.
The global financial crisis would have derailed anyone else into a different career – Josh went from earning $1 million a year at just 26 to losing it all a year later – but Josh says that speed bump just toughened his resolve even more.
“I’ve always been in love with the real estate, and passion for it and that’s been my number one key to success, that I really love what I do.”
Today, of course, it’s also about life-work balance too for the 37-year-old real estate mogul, and that’s where his stunning new bride Heather Bilyeu comes in.
They were married in a quiet family and friends-filled ceremony on April 2, 2016 in Aspen, two years after the real estate mavens set the U.S. tabloids into a frenzy by postponing their original ‘Hollywood’ nuptials.
“We were rushing it,” admits Josh of their first wedding date.
“We weren’t ready and weren’t in the mindset you had to be. It’s just like a real estate deal. Sometimes you’ve got to step back and re-evaluate and approach it from a different direction, and that’s what we did.
“I’m a workaholic, some might say a realestate-aholic, and she’s in real estate as well. It was really difficult to shut off the business mentality because we’re both in the same business, and that led over into our personal lives.
“We would have dinners where we’d both be on our cell phones the entire time.
“You gotta find a balance; you gotta be able to shut it off and enjoy life. And that’s something we worked very hard on.
“At the end of the day we learned a lot from it – and it was worth the wait because I got the girl.”
Josh’s top-5 tips for first home buyers