Josh Altman: Selling L.A. a Million Dollars at a Time

AUTHOR: Reba Wilson
The average realtor markets through word-of-mouth, mail-outs and the Internet, but Josh Altman has taken to a new medium: reality TV. The Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star’s personal and work lives are broadcast in 70 different countries to nearly two million people each episode. How’s that for exposure? “As a realtor, the most important thing is having your name out there and marketing yourself,” Altman tells me. Initially wary about the gig, he now says, “it’s basically an infomercial.”

Altman’s skillset centers on marketing the L.A. lifestyle to his many international clients. Recently, he moved to a new firm, Douglas Elliman, to help his team “be more global.” On the staff are people who speak many different languages – Farsi, Russian, Mandarin and Spanish, to name a few. Though viewers saw Altman debut a newly-learned phrase of Mandarin in one episode, he explains that that’s the extent of his Chinese skills; “I barely have time to go to sleep at this point,” so learning a new language is definitely out. That being said, he does focus on the nuances between different cultures, explaining that while he is more assertive when dealing with North American clients, “it’s a totally different story” when working with people of other cultures. “It’s important to know how they look at certain things, how they negotiate,” he says. L.A. real estate has become a popular sell for such clients, as Altman believes “luxury real estate is the new worldwide currency.” He is quick to advocate for the perks of living in L.A., among which is his surprising assertion that “it’s still cheap. Residential property in Los Angeles is still a deal,” compared to other major cities.

If you were followed by cameras between eight and nine months of the year, it’s reasonable to think there would be moments you’d wish hadn’t happen on screen, but Altman tells me he has no regrets, “That’s not how I live my life.” And though the show squeezes whole deals into 60-minute segments, Altman explains that it’s quite true to the deal, minus the fact that the realtors list and sell in a much shorter span.

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Paris Hilton Exclusive Interview

Blonde and beautiful, entrepreneurial powerhouse Paris Hilton has had to overcome her fair share of stereotypes. Despite that, she’s built a scent empire – and proven she has sense to spare. Hilton has been in the perfume industry for 10 years and has produced a grand total of 18 perfumes.

Speaking to me over the phone from L.A., she explained: “I’ve always loved perfume. Then when I was a teenager and moved to New York, I wanted to be a businesswoman and I thought that a fragrance would be the best first product to start out with for my brand.” And businesswoman she certainly is. She has developed her own lines of clothing, accessories and other products; opened dozens of stores around the world; cultivated a career as a DJ; and developed her own beach club in the Philippines (with a second on the way). 

As Hilton’s business interests grow, she tells me that she derives her inspiration from her family. “I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and that’s always been very inspirational since I was a little girl. I love success, I love my fans – I want to have something come out for them all the time. I’m just inspired by life,” says Hilton. Her drive is something that has been noted by her grandfather, Barron Hilton, who gave her the best compliment she’s ever received. Hilton’s grandfather told his friends, an array of successful businessmen, that Paris “has traveled more than [them] and works harder than [them].” Naturally, his pride is something Paris cherishes.

Though she’s pulled in many different directions, from releasing a new song called “High Off My Love” in the upcoming month, to traveling extensively for her many businesses, Hilton explains that she tries to make time for everything. This often involves working in transit. She shares that Paris Fashion Week is a favorite place to become inspired about designing clothing, while her music is informed by trips to Ibiza and Las Vegas. Tropical places are favorite destinations when Hilton is designing swimwear. One place she’s never visited, but would like to see, is the Maldives.