The untold truth of Million Dollar Listing

For over a decade, Bravo's Million Dollar Listing has demonstrated that Los Angeles real estate can bring in the big bucks for the city's top realtors — and behind those big earnings are some big egos and even bigger drama. When the show debuted in 2006, the focus was on a group of L.A. realtors, including Madison Hildebrand, then nicknamed "the rookie." As Million Dollar Listing evolved, so too did its cast. With Hildenbrand the sole member of the first season to stick around (he exited after Season 10), the cast eventually settled into an ensemble comprised of Josh Altman, Tracy Tutor, Josh Flagg, James Harris and David Parnes. 

In March 2020, Bravo announced the series would return later that year with its 12th season. "This season, these top agents must think outside the box to generate interest and navigate an ever-changing market, dominated by unrealistic sellers and softening prices," Bravo shared in a March 2020 press release.

Since its premiere, the show has kept fans tuning in season after season, yet there's plenty they may not know about this guilty-pleasure favorite. Read on to uncover the untold truth of Million Dollar Listing

Million Dollar Listing spawned three spinoffs and changed its name

Bravo took a gamble that viewers would want to watch the exploits of upper-echelon L.A. realtors selling extravagant homes to the rich and famous — and that risk paid off. After a successful debut season, Million Dollar Listing was renewed for a second, and then a third, and many more seasons after that. Fourteen years after that first season aired, Bravo announced a premiere of June 2020 for Season 12.

Throughout the years, some spinoffs of the popular series were introduced. The first of these came in 2012, with Bravo deducing the same format that worked so well in Los Angeles would be equally effective in New York City. The result was Million Dollar Listing New York, focusing on a new group of realtors selling high-end real estate in the Big Apple.

Additional spinoffs included Million Dollar Listing San Francisco and Million Dollar Listing Miami, demonstrating that viewers couldn't get enough of watching lively real estate agents selling luxurious properties to people with way too much money. With all these various Million Dollar Listings shows out there, it became necessary to change the name of the original L.A.-based show to Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles

Million Dollar Listing's Tracy Tutor listed her very own home

L.A. real estate agent Tracy Tutor has listed a lot of homes on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, and in 2019 she repped a very special property: her own. People reported that Tutor was parting with her seven-bedroom, ten-bathroom home in L.A.'s posh Brentwood neighborhood and was asking an eye-popping $23.9 million. Boasting almost 11,000 square feet, Tutor's home was not exactly the kind of place that would be termed "modest."

The home's unique features included a dining room with vintage Italian chandeliers from the '70s and an "emerald-green lacquered bar," which Tutor declared to be her favorite space in the home. "[It's] so rad and disco," she said of that room's decor. "I think we all need to have a little fun with our interiors and at least pick one room that expresses the wild side of your personality."

As for her hopes about who would be purchasing her home, Tutor admitted she wasn't that picky. In fact, she only had one prerequisite in mind when asked who she'd like to see buy it. "Whoever can write the check!" she quipped.

Million Dollar Listing hires background models

There has been a lot of speculation over just how real so-called reality shows actually are. When it comes to Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, the term "reality" is apparently a flexible one. At least, that's the assumption that can be drawn from a 2015 casting notice, which revealed Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles was seeking "background models" for the show.

Among the "types" the show was looking for were "yoga participants and instructors," in addition to "bikini models" who would be situated poolside. While all ethnicities would be considered for the yoga participants and bikini models, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles was also looking for a "housewife model," and the demand for that model's ethnicity was very specific: Only those of "white/European descent" would be considered.

Meanwhile, background performers hired for Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles certainly didn't get rich by appearing on the show. Of the extras' compensation, the website noted the production was offering "no pay."

How Tracy Tutor went from acting to Million Dollar Listing

If Tracy Tutor's original plans had gone according to design, it's unlikely she would've ever have found her way to Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. In fact, Tutor initially envisioned a future as an actress, which she pursued by attending the University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts. Before making a shift to real estate, Tutor appeared in two films: 1997's Exposé and 1999's No Vacancy.

In an interview with her alma mater, Tutor revealed how training in theater and performance wound up becoming an asset in the real estate business — and even more so once her home-selling exploits began to be captured on camera. "It's funny how things come full circle," she explained, describing how her dramatic training became her secret weapon when selling houses. "Being a real estate agent or in retail, or in sales, or in so many industries, you need the ability to sell yourself to clients," she said, crediting her theatre background as being "a huge part of why I am successful in real estate."

This is how Million Dollar Listing's Josh Flagg met husband Bobby Boyd

Josh Flagg and husband Bobby Boyd are both realtors, with Boyd making frequent appearances on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles over the years. In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, Flagg revealed he and his husband first got together when Boyd walked up to him at a nightclub and said something unexpected. "He said to me, 'Hi, handsome,'" Flagg recalled. "No one ever said that to me but my maybe mother or grandmother."

The couple had their first date, Boyd divulged, at famed Hollywood eatery Dan Tana's. "We had chicken parmesan and Jack and Diet Cokes," Boyd recalled. In a video that Los Angeles Magazine shared on Instagram, Flagg revealed that he was so serious about the relationship that he "wrote my vows before I even asked him to marry me."

Boyd opened up about what it's like to be married to Flagg in a blog post on his website, admitting it can sometimes be "exhausting" — but not necessarily in a bad way. "Josh challenges me in so many ways that no one else ever has before," explained Boyd, "which is one of the many reasons why I married him."

Million Dollar Listing's Josh Altman said this about working with Kimye

The realtors of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles have worked with numerous celebrities, including Kim Kardashian of Keeping Up with the Kardashians fame and rapper Kanye West. As Josh Altman told The Hollywood Reporter, he's insistent on treating a "mega-celebrity" the same way he he would any other non-famous client, but admitted that "you do have to be on your game all the time" when working with famous clients.

In the interview, Altman shared with the publication what it had been like to work with West and Kardashian. "I've met them both numerous times, and she's incredible," said Altman of Kardashian, revealing he'd sold three properties for her. "Talk about a hard-working individual and being on your game, she is nonstop," said Altman, insisting he had "nothing but respect" for her. In a video interview for OK! Magazine, Altman declared West and Kardashian to be "my favorite celebrities." He continued, saying, "They have great taste in real estate and design — I mean the best of the best."

Why Madison Hildebrand decided to retire from Million Dollar Listing

Madison Hildebrand was the only member of the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles cast who'd been with the show since its first season when, in 2018, he issued a statement announcing his decision to step away from the show. "After a decade of adventure and one of the most unique experiences of my life, I have decided not to continue Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles," the longtime Bravo celeb said in his statement. "I am so grateful to have had this opportunity but the time has come for me to re-energize, rejuvenate, and refocus my attention and light onto new endeavours."

Speaking with Page Six about exiting the show, Hildebrand explained that he had actually wanted to leave even earlier. "I tried to quit [in] Season 6," he admitted, adding that he "tried to get away from it and it just didn't happen." Explaining his decision, Hildebrand said that after 12 years and 10 seasons, the experience had been "exhausting" on the "mind, body and soul."

Josh Altman was happy to see Madison Hildebrand leave Million Dollar Listing

While fans of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles may have been sad to see Madison Hildebrand leave, at least one of his costars was not. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Altman bade good riddance, declaring he was thrilled that Hildebrand was walking away. Wishing Hildebrand luck with whatever he did next, Altman shared that he was "glad he's off the show because he was extremely boring."

As Altman sniped, the Hildebrand-free version of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles would certainly improve his own personal viewing experience. "I'm excited to watch the entire show all the way through now with the new cast because I always fast-forwarded through his parts anyway," quipped Altman.

That antipathy apparently went both ways. After announcing his departure, Hildebrand told Page Six that none of his costars had bothered to get in touch with him and that he'd gone ahead and blocked James Harris, Josh Flagg, Josh Altman, Tracy Tutor, and David Parnes from his social media platforms.

Million Dollar Listing's Josh Flagg has advice for aspiring realtors

According to Josh Flagg's website, he has sold in excess of $2 billion in residential real estate and can boast being the "number one volume agent in Los Angeles and the number two agent in sales in California." Given those impressive stats, it's a no-brainer that an aspiring realtor would be wise to listen to any advice he offered — which he happened to dole out during a January 2020 interview with Larry King Now.

The first thing Flagg told rookie realtors was, in effect, to avoid quitting their day jobs. "Don't rely only on real estate" for financial support, he said, encouraging those starting out to maintain another source of income. The reason, he explained, was because when it comes to a real estate commission, "you don't know when it's going to come. It's feast or famine."

For those who can afford to dive right in without worrying about making a living, Flagg recommended "[interning] for the best person you can find and just shadow them." Wannabe realtors may not get paid, he pointed out, but the skills and know-how they'll pick up can prove invaluable. "Learn from your teacher," he advised.

Josh Altman shared his Million Dollar Listing knowledge in books

Josh Altman is not only one of the stars of the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, but he's also "one of the most successful real estate agents on the planet," according to his website. He's learned a thing or two along the way and shared some of that knowledge in two different books. In 2016, he wrote It's Your Move: My Million Dollar Method for Taking Risks with Confidence and Succeeding at Work and Life, in which he divulged some of the secrets of his success.

In an interview with Deepest Dream about the book, he outlined his "ready, aim, fire mentality." As he explained, the essence of that is "having an opportunity in front of you, recognizing it, jumping all over it, and, if you fail, bouncing back and redirecting and finishing it."

He followed that up with his 2019 book The Altman Close: Million-Dollar Negotiating Tactics from America's Top-Selling Real Estate Agent. This book, noted a press release, featured Altman's "greatest tips and advice" for selling real estate. "Over the past 24 months I closed 285 deals," said Altman in the release. "I've written down every negotiation tactic, closing technique and ninja secret so you can now close more deals too."

Josh Flagg and Josh Altman's feud on Million Dollar Listing will never end

For viewers of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, one of the most entertaining aspects of the show is the ongoing feud between competing realtors Josh Flagg and Josh Altman. During a 2015 appearance on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live, Altman theorized the reason Flagg doesn't like him is because "I wasn't born and raised in Beverly Hills, and because I became successful when I came out there with nothing." When Cohen asked Flagg if that was true, Flagg insisted that wasn't the case, and offered a different reason for his dislike of Altman. Turning to Altman, Flagg matter-of-factly declared, "I just think you're a scumbag."

According to Flagg, fans of the show shouldn't expect the bad blood between these rivals to die down — ever. In a 2019 interview with the Daily Mail, Flagg was asked if he thought their long-running feud would finally come to an end at some point. "No," he declared. "[The show] would become boring."

How Million Dollar Listing factored into Josh Altman's success

Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles' Josh Altman started his real estate career as a mortgage broker but shifted gears after the recession of the late 2000s. In an interview with Larry King Now, Altman recalled being forced to shut down what had been a successful business and then start all over again. "It definitely did not happen overnight," said Altman of rebranding himself as a realtor.

He also addressed the role that Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles may or may not have played in his success. "People say, 'Are you doing well because of the show?'" he said, explaining that he and brother Matt had already been selling "about $100 million a year of real estate" when he received a call from Bravo about joining the show.

While he had already made a comeback to become one of Los Angeles' top realtors when he was tapped for Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Altman admitted that being on the show has not been bad for business. "Building the brand in real estate is the most important thing, and so we use that stage very wisely," Altman said. "Everything that we do, we like to think that we're a walking billboard for our business."

Million Dollar Listing's Josh Altman described the "big mistake" these royals were making

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed they were stepping away from their royal duties, there were eventually reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were shopping for a new home in Los Angeles. As one of the city's top realtors, Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles' Josh Altman weighed in on the royals' home search.

Speaking with TMZ, Altman confirmed he wasn't working with the couple on their quest to find a California home. Nevertheless, he claimed to be knowledgeable enough about where they were looking to share his opinion about the crucial error he believed they were making. "They have to go gated community," Altman explained, revealing he had received intel that the couple had been looking at homes that weren't within gated communities. Given the royals' extreme concerns with privacy and the intense paparazzi attention they'll generate, Altman insisted that purchasing a home that was not within the confines of a gated community would be "a big mistake and I think they are going to end up reselling that house very quickly."

Million Dollar Listing's Tracy Tutor revealed the most important things celebrities look for in a home

All the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles realtors have worked with their fair share of celebrity clients. As Tracy Tutor explained in an interview with Page Six, there are certain aspects of a home that are "crucial" to stars. One of these is bathroom lighting, which she said is "a huge thing with celebrities." Fluorescent lighting or overly harsh lighting is a big no-no for famous folks, she explained. "If they could just wake up and have an Instagram filter on the mirror, it would be genius," joked Tutor.

Without naming names, Tutor pointed to one celebrity client who had an unusual but very specific barometer for determining whether or not the home was well constructed. This person, she revealed, "looks at the thickness of doors as an example of whether or not a house is built well." Even if the house was "stunning," added Tutor, this celeb was fixated on doors. When Tutor took the unnamed celeb on a tour of a home, she noted, "one of the doors was not to her liking, so we didn't even go through the rest of the house."