Q&A with Madison Hildebrand - When Real Estate and Technology Merge
Posted by Suzanne Alberti
Real Estate Guru and DocuSign Brand Ambassador Madison Hildebrand Shares How His Business Thrives With DocuSign’s eSignature Transaction Management Platform.
Madison Hildebrand, of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, is DocuSign’s newest Brand Ambassador. We were able to talk with Madison about his business mindset, where DocuSign fits in the real estate industry and beyond, and why he decided to add DocuSign to his already expansive and impressive resume.
Q - Why did you decide to become a Brand Ambassador for DocuSign?
A - To be honest, my interest in the company started several years ago when DocuSign first came across my desk. I quickly realized all the capabilities of the company and its product, and contacted them right away. I wanted to be a Brand Ambassador even back then. They told me the company was not ready, but they’ve stayed on my mind since as I use DocuSign across my business. So fast forward several years later and I get a call from the head of corporate marketing to discuss being a Brand Ambassador. I was ecstatic to say the least. DocuSign has come a long way in the few years since I first approached them. They’ve added features and functionality that have made the product more than just the signature. I think DocuSign changes my industry more than two-fold and companies who aren’t DocuSigning today are falling behind.
Q - How has digital transaction management changed and shaped your business in the last few years?
A - It’s the most efficient and controlled method of coordinating and organizing I have seen… I have been waiting for something like this for years! I can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t here sooner! I’m so grateful because I hate doing paper work the old fashion way—black sharpies and fax machines just aren’t as professional looking and it takes so much time. Keeping business digital makes everything squeaky clean without all the *ings I hate— printing, faxing, scanning, overnighting, and driving around town. Plus, it holds everyone accountable—which I love.
Q - How have you used DocuSign with a client to successfully close a deal?
A - In Malibu, we are dealing with a lot of second-home and international buyers who are very busy. Their day-to-day lives are typically elsewhere in the world. This process of buying, selling or renting a home doesn’t just happen in one day. Before DocuSign, trying to track clients around the world, whether on a plane, at the airport, or at the beach can be very difficult. Now with DocuSign— as long as there is WiFi and an Internet connection— my clients can DocuSign from anywhere— when it’s convenient for them. DocuSign allows me to access my customers without disrupting their day to get signatures at any time. It helps me negotiate faster and close their deal faster than my competitors who aren’t DocuSigning. I can’t tell you the number of properties my clients have beat out another bidder because we got the offer in faster.
I can remember a particular transaction with an international client where DocuSign was a huge help. The customer lived overseas and flew into California to look at property. They were literally on ground for less than 24 hours to find a home. The great news is that we found a home. Even better was we were able to continue the rest of the transaction smoothly between different time zones and across thousands of miles by keeping it completely digital online. DocuSign helped me quickly and successfully close the deal from a distance that would never have been possible with traditional business methods. I was in awe of how easy and efficient DocuSign was, and I’ve never looked back!
Q - How are your clients reacting to DocuSign?
A - Just like me, my customers are overjoyed about DocuSign. They don’t want to waste time. They don’t want to deal with the hassles of printing, finding a fax machine, scanning, or having to come to an office to buy and sell property. They love the ease, speed, and convenience of DocuSign. The process is so fast on the client’s end and then it’s on my shoulders to deliver… it’s happening almost too fast! To quote one of my favorite customer reactions— “Oh my gosh, this is amazing! I will do business on my mobile for the rest of my life!” The excitement surrounding DocuSign and digital methods of closing deals is electric and I am so excited to be a part of it.
Q - How do you see technology, and DocuSign specifically, transforming the real estate world?
A - I really see DocuSign dramatically changing the real estate world, and I’m experiencing this shift firsthand. I can already see DocuSign changing the way people think about “going to the office” and work in general. I doubt going into the office will even be necessary in the near future. With DocuSign you don’t need filing cabinets or a desk anymore; everything is done with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, which makes sense given that is how every other area of our lives has become. I can be at the beach and produce documents instantly— I don’t need a desk or four walls to call my office anymore. DocuSign is changing the way people do business and how productive we are when we do business. Mobility is blurring the lines between “at work” and being “at home”. It’s allowing us to do more with our time, and structure our work around our at home responsibilities. We will be out in the field more and not in the office, which means more deals and transitions in front of our clients doing what we do best— serving customers. We want to be talking to clients and closing deals, not bogged down worried if the printer is out of ink. Real estate is one of the ultimate service industries. We must do all that we can to be of service, offering speed, ease of use and convenience. DocuSign does all of that for us.
Q - How do you see DocuSign impacting your customers?
A - Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest decisions—and therefore one of the most complicated, stressful and emotional decisions that an individual or couple will ever make. DocuSign eliminates many of the hassles from a real estate transaction to alleviate some of that stress. DocuSign makes the whole real estate process and transaction less daunting for people. It is just easier in every single way. If a customer is on vacation in Hawaii, they don’t have to go inside a dark business center to sign documents— they can sit on the beach in the sun with a drink and do business with me. Another cool element I love is how clients can share the documents and give multiple people access without ever having to print or file hard copies.
Q - Your work goes beyond real estate to include entertainment, career and life coaching, personal development, and much more. How does DocuSign help you keep those businesses digital?
A - DocuSign is great because everyone can benefit from eSignatures and transaction management. It’s really cool to be involved with a company whose products appeal to every consumer, small business, and global enterprise. Like many others, I use DocuSign personally and professionally across all my businesses and community service.
Q - How do you see keeping business digital impacting your nonprofit work?
A - It is sad to say but the truth is nonprofits are almost always underfunded so they usually don’t have enough staff or resources to be on the cutting edge of technology. What I love about DocuSign is that is actually helps nonprofits put more of their money towards doing good, rather than administrative costs. They can reap the same benefits of eliminating printing, faxing, scanning, overnighting and chasing paper in their nonprofits.
For me personally, I am young and highly involved in the tech world, which allows me to bring different experiences to the table and leverage those within the nonprofit sector. I can help give nonprofits more exposure through vehicles they probably would not explore or have access to on their own. One of the great parts about being on TV is that you can use it to make a positive impact. I find it so important to give back which is why I have made it such a big part of my career. I really believe you can’t feel successful without giving back.
Q - As a celebrity yourself, what has been your biggest celebrity moment?
A - I always find it amazing when another celebrity stops me and tells me they are a fan of me or my show… that’s really fun. Here they are at home watching their TV and notice me? It’s crazy! It really makes you feel great when someone you are a fan of is a fan of you, as well.
I was holding live interviews on the red carpet last year at an event and I was able to meet tons of musicians backstage after they finished performing. One I will never forget is Skylar Grey. She was a fan of my show and we got to talking and we hit it off— instant friends. We used social media to keep up our new friendship. She came to Malibu and did a private show fundraiser for The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu that I’m involved with. We raised more than $20,000 simply because she is a fan of mine and I’m a fan of hers.
Q - Any other key points you want to share?
A - I am thrilled to be a Brand Ambassador for DocuSign! Everyone I have worked with has been incredible. My companies walks the same walk and talks the same talk as DocuSign, and I am so proud to be partnered with a company I have admired for years.
Have a questions for Madison Hildebrand? Click here to join a live streamed webinar on 3/18 and follow the conversation on Twitter with #DSLiveMadison. We will be answering your tweeted questions during the live stream.