When the name Michael Braddon pops up in conversation, don’t be surprised if you hear a unanimous comment that “he’s an absolute legend”.
With a passion for rugby league as a young Canberran – born and bred – he played more than two decades with West Belconnen and a season with the Canberra Raiders reserve grade.
He decided to hang up his boots when his son, Cooper, came into the world, but the footy spirit of camaraderie and community are still evident 21 years into a successful real estate career with Braddon being the go-to agent for many familiar faces from his sporting past and present.
Here we chat with him in between running the Blackshaw Gungahlin office and heading to coach his son’s rugby league team.
What was life like in Canberra as a young boy?
I grew up in Belconnen, went to school at St Johns and high school at Radford College. As a young fella, my dad was right into his rugby league and introduced to me a love for the sport. I spent many years playing with my mates and it’s given me lifelong friends all across the north side of Canberra.
When did you decide to pursue a career in real estate?
My dad was a massive influence. He was a finance broker, always around cars, lending money for cars in finance. When I was 17 I got my first car and he said ‘Why don’t you come work with me?’. I worked there for a few years and noticed that the one thing everyone had in common who could get any car they wanted was that they owned a house.
When I was 18 I saved up and bought my first home. I knew if I bought a house, I too could get any car I wanted! I was lucky enough to have bought property back in the’90s where the prices were very different to what they are today. To get into the market that early and that young excited me, and it was a natural progression from there. 21 was when I first started working in the real estate industry.
I stopped playing footy when my son, Cooper, was born. My knees are gone, I’ve done both of my ACLs, one of them twice, and I’ve broken my leg as well. But, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Most memorable sale?
Getting the first $2 million sale in the Gungahlin region back in 2015. I used to play footy with the owner and the lady I sold it to I had also sold her home prior to that. It was nice seeing it come full circle.
Breaking bones and breaking property records! Is it all worth it?
One of the biggest rewards is when people come back to you after you sold them a home when they didn’t have kids and then after all these years you sell their next home and their kids are off to university.
Being a footy coach is just as rewarding too. I’ve coached my boys since they were four years old and now they’re 13 and I see them playing like young men.
If you can be an influence in people’s lives, go on the journey with them, help them – that’s what it’s all about. It’s the same for property as well. It’s one of the most important purchases people make in their lives and you’re part of that.
Greatest achievement outside of property?
My wonderful wife, Rebecca, and our beautiful children. Rebecca is a partner at Blackshaw Gungahlin and we’re also part-owners of the Belconnen and Queanbeyan offices.
Watching my boy become vice captain of the ACT Schoolboys Rugby League last year was a proud dad moment. Things like that are what you live for, why you work hard and put the hours in.
You also have a daughter, Eve, and if either of your kids were to ask you for advice on becoming an athlete or an agent one day, what would you say?
My son can be a footy player, but Eve, she loves Oztag, calisthenics, T-ball and is also very creative. She’s a tough little girl and she can be the agent.