“A man of many talents” is quite the understatement when describing Marty Kooistra of McGrath Estate Agents Woden, who started out as an auto electrician then car salesman and, while still a car fanatic, he’s now a real estate agent, musician, photographer and videographer.
After catching up with him at the Kingston Foreshore where he regularly gigs, I know one thing for sure: despite changing industries and pursuing a number of creative passions, his love for music and an even bigger love for life trumps all.
Let’s go back to the beginning, tell me about your childhood.
I was born in the Netherlands and spent the first 12 years of my life there. In 2001 I migrated with my family to Tasmania. I love the laid-back lifestyle that Australia has to offer and since moving to Canberra in 2015 with my wife and family I have been able to take advantage of so many opportunities. Not only in real estate but also music, photography and videography.
Where can we find you in Canberra on the weekends?
I gig most weekends across Canberra and Queanbeyan. I have been playing music for around 16 years. I can’t get enough of it. I get such a buzz playing at a venue and seeing people genuinely having a great time and singing along.
Did you always want to work in the real estate industry?
To be honest, I never thought I would end up in the real estate industry, but my wife worked at McGrath Woden (and still does) which is how I met the team. It was a natural progression from working on cars, to going into car sales, and then into property sales.
You were on The Voice in 2017, what was that experience like?
A very surreal experience. I think around 4500 people auditioned at the time and I got through to the top 100 which is when the blind auditions start. It was close to a six-month process before everything you see starts on TV. There’s a huge production team behind a show like that and I met some amazing people. All people really see is the contestants and the judges on TV but there are so many talented vocal coaches, producers, and musicians that really try and do their bit to get you to perform at your best. It was unreal.
Current song on repeat at the moment?
I love old music. I’m listening to a lot of Toto albums at the moment. I try and pull out some of their other classics at my gigs – always goes down well!
What do you consider your greatest achievement, outside of property?
Starting my photography/videography and music businesses have been phenomenal. Now I’m fortunate enough to be McGrath Woden’s in-house photographer and videographer while selling property on the side. The fact that I get to do something that I love each week is by far the thing I’m most grateful for. I wake up every morning legitimately excited to go to work.
Most memorable sale and why?
A beautiful home I sold last year in Christie Place, Gordon. The vendors were wonderful people whom I formed a great bond with. The home meant so much to them – their children had grown up there and moved out and it was time for them to move on. It was an incredibly successful auction, which was an emotional experience for everyone. The fact that I still have contact with them speaks volumes about the special kind of relationships you can build when you are part of helping others move onto the next stage in their lives.