The Brady Marcs Podcast
Episode 9 with Ben Power
Episode 9 with Ben Power
In this week’s episode, we have Ben Power, who heads up the Brady Marcs office in Canberra. Ben is a true Canberran born and raised in the area. Ben brings a wealth of experience in the property industry, sharing some down-to-earth tips and insights and how to make your property investment strategy a success. If you’re into real estate or thinking about investing, this is an episode not to be missed.
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Voiceover: Welcome to the Brady Marcs Podcast with your host Brady Yoshia from Brady Marcs Buyers Advisory. Enjoy discussions with a variety of guests and pioneers from diverse backgrounds, each sharing their unique perspectives on property, business, industry and more.
Brady Yoshia: Ben Power is based in our Brady Marcs Canberra office. Ben is a true Canberran born and raised in the area, and he brings a substantial amount of expertise in the field of real estate. We can’t wait to hear your practical advice and valuable insights on achieving success with your property investment strategy. Welcome, Ben. It’s a pleasure to have you here today.
Ben Power: Thanks Brady.
BY: It’s always great to have one of the Brady Marcs team on the podcast. So I wanted to start with asking you before joining Brady Marcs you were a standalone agent starting your own business and then decided to join our team. What made you make the switch to joining Brady Marcs?
BP: Yeah, I think I just saw the opportunity. It was the it was advertised, a buyer’s agent in Canberra. And I thought, what an opportunity, I’ve been trying to do this on my own for the last couple of years, and I’ve moved into it full time. But that support network is something that I really felt I needed. And it’s something that I’ve got now, which has been fantastic.
BY: Well, we very happy to have you on board and being part of a team, as we say, teamwork makes the dream work. So, moving forward, what has been besides being part of the team, what else has been a benefit of joining the Brady Marcs team? Is there anything else that stands out?
BP: Yeah, I think it’s just the expertise that comes with it. It is really the support from the from the whole team. And everyone’s got a different background. And can help in different ways, like every transaction and property that we buy is a different story and a different client. And leaning on everyone’s expertise really helps.
BP: We can give the best support to our clients really.
BY: That’s right. And I think that each and every one has our own story. And if we bring our stories and our expertise together, we can collaboratively help our clients spot on. Yeah, so you’re at the top of your game in the hospitality arena. What was the trigger that made you switch to the property industry?
BP: Yeah, I think it was in hospitality since I left school and made my way up into management positions, and was leading teams of up to four, five hundred people at some venues. And I loved helping people. And I love seeing the staff grow. And a lot of them move on into their own careers and support them into getting into their own careers. And eventually, I think I just realized that maybe I wanted something different. And I always had this passion for real estate and had been a property investor myself, and was receiving lots of questions about that from my friendship group and my wider network. So made a decision to go into it.
BY: And you can use the same skill set when you use the word help, because that’s what you’re doing on a day to day basis as well.
BP: That’s exactly right. So what I love now is, it’s a different form of helping, I love helping people. And that’s why I do what I do. And to be able to help our clients achieve their property dreams is fantastic. And it’s so rewarding. And I guess I used to get that reward from helping the staff in the club environment and the hospitality environment. And now I’ve been able to transition that into helping people in the property space.
BY: Every day is different, no day or brief is the same.
BP: 100%, yeah, every single day is totally different. And I love that I love the variety of it. A lot of people think that it’d be really straightforward and day in day out, but every single day provides something new.
BY: So you, as mentioned earlier, you’re born and bred in Canberra. You’ve seen so many things change. What do you think gives you an advantage when helping our clients and your clients buying property in Canberra, having grown up there all your life?
BP: Being a born and bred Canberran, it gives gives me a great advantage. Understanding the market there.
BY: So you know what streets are good and what streets are not so good?
BP: Yeah, absolutely. There are certain areas in certain parts of Canberra though, that were that you’d want to avoid. And there’s other areas that are much more desirable. And I suppose that gives us an advantage to identify those areas and really target them for our clients. And yeah, just support them through that whole journey of purchasing the property.
BY: Yes. So you have over 18 years experience building your own investment property portfolio. What do you feel are the key lessons that you’ve learnt and how does that make you a better buyer’s agent?
BP: Yeah, I think if I could go back and tell myself, when I first started and bought my first property, to use a professional to help me purchase that property, I would definitely go and do it. You know I see, I go to auctions now in Canberra, and often I just stand there wondering why more people aren’t using a professional to assist them. Often people are paying more than they need to for a property. And that’s what happened to me when I purchased my first property. And I’m happy to share that. And then it was tens of thousands of dollars that I could have saved if I had a professional on my side. And I think that it’s just a learning process. So then when I purchase my next property, you know, you learn more about the last one. And gradually, I started to realize that I had a real knack of the knowledge into purchasing property. And, yeah, a lot of people would ask me about it. And I realized, I think I know more than more than what I might think I know. And once I explored that a little bit more, I was able to realize I’m gonna go into this and help people.
BY: So it’s through your own experience, firstly, embarking on the journey yourself, not knowing much, you actually have acquired a lot of knowledge and expertise, which is now given you the skill set to help a lot of other buyers. And you’re quite right that most people need help. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first time buyer, or you’re a seasoned investor, having a buyer’s agent by your side does give you an advantage and saves you money.
BP: Absolutely. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And that’s, and that’s why we’re here now.
BY: Yes, yeah, exactly. So over the last six years, I personally have seen so many positive changes in Canberra. I mean, they’re fabulous restaurants, great exhibitions, and even buying property. There’s great value in the properties in Canberra. What do you think have been the biggest changes in Canberra over the last six to ten years?
BP: Yeah, I think there’s just a lot more diversification in Canberra now. It’s got people from all over the world that have moved there. And there’s lots of different precincts and anywhere you live in Canberra now, there’s a great community environment to that area of Canberra.
BY: Yes, it’s a multicultural city.
BP: It really is, yeah.
BY: What’s driving the growth there? I know, you just mentioned overseas, international people. What do you think is driving growth besides immigration?
BP: Yeah, I think it’s just a really desirable place to live, great place to bring up a family. A lot of people moved to Canberra to grow their family and put their kids through school. It’s a really safe place to live. And so it’s really appealing. As an area to live. It’s out of the hustle and bustle of like one of the major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where you might be in traffic for hours on end every day. And in Canberra, you really can get from one end to the other, and anywhere within 30 minutes. And I think that’s really appealing to people to live there.
BY: Yes, I mean, the lifestyle is fantastic. It’s got something for everyone. Besides the beach, but that’s okay. You just get in your car and you drive. How long does it take?
BP: It’s the only thing missing. Yeah, so the beach is about two hours away down to the South Coast. But aside from the beach, it does have everything. It’s got all four seasons. That’s another thing people love about camera. Yeah, you really do experience all the elements. It’s really hot and dry in summer, and then in winter, it can be freezing cold.
BY: Freezing. I’ve experienced that many occasions, yes.
BP: Yeah. So and then obviously, the beautiful springs and autumn and we’ve gone through spring at the moment with Floriade in Canberra, which is a great time.
BY: Yeah, Floriade is beautiful. The flowers are so pretty.
BP: I actually went there last week. Yeah, it was lovely.
BY: Yeah, yeah. So what are you seeing on the ground? What types of buyers are you meeting? Are they first home buyers? Are they up-sizers, down-sizers, investors, interstate, overseas?
BP: Yeah, I guess it’s a mixture of all those things. I mean, at the moment, we’re helping a client that’s an interstate couple that is relocating. But we’re not going through the open homes of late. There’s a lot of first home buyers and people looking to upsize. The properties that seem to be really popular are the ones that turnkey property is ready to move in. They’ve been renovated, they’re ready to go, you just got to walk in and start enjoying life. And those properties seem to have a large amount of interest. And then, but the properties that need a little bit of work, it really does start to drop off, is what I’m seeing on the ground.
BY: Yeah, and I think that’s the case across Australia. Most people are looking for an easy, easy route into their new property so they just want to walk in and enjoy it. However, we still encounter lots of buyers that like the thrill of doing up a property and putting their own stamp on it.
BP: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I mean, I think with the increased costs to do renovations, that’s having an impact and interest rates obviously are having an impact on people’s decisions. But there are some people out there that still love love to do it on their own. Yeah.
BY: And are more property selling at auction or prior to auction? Or is it a combination of both?
BP: Yeah. Well, the the clearance rate, the auction clearance, right, for the last six weeks has sat at pretty much 50%. And the feedback I’m getting from the agents on the ground is that a lot of the auctions only have one or two potential buyers, and the expectation from the vendors, just it’s, it’s not meeting buyer expectation. So yeah, a lot of getting passed in, on the back of that. There are some properties that are selling prior to auction as well. There are some agents that like to sell their properties prior to auction, and that’s still occurring as well.
BY: So none of us can predict the future. But I’m always asked this question, what do you see happening over the next three, six, twelve months? So I wanted to know what your thoughts were, what’s going to happen in Canberra, bearing in mind that we are in the last quarter of 2023?
BP: Yeah, I think I think the signs are leading to more growth. And that’s Australia wide, just within immigration. And there’s just not enough stock to house all these people. So that demand is driving the market across Australia, and all the sub-markets across Australia. And I think that we’ll see continued growth into the new year.
BY: And I tend to agree with you on that. Ben, you’re very analytical and data driven? How does this benefit both your everyday life and also working with clients?
BP: Yeah, I often get told how analytical I am. And I do love the research. And it’s something I spent a lot of time doing researching for our clients, and just the property market across all of Australia, as well. As I am still an avid investor, I like to keep across all those markets. So I spend a lot of my time doing that research and analyzing and finding the best areas to purchase property, and being able to share that information with our clients and then and then go ahead and purchase on their behalf.
BY: So a bit of a tip for the listeners, where would you say, are the next best places to buy?
BP: Yeah, okay. Um, at the moment, Queensland is very popular, as well as Western Australia and South Australia is still a little bit as well. So there’s lots of activity in those areas. And that’s probably because they’re more affordable. So a lot of investors looking to enter the market for their first investment. They’re the kind of areas they’re looking at. But I still think there’ll be lots of growth in the Sydney and Melbourne markets over the next kind of twelve to twenty-four months as well, for those that can afford those areas to.
BY: Yeah, those are very good tips. And if we speak specifically on Canberra, where would you say are good places for first time buyers and investors to be looking in?
BP: Yeah, sure. I’d be looking in the south side, in the Tuggeranong areas, and also in Belconnen, which is where I actually grew up. So it’s very affordable at the moment and first sort of great place for first homebuyers to be buying.
BY: Excellent. So changing topic a little bit getting a little bit personal, but not too personal with you. I know you love to travel. So do I. It’s one of my favourite pastimes.
BY: Where has been the best place you’ve ever been to?
BP: Oh, that’s a great question. I think I’d say Mexico. I went to Mexico, about three or four years ago for one of my best friend’s wedding. And we had the most fantastic time. Yeah, the culture there is super. Yeah, and obviously going there for our best mates wedding and was so out of the ordinary. We just had the most amazing time. But I’ve also done a lot of traveling around Europe and most recently, we went to Sri Lanka, which was just unbelievable. It was an incredible, incredible place. The people that are amazing.
BY: Sri Lanka. Wow, that’s a place that a lot of people talk about, but not many people actually visit. Do you want to share something that you experienced whilst we were there that was a standout?
BP: Um, you know, what was an absolute standout for us was when we’re in Galle, we went to a seafood restaurant and had the most amazing seafood basket. And that’s something that we, we enjoyed that so much that we took everyone that was there with us that in the group that we’re with back there the next night, and then everyone got the exact same thing. We sold them out of seafood, yeah. I guess that was a bit of a highlight. Yeah.
BY: Learning multiple languages is a fantastic skill. And I believe you are learning Spanish. I love Spain. In fact, Marbella is one of my favourite places in the whole world. Why Spanish?
BP: I think it was off the back of our time in Mexico. And Spanish speaking, is spoken in so many countries around the world. And so I thought, if I learned Spanish, I’ll be able to communicate with just so many more people while we’re traveling for, for the rest of the lives, we want to travel to as many locations as we can. And Spanish is a language that is spoken in lots of areas, so I thought it would really help.
BY: So when will you be fluent?
BP: Probably about 20 years time.
BY: Practice makes perfect.
BP: I practice every day, so we’ll get there.
BY: So being in real estate is a full on job. It’s definitely not a 9 to 5. So when you’re not working, what do you do to unwind?
BP: Yeah, I guess we love watching movies together, me and my family, and spending time with the kids, and watching them play sport, and go to their dance. So just spending time with family is really, and friends, is something that I love to do. I’m big on sports. So I follow a lot of the sports in Australia and overseas. So I spend time following that too. And watching that, but um, yeah, just relax.
BY: Yeah, relax. Sometimes that’s hard to fit in, but we all need to.
BP: That’s right.
BY: It’s very common today for people to change careers. In fact, they say that most people change their career up to four times in their lifetime. You’ve changed your career, what did you find was most challenging?
BP: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the most challenging thing for me, this year has just been the transition from going from, you know, a 9 to 5 type job, pardon me, and, and just waking up and going to work every day. And then at the end of the week, you get a paycheck, and then now going into kind of more business model, and a sales model, it’s like, you just really got to hit the ground running. And so it’s a totally different way to work and earn an income. And so I’ve really enjoyed that adjustment. But it’s probably also been the biggest challenge as well, just getting used to the differences of how I used to work to how I need to work now.
BY: And what would your advice be to someone looking to change careers?
BP: I’d say go for it. Educate yourself as much as possible, and be prepared. But don’t hold back. If it’s something that you really want to do, and you’re passionate about it, then you should definitely go and chase it. So get uncomfortable to get comfortable. 100% Yes, you’ve got to get outside your comfort zone, as we both know, and that’s how you can succeed and move forward.
BY: And how do you define success.
BP: Um, yeah, happiness, I think for me happiness if I feel successful when I’m happy. And so it doesn’t, it’s not always determined by you know, what your title is, or making millions of dollars or whatever it might be that for some people, that’s their goals. It’s really just about being happy. And if you’re happy with your life, and content, then I think that that’s success.
BY: That’s beautiful, yes. So shifting back to buying property. What would your three biggest tips be to someone looking to buy their first property?
BP: Research. Yeah, absolutely. Researching where you want to purchase. And then looking into comparable sales. So having a look at what’s sold in that area recently, compared to what what is on the market at the moment. So you have an understanding of the value of what you might be looking at. And then lastly, I would encourage everyone to engage a professional buyer’s agent, they really can assist you with your purchase, and save you a lot of money and avoid a lot of, yeah.
BY: Making expensive mistake.
BP: Making expensive mistakes, exactly right.
BY: Prevention is better than cure.
BP: Yes, that’s what we say.
BY: Do you have a favourite quote?
BP: Yeah, my favourite part environment is when the day and it’s a quote that the way I use this quote is, you wake up every day, and no matter what’s happened the day before or the week before, you have an opportunity just to be successful in that day. And so every day I wake up, that’s what I focus on. Try and have as much success in that day and as that compounds, day-in, day-out, day-in, day-out and you’ll look back in a week’s time or quarter’s time or half a year’s time, in a year’s time, and you can just really appreciate how much success you’ve had and how far along you’ve come and so it’s just about those little wins rather than getting knocked down all the time.
BY: That is so good. I’m sure the listeners out there are going to start using that, too. Well, I hope they do.
BP: Yeah, yeah.
BY: So if someone wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to reach out?
BP: Um, yeah, so you can reach out on our website, which is bradymarcs.com.au. And you can find my profile on there. Or also on LinkedIn. So Ben Power Buyers Agent. And yeah.
BY: Excellent. Thank you so much for joining me today.
BP: Thanks Brady. Thank you so much for having me.
BY: You’re welcome.