Mark Broady’s Story
This week, we’re bringing you the fourth and final story of how Mark Broady became a realtor. Let’s dive in...
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Wow. This might be slightly embarrassing, but when I was 8 or 9 years old, I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a professional wrestler in the WWF. My brothers and I were big Macho Man fans and Hulkamania was running wild back then, so this seemed like the ideal career path for me!
What did you do for work before becoming a real estate agent?
Well, prior to getting into real estate, I had 2 other serious career considerations. The first was in the hospitality industry – a field which I actually studied in at the University of Guelph. I graduated in 1999 with a B.Comm from the Hotel and Food Administration program there. That lead to me getting my first job in the field as a front-office agent at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. That also happens to be where I met my wife, as we worked together at the front desk. I still remember how fortunate I felt to be working there, and I imagined myself carving out a long, successful career path as a hotel manager. I eventually moved from the front desk to the exclusive “Gold Floor” level of the hotel, where I learned the finer aspects of concierge-level service.
However, after about 2 or 3 years into it, I became disillusioned with the job. It didn’t turn out to be as glamourous or rewarding as I had hoped. Instead, I found the culture in the industry very “superficial” and it simply didn’t align with my values at the time. So I started to look into other, less conventional career opportunities.
Oh, do tell…
Around that time I must have been about 22-23 years old. I started to feel like I had rushed into the prospect of climbing this long corporate ladder, and I wondered if I might be missing out on doing things that I was truly more passionate about. I had always been attracted to hip-hop music and the culture that surrounded it. Rapping, DJing, breakdancing, graffiti artists… the whole universe of hip-hop just called out to me. This natural attraction led me to start rapping, and together with some friends of mine, we started making our own music. Before we knew it, we were writing lyrics, recording demos, and performing live shows at these dingy underground clubs in Montreal. One thing led to another and by age 24, I had quit my day job and became a founding partner in a start-up independent record label know as ICM Records.
That was a major milestone for me. Having the courage to leave everything behind and pursue my dream was one of the toughest decisions I ever made. But my crew and I had a good kick at the can and I can honestly say that my career as a rapper and record label owner was the most challenging, yet rewarding experience of my life. We travelled around North America doing concert tours, meeting and collaborating with other artists, appearing on radio and television, and we put out 6 full-length albums as a label, as well as dozens of compilations and mix-tapes. I even got to perform with and record a song with members of the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most famous hip-hop groups of all time.
Sounds like you had an awesome thing going! What made you transition to real estate?
Well, as much as I loved being a rapper… it wasn’t a very lucrative career. I was making enough money to support myself as a bachelor, but there didn’t seem to be a big break happening for us after 7 years in the business, and I started to doubt that I’d ever win a Grammy award. That’s when my wife first told me she was pregnant, and I would soon have a baby to look after and support.
I knew that my rapper salary would never be enough to put my kids through college, and I was afraid that hanging on to my dream much longer might limit the opportunities I would be able to provide for my future family. It was my wife who gently nudged me and said, “Why don’t you go work with your family in real estate?”
What was it like transitioning from musician to broker?
It was tough, to begin with. I was used to a far less “polished” crowd in the music business, so I had to really adjust my attitude and behaviour when I started working as a service provider for clients. I was a bit of a young punk back then! You should have seen my wardrobe that first year. All of my baggy pants, t-shirts, and sneakers were slowly replaced with suit jackets and loafers.
What’s your biggest lesson from this change?
Fortunately, I was raised well by my parents, so I had the most important core values and principles hammered into me since childhood. Things like honesty, compassion, integrity, and respect were always present in my actions, even when I was navigating the rough and rowdy business of hip-hop. So really, all I had to adjust was my outer appearance, my vocabulary, and my “chameleon” skills. I learned quickly that the ability to adapt in order to meet your clients’ needs was key in this business. There is no one-size-fits-all for real estate!
Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of? Why?
There is. And I hardly have to think about it because it’s my “raison d’etre” if you will. It’s my WHY. It’s the reason I get up every morning and the reason I remain positively passionate and committed to everything I do. My team and I have always put a focus on giving back. I personally find the act of giving, the most rewarding act of all, so in that sense, you could even say it’s selfish!
We do a lot of work for those around us – especially within our local community. Two of the causes closest to our hearts are the Alzheimer Society of Montreal and The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.
I have been lucky enough to help support these causes in ways that are infinitely rewarding for me. There is nothing I’m more proud of, short of my wife and kids.
I have had so many amazing experiences doing charity work. Everything from hosting glitzy galas, to trekking hundreds of kilometres across mountains and deserts, to writing and performing original songs that explore the harsh realities of these two issues: Dementia / cognitive impairment, and violence against women.
Being able to combine my God-given gifts and talents with the opportunity to be of help and service to others is the greatest blessing.
What do you love most about your job?
Helping others! Whether that’s through my experience and expertise as a realtor, or as a trusted confidant when things go sideways. Either way, I consider myself a problem-solver above all else. No matter how difficult or complex the problems may be, I embrace the challenges of finding the necessary solutions.
So if you or anyone you know is looking for help with anything real estate-related in the West Island, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 514-613-2988 or email email@example.com!