Cyclone no match for Ray White
WHEN Cyclone Debbie tore through the Whitsundays on March 28, Ray White's first priority was their tenants.
"The initial 24 hours after the cyclone were difficult because even when the cyclone was going on, we were getting calls from tenants saying they were losing their roof, losing things off their balcony and we just didn't know what was going to happen,” owner of Ray White Whitsunday Belinda Beale said.
In the days leading up to the cyclone, Mrs Beale and her husband Mark knew the category four system was going to be different to any other cyclone they'd experienced.
"This time we were really organised,” Mrs Beale said.
"I had sent our corporate team in Brisbane the contact details of every owner and tenant.”
On the Saturday after the cyclone, it was all hands on deck with every staff member coming in and working 10 days straight.
"Thankfully we still had Telstra because if we didn't, there would have been no way that we could have operated,” Mrs Beale said.
"We were able to hotspot to an iPhone and laptop so it was chaotic but it was an organised chaos.”
It wasn't just in the office where staff were working hard but out on the grounds too.
Mrs Beale said in the aftermath, many of the sales team were out removing trees from the driveways of tenants and also taking care of their own homes.
Thankfully, Ray White received minimal damage to the office.
Mr Beale said with the workload increased, former property manager Karen Macdonald was recruited to the role of disaster recovery management.
"Her job was to follow up with insurance companies, owners, tenants, tradespeople and work with tradespeople,” Mr Beale said.
"We had other workers who needed to do their job,” he said.
"And if they're dealing with 500-600 insurance claims, they don't have time to chase it up.”