As residents of Port Hedland in Western Australia battened down in preparation for Cyclone Heidi last week, Real Estate Business spoke to an industry professional who knows the risk of natural disasters on their business.
Heidi Davies, business manager at Ray White Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Buderim, Mountain Creek and Sippy Downs, said many of the properties she managed were at risk during the devastating 2011 floods in Queensland but fortunately for her landlords and tenants, few properties were affected.
“As our offices were so close to Brisbane we had actions in place if the floods should reach us. However we weren’t affected badly at all,” she said.
According to Ms Davies the key to handling the risk of natural disasters and property damage is preparation. When the threat of the floods became apparent the Ray White business manager organised meetings with the property managers to discuss ways of dealing with the crisis.
“We discussed what things the property managers could do when things needed attending too, for example, the small leaks or simply making a list of tradesman available to clients.
“It was also important to recognize the things that needed to be handed onto emergency services, like roof damage or evacuations,” she said.
“We also contacted all our investors early and ensured them that their properties were fine. In the event of a disaster we instructed them that we would contact them- no news meant good news.”
Ms Davies also stresses that whilst the property manager has a relationship with investors and clients it was important to remember that they cannot act as an emergency response centre but more a “control centre”.
Real Estate Business attempted to contact at least five Port Hedland property managers on Thursday though were unable to get through to any offices.