Property managers across Queensland are cleaning up what can only be explained as a “war zone”, according to one Bundaberg principal.
Heather Gelley, principal of First National McColms in Bundaberg, said she could have never expected to see anything like the destruction of the Australia Day weekend floods.
“I am the third generation owner of the business and in our 76 years we have never seen anything like this,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“It’s like a war zone, houses are under water, and bomb craters are in the street.”
According to Ms Gelley, the town was hit with severe winds that blew off the roofs of houses and then was drowned by the worst floods the area has ever seen.
With over 500 properties under management Ms Gelley said she has at least 20 homes completely underwater or swept away.
“We are working with tenants to get them alternate accommodation,” she said.
“Our main focus in the tenants.
“A disaster like this really brings out the best and worst in people,” she continued.
“We’ve had landlords who are working side by side with their tenants to save their homes and belongings and then we have had some landlords who show absolutely no compassion.
“It has been really hard for everyone.”
Ms Gelley’s staff was not spared in the flood disaster either. First National McColms normally has six property managers, however only two have been able to work since the floods as the others are isolated and one property manager has lost their own home.
According to Ms Gelly the office did not have a flood disaster plan, and since the floods has relied on the help of colleagues from across the state.
“We have a disaster plan for the office but not a flood plan,” she said.
“We have tried to contact 1,000 clients since the floods - we are just trying our best.
“My colleagues across Queensland have been marvelous, they have kept our website updated with information and fact sheets.”
According to Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) president Anton Kardash, preparation is the key to dealing with a disaster.
“There was a lot of preparation and warning going into these floods especially in Brisbane, people knew what to expect from the 2011 floods,” told Residential Property Manager.
“The outer areas, however, were hit hard and property managers are working tirelessly to help landlords and tenants across the state.”