In late winter 2019, the fall out of the banking industry Royal Commission resulted in several clients suddenly pulling out of their home building contracts, leaving their business pipeline and finances in limbo.
‘We needed to act fast and take a good look at our current business,’ Chris says. ‘We had to restructure from the ground up, reducing our overheads by limiting our staff, liquidate some business-owned assets, and retrain our sales team to qualify our clients into self-funded and finance dependant.’
The reassessment worked, and coming into December they were on their way to restabilising their pipeline.
However, with the onset of summer also came an unforgettable combination of heat, wind and dry ground cover that led to the eruption of apocalyptic fire storms that raged along Australia’s east coast, including where they lived.
After weeks of tension and close calls, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, the wind around Chris and Ann-Maree’s home had picked up. By 7am it was around 36°C outside, and ominously, the air was filled with the sound of sirens. Then the unimaginable happened: a fire front stormed towards their home, with the family still inside.
‘It was chaos, spot fires were erupting instantaneously around us and within minutes everything around us was alight. It was clear we weren’t going to save the home,’ Emily says.