Agents step up to help

26 July 2022

By Helen Hull

Floods have devastated communities across New South Wales and, when faced with adversity, real estate agents have shown a generosity of spirit, mateship and determination. While many stories go untold, here we provide a small glimpse of just some of the acts of kindness and goodwill that demonstrate why agents truly are our local heroes.

The rain bombs that wreaked havoc earlier this year created a perfect storm for real estate agents, with their own offices and homes underwater, as well as those of their clients.

Agents scrambled to clean out their offices, as files and furniture either floated out the door or were left in ruin on the footpath. Many agents were also fighting a battle at home to save their belongings, all while trying to support landlords and tenants who had lost everything.

Outside flood-affected areas, agents across New South Wales looked for ways to support those in need. Rallying supplies – including food, clothing, cleaning materials, generators and more – they arrived in flood-ravaged areas by themselves or in convoys to provide support in any way they could.

Agents cooked and cleaned for those left with a shell of a house and mould growing up the walls. They have shed sweat and tears. They have cried and comforted. They have done all they can to make life a little easier for those who need it most.

Just as the water lines on the walls will remain as a reminder of the floods of 2022, so too will the memories of those who stepped up to lend a hand.

Everyone at REINSW extends a heartfelt thanks to all those who pitched in. We honour each and every one of you for your generosity, perseverance, hard work and determination.

Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate

Images Courtesy Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate


Gary Ghilardi kayaked more than 2 kilometres into the Lismore CBD to review flood damage at his agency’s office.

“We lost everything,” Gary Ghilardi, Rural and Lifestyle Agent at Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate, said. “Pens, printers, desks, chairs and even our reception desk, which was only replaced after the 2017 floods, floated out the door.

“We have a rent role of 850. Of those, 165 residential properties, 39 commercial premises and 151 storage sheds went under water. It’s been a massive mission to clean out houses and start insurance claims.

“The generosity of people who helped and the spirit of the community was awesome.”

Arnold Property

Images Courtesy of Arnold Property


Chris Arnold and his mates camped out at St Joseph’s Church in Coraki to help local residents clean mud from their homes.

Chris Arnold, Sales Director at Arnold Property located at The Junction in Newcastle, opened his home to donations. Filling his car and trailer, he travelled to Coraki with friends to distribute the donations and pitch in with the clean-up effort.

“I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “It was quite upsetting to see how the floods were affecting people, but being able to hand out gift cards and donations to people in need was uplifting.”

Belle Property Byron Bay/Lennox Head

Images Courtesy of Belle Property

The ‘Donate A Tub’ initiative collected much-needed essentials for locals in need. The team also worked with families in West Ballina to clean up their homes.

After looking at what people really needed, the team at Belle Property Byron Bay/Lennox Head came up with the idea to ‘Donate A Tub’. They created a GoFundMe page to support the initiative and tubs of essentials like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, detergent, towels, feminine hygiene products, food basics and more were distributed to recovery centres in Wardell and West Ballina.

“We’re all in this together and, as a community, we need to look after our own,” Ben Forsyth, Sales Agent at Belle Property Byron Bay/Lennox Head, said.

LJ Hooker Lismore

Courtesy of LJ Hooker Lismore

The team at LJ Hooker Lismore coordinated donations of critical items for distribution to the local community.

A week after the LJ Hooker Lismore office was officially opened by the Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg, the floods hit. The purpose-built office was meant to withstand the previous highest flood waters, but notwithstanding this the damage was extensive.

Despite the heartbreak, Michelle Mitchell, Principal at LJ Hooker Lismore, repainted the office front to inspire and share the love the agency team has for the community.

PRD Lismore

Images Courtesy of PRD Lismore

The team at PRD Lismore worked together to clean out what was left of their office.

Just two-and-a-half-years old, the fit-out at the PRD Lismore office was left in ruins as the water levels reached close to the top of the ceilings.

The whole team rallied around and cleaned the offices once the water had subsided. They also worked alongside lots of locals, getting their hands dirty helping neighbors and strangers.

PRD Tamworth

Images Courtesy of PRD Tamworth

Essential goods on the way to those in need, care of the efforts of the team at PRD Tamworth.

The PRD Tamworth team created, promoted and executed the delivery of 13 tonnes of donated aid in response to the devastating floods in Lismore and the Northern Rivers.

The hashtag #fromtamworthwithlove was born form the collaboration of many Tamworth locals and businesses.

R&R Property

Courtesy of R&R Property

Backpacks for local school children.

The team at R&R Property collected donations for the Lismore School Backpack Drive to help as many students as possible to return to school with everything they need.

Ray White Sutherland Shire

Courtesy of Ray White Sutherland Shire

The team at Ray White Sutherland collected goods for flood-affected communities.

Nicole Taunton, Administration and Operations Manager at Ray White Sutherland Shire, was inspired by a previous flood experience in the Lockyer Valley in Queensland to gather donations for people affected by the floods. She put a call-out on the agency Facebook page and within 24 hours the office was swamped with donations.

“Our office looked like a supermarket,” Nicole said. “With so many people badly affected, we wanted to help and the Sutherland Shire community was so generous – and the father of one of our team members kindly offered the services of his transport company to deliver the goods safely to those in need.”

Elders Lifestyle Group

Courtesy of Elders Lifestyle Group

Members of the Elders Lifestyle Group pitched in to help the Lismore community.

Andrew Stokes and members of the Camden Haven, Port Macquarie and Kempsey teams of the Elders Lifestyle Group headed to Lismore to provide much-needed help to the community.

“One of the best parts of working in such a large team is that there are so many amazing people willing to help when needed,” Andrew said.

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