by Inge Hansen
WHEN Jessica Ferguson fell pregnant last year, three of her colleagues happened to follow suit sparking a baby boom in the Ray White Whitsunday office.
"It was so funny but it was good to have that strong support in the office,” business developer, Jess said.
After the birth of Jess's daughter Ivyanne, head of maintenance Erin Rasmussen gave birth to her daughter Tenielle Atkins three months later.
Shortly after, former assistant to Ray White Whitsunday owner Mark Beale, Jennifer Rattray gave birth to Lachlan.
Ending the baby boom was commercial property department manager, Tracey Oates with her daughter Lila Jones.
Having worked in the real estate business, the women had a regular insight into life in the Whitsundays and knew it was the perfect place to raise their growing families.
"I've got two other kids who are eight and 10 and we moved from the Gold Coast,” Erin said.
"We came up here and it's been great with the school and the small community.”
Echoing Erin's view was Tracey who said the lifestyle was perfect for raising a family, with the weather and being able to have a swimming pool at home a huge bonus.
Arriving in Airlie from America as a backpacker five years ago, Jennifer said the area was the last place she wanted to raise a family but working in real estate quickly changed her mind.
"When I started working for Ray White I noticed it was a community and I started to meet lots of people,” she said.
"I started to realise there were other things to do here other than go out to the pub and from there, I started to look for opportunities to own a home and property.”
For Jessica, it was a case of "when I married my husband, I married Airlie” but it was an easy lifestyle change having fallen in love with the intimate town.
Owners Mark and Belinda are parents themselves and the women said they received invaluable support from the couple at work.
"It's such a great place to work and Mark and Belinda were so supportive throughout the whole process,” Jessica said.