Placemaking Pioneers

Chris and Tammy Laval

Mackay City Property

Tammy and Chris Laval’s story is one of serendipity and shared adventures. Meeting on the idyllic island of Moorea, Tahiti, they forged a connection that would endure through various twists and turns.

“Our love story is pretty special given we met in one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” Chris said.

“We were both working for the same company in Moorea and my office was right across the hallway from where Tammy’s was.”

Their drive for adventure took them to Bangkok, where they embraced new roles in an International School, exploring life and love in the vibrant city. Later, they reunited in New Caledonia, navigating odd jobs and uncertainties before deciding to make Australia their permanent home.

Arriving in the Whitsundays, they climbed the corporate ladder together, but with the arrival of their children and changes in the hospitality industry, they made the pivotal decision to return to Mackay. Chris embarked on a new career path by joining Tammy’s father in real estate in a partnership role. He later grew it into a large franchise before taking it solo with Tammy re-joining him as a working mother. A year later they welcomed Sandra Macklin as a business partner.

Their collective efforts have established Mackay City Property as a formidable force in the local real estate landscape, renowned for delivering quality personalised service.

Tammy said that their client testimonials speak volumes, with the Property Management Team earning the prestigious No. 1 status in Mackay on RateMyAgent.

“Additionally, the combined efforts of the sales and rental teams have propelled Mackay City Property to become the highest-reviewed real estate agency in Google rankings,” she added.

Chris said the business thrives on the foundation of trust, integrity, and genuine relationships that have been cultivated over the years.

“It's not just about turning a profit; it's about providing a sustainable career path and a secure future for our team,” he said.

“In an ever-changing market, we've weathered tough times by remaining honest, professional, and respectful of our clients' needs. Adaptation and continuous improvement are at the core of our ethos, ensuring that we always strive to deliver excellence in everything we do."

Chris, once a seafarer hailing from an island, found solace in the depths of nature when he traded his maritime adventures for a camera. Photography became his new passion, leading him to remote corners of the region to capture the raw beauty of wildlife. Recently, during a family campover in Eungella, Chris had an encounter with a platypus, capturing the playful creature on film as it rolled and scratched on a riverside rock—a moment akin to witnessing a scene from a David Attenborough documentary come to life.

Advocating for Mackay’s city heart, Tammy has immersed herself in community placemaking through her involvement with MKY City Heart Collective. She has taken the lead in coordinating the Bee Mindful Mural, set to be installed in the 7th Laneway of the City Heart, coinciding with World Bee Day, bringing art to public spaces, and fostering a sense of identity and belonging within the community.

"For me, it's about more than just painting murals; it's about transforming urban spaces into vibrant hubs of creativity and connection,” she said.

“Now that I've had a taste of what and how that can be achieved, I'd like to see more done.”

Best thing about working with each other?

Chris: “Being in a family business together is cool.

“You build something more than just a family, you also build a legacy.  

Most challenging thing about working together?  

Tammy: “Like any relationship, when there is disharmony, how you both move on from that, is the tester, and defining where your work-life balance sits is essential.  

“Add to that, having to adapt to life's challenges and changes, how you navigate that balance is the challenge and reward.”

Top tip for a peaceful work life with your partner?  

Chris: “Focus not just on building, but nourishing, the relationship and take plenty of time off as a couple.  

“Running a family business is taxing on time, make sure you always check in with each other making sure it’s really what you both want.  Re-evaluate and adjust if necessary.  At the end of the day, the most important aspect is each other, never lose sight of it.