Posted November 15, 2018 15:03:32The funeral industry in Australia is in a crisis, with funeral directors facing a sharp drop in revenue as funeral costs soar and the number of people expected to pay a private funeral rises.
The industry has been hit by a surge in funeral fees over the last year and a half as funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoriums have seen an increase in business.
“I think it’s been a very tough year for funeral directors,” says Steve Brown, a funeral director in Sydney.
“The business is doing really well, but we’re not getting enough people to come to our services.”
Our turnover is actually up for the last three years.
We have a lot of people who come to us because of their work and they’re looking for someone who’s going to help them to pay their bills.””
The number of funerals is up, the number who go are down, the people who go there are going to be a lot younger, and we’re all working very hard to make sure we get more people into our business.
“The rise in the funeral industryThe growth of funeral services in Australia over the past three years has been exponential, with the number in Australia expected to increase by 2.2 per cent to 4.5 million in 2018-19.
But for funeral home owners, the boom has been difficult to keep up with.”
In February, the Government announced that funeral costs would rise by $20 per body in the next five years. “
We’ve just been hit with a massive increase in the cost for the cremation.”
In February, the Government announced that funeral costs would rise by $20 per body in the next five years.
But funeral directors say they are still struggling to keep pace.
“We are very much in the black, we have no choice,” says Cairn.
“It’s just become a race against the clock to make money.”
“It’s not a matter of if we’ll go out of business, it’s just when.
“Our turnover hasn’t been there for a while and we’ve had to make a lot more work to keep it afloat. “
We’re struggling to survive, but at the same time, we are very happy that we can still make money and we can get more bodies in the ground.””
Our turnover hasn’t been there for a while and we’ve had to make a lot more work to keep it afloat.
We’re struggling to survive, but at the same time, we are very happy that we can still make money and we can get more bodies in the ground.”
What to expect at a funeralA funeral home’s main costs are for the services, and the cost is split into two parts.
The first part is funeral and cremation.
“If we are going for the cheapest possible cost, we need to take care of that first, and then the other parts of the funeral business come into play,” says Brown.
The funeral agency then makes up the rest of the costs.”
Then we have a third part of the business that is a funeral services agency.”
The funeral agency then makes up the rest of the costs.
The main costs of a funeral agency are for funeral services, funeral director fees and for the cost to the casket or other equipment.
“When you have a cremation, we actually have to pay for the cinder blocks, we do all the cleaning, we put the head out and then we have an office to put it in,” says David Williams.
“There’s some equipment that’s required for the funeral and then there’s the caskets, the head, all the equipment that we need.”
For funeral directors, the business model is a nightmare.
“Every year, the fees increase,” says Williams.
“Every year there’s a big increase in fees.
Every year, we’re working on new products that are coming in, and that’s why we’re seeing our turnover going up.”
The first three months of 2019 saw a significant rise in fees, but it’s a trend that will only continue in the coming months.
“It’ll be interesting to see how much that rises to, but from the first quarter of next year, I think we’re definitely going to see a big jump in fees,” says Mr Williams.
Families often spend thousands of dollars to visit a funeral, but many of them will never receive the final product.
“Most families don’t have the means to get to the funeral that they’re going there for,” says Chris MacLeod, the managing director of Funeral Services Australia.
“So there’s very few options available to families for the final service, and it’s really important that they are aware of what the options are.”
“We want to see as many people as possible in attendance at the final services, so we need as many of those people as we