25 July 2023

Civium Property acquires Independent strata arm ahead of proposed national expansion

| Katrina Condie
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Civium strata team photo

The new ‘blended’ Civium strata team. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Following the acquisition of Independent Property Group’s strata arm in May, Canberra’s Civium Property is in “advanced discussions” with real estate businesses beyond the ACT which could double the size of the home-grown company.

Civium managing director Doug O’Mara says the merger of the Independent and Civium strata teams is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the business that has been operating in Canberra for two decades.

“The acquisition places Civium as the largest strata management firm in ACT and we are now the largest 100 per cent privately owned strata firm in Australia,” he says.

“At the moment, our market share is 30 per cent in Canberra, meaning one-in-three strata properties are locally managed by our firm.

“Outside of Canberra – in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – our exposure is sub-five per cent, so we see enormous opportunity to replicate what we’ve been able to create here.

“We now manage close to 38,000 units across the country, working with a community in excess of 70,000 people.

“We are working towards opportunities that will potentially double our size, which will be a great story for a family-owned Canberra company.”

Acquiring the Independent strata division has resulted in the friendly merger of two of the ACT’s most well established and experienced property teams.

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Doug says both companies share a similar background and corporate style, with a strong focus on local knowledge, staff development and family values.

“Two of Canberra’s largest strata management firms have come together and, as part of the process, a number of the Independent members have taken up leadership roles with the Civium team,” he says.

“We see it as a coming together of two great teams, rather than an acquisition.

“The businesses both have an inclusive approach and similar heritage in Canberra, and it’s a testament to Independent CEO Kylie Dennis whose collaboration ensured this merger was successful for us and for them.”

Following 15 business acquisitions over the years, Doug says this latest deal is “probably the most seamless and smoothest we’ve done to date”.

Canberra’s expanded Civium team has settled into its shiny new office at a central location in Lonsdale Street, Braddon which reflects its position as a serious player in the property game. As well as strata management services, Civium also boasts the largest quantity of commercial stock for rent and sale in the territory.

The expansion brings across a group of experienced strata professionals to complement the Civium team and offers opportunities for staff to accelerate their careers in the property industry – both in the ACT and interstate.

“We are the only firm that can offer that career progression in Canberra because of our scale and size,” Doug says.

“We offer a really good opportunity for all our staff to progress from admin roles to strata manager, and from there to team leaders, and into senior leadership positions. There’s also the opportunity for staff to relocate to Victoria, NSW or Queensland.

Doug O’Mara is excited for the future growth of Civium Property Group. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

“Our leadership team that sits around the boardroom tables includes two staff members who have been with us for more than 10 years, and who both started in reception. This is a testament to how we look after and nurture our staff.”

While national expansion is on the cards, Doug says it’s important the company retains its Canberra roots and strong connection with the local community.

“Over the years our clients have been nothing but amazing and supportive of our growth,” he says.

“The majority of the business community in Canberra have had some direct involvement with us in some way or another over the past 20 years.

“We are blessed we can be part of a very parochial community that supports local business and local relationships.”

Doug says he’s excited for the future of Civium, which manages strata properties from Belconnen to Banks, as well as Queanbeyan and regional NSW, including several large apartment complexes such as Grand Central Towers and Element on the Kingston Foreshore.

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The team is also exceptionally skilled at managing and optimising the complexities associated with small to medium-sized schemes, comprising anything from five lots to large communities in excess of 800 units.

“Civium exists to empower our strata clients to make the right decisions on behalf of their strata communities, no matter their size or complexities,” he says.

“We now have an expanded team who can transition our client’s experience as part of an owner’s corporation from one of burden, to one of pride.”

Each property has a dedicated strata manager guaranteeing a personalised and professional level of service across all departments, plus a team of specialists working across the finance, insurance, and maintenance divisions.

Contact the experts at Civium Property Group today.


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I’m so glad these 2 companies have merged. Now instead of avoiding both companies, we only need to avoid one. They were the 2 worst strata managers in Canberra.

Gregg Heldon8:02 am 13 Mar 24

As a property owner that was under Independent and now Civium, I preferred Independent. And that’s saying something because they were just above average.

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