22 October 2021

Civium Property Group's interstate growth built on strong Canberra foundations

| Katrina Condie
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Civium Property Group CEO Doug O'Mara among company employees

Civium Property Group CEO Doug O’Mara has now expanded his Canberra-based business into three Australian states. Photo: Civium Property Group.

Civium Property Group has its roots firmly planted in Canberra, but the once small family business has spread its wings and now boasts thriving offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Doug O’Mara, CEO of Civium Property Group, has no plans to slow down his company’s growth. In fact, he intends to double the size of the organisation in the next five years.

He says since commencing operations in 2003, Civium has evolved into a one-stop-shop for property services, including strata management, commercial and residential property sales, leasing, insurance services, and building management.

The company has recently expanded to include a new project management division, headed by Matt Nicholls in Canberra.

“We were doing strata, commercial and residential property, but weren’t doing units so the natural progression was to start doing project marketing to supplement the services on offer,” says Doug.

“Two months in and our team is already doing project marketing for a range of multi-unit developments and private developer sites, including the new Whitlam subdivision in the Molonglo Valley, near Belconnen.”

With its head office in the ACT, Doug says Civium now offers a “holistic property solution” in the Canberra region, and he aims to continue expanding the company’s operations along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

“In Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane we only do strata management, but we’re looking to expand into commercial and residential sales and leasing in the coming years,” he says.

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Civium Property Group employs 70 staff in Canberra, most of who are locally born and raised, as well as 50 staff spread across the rest of Australia.

The growth of the business has given Canberrans who started out with the company an opportunity to live and work interstate without leaving the Civium family.

“We’re expanding our national footprint and taking advantage of the strong foundations we have built in Canberra,” says Doug.

“It’s great to offer the people who work for us and who have built their careers with us an opportunity to work in Melbourne or Sydney without having to leave the organisation.”

Doug says his staff, family and community are important to him, and he is proud of how his team has grown and the business has evolved during the years.

He’s also a proud Canberran who gives back to his community in any way he can, whether it’s supporting the National Heart Foundation, Camp Quality or the St Vincent de Paul Society, or sponsoring sporting teams and local schools.

“Canberra is a thriving city, but it still has good old country values,” says Doug.

Real estate office in Kingston

Civium Property Group CEO Doug O’Mara started out in a humble real estate office in Kingston. Photo: Civium Property Group.

When Doug started out in commercial real estate 27 years ago, he says he would never have dreamed that Canberra, or the property industry as a whole, would change so much.

“We’ve seen enormous changes in the industry, and the advances in technology have had a significant impact on our business,” he says.

“When I first started, I didn’t even have a computer on my desk. We had a secretary with one computer between four or five of us, and we had to unplug the phone to send a fax.

“Now we employ 35 digital workers within our business and have amazing strata software to do a lot of the jobs that people used to spend a lot of time doing, such as invoicing and reconciliations.”

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Technology has also ensured the business has been able to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

“Generally, we’ve been able to operate effectively even though Melbourne was completely shut down for 250 days and Sydney was locked down for three months,” says Doug.

“In the strata management space, we’ve been innovative and staff are working from home.

“The real estate business has been relatively unaffected after coming off a record year of growth, but the past lockdown has hit hard for some of our commercial tenants who are really struggling and may not reopen post-lockdown.”

Civium Property Group's head office in Canberra

Civium Property Group’s head office in Canberra, where 70 staff are employed in strata management, property leasing and sales, as well as the new project management division. Photo: Civium Property Group.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for some Canberrans, Doug says the city will bounce back and he’s excited about what the future holds.

“It’s been exciting to see the development of the CBD and surrounding areas during the years,” he says.

“People who were here 20 or even just 10 years ago, wouldn’t recognise Canberra now.

“It has really become a great, thriving, innovative city, but we still have the values and space of living in a country town.

“Canberra has the best of both worlds.”

Find out how Civium Property Group is looking to the future and taking a progressive approach to technology by delivering unrivalled value for its clients in Canberra and beyond.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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