8 March 2024

Powerhouse industry stalwarts expand Civium's residential projects division

| Dione David
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Wayne Harriden and Cassandra Cumberland

Civium’s Wayne Harriden and Cassandra Cumberland. Photo: Civium.

With thriving strata, commercial real estate and property management arms, a gap in Civium’s client offering appeared – and has been quickly plugged.

Wayne Harriden has joined Civium to run a dedicated project marketing team alongside fellow Canberra property stalwart Cassandra Cumberland.

Wayne says the move has opened up a world of possibilities for Civium’s clients.

“It’s a new business within an existing business, so while there’s a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from, this is an opportunity to present a more contemporary offering that can evolve, without being hamstrung by legacy issues,” he says. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Wayne says project marketing – an area in which he and Cassandra have about 30 years of combined experience – is and should be changing as rapidly as the market needs.

Specifically, there’s little space left for a “one size fits all” approach.

“So much work goes into these projects, and each element is decided on a case-by-case basis. It stands to reason that the marketing should be tailored to each project,” he says.

“This is the feedback we’ve received from clients. In the past, marketing has tended to follow the same formula and strategy across all projects, and it’s just not working anymore.”

READ ALSO Civium’s new CEO Kylie Dennis joins chairman Doug O’Mara in leading the company’s next chapter

Over the past five years or so project marketing has come into its own as a “specialist industry”, rather than an add-on to a residential real estate business, according to Wayne.

For a business wanting to take it to the next level for clients, it’s a must-have.

“You need people dedicated to a particular project, and nothing else. You need people manning your displays, getting development plans ready to go to market; they need to work on all that and nothing else,” he says.

“Developers have recognised this for a long time, which is why they so often hire their own salespeople to focus on a project.

“That’s why our approach will be tailored marketing, and a sales strategy to suit each specific program and the demographic it’s aimed at.”

3D rendering of a hand draw architecture project with a tablet showing the finished house

Project marketing is changing rapidly, and developers need a menu of solutions from advanced, cutting edge and contemporary to traditional, tried and tested. Image: Franck-Boston.

This approach will apply to all projects, including government sales, given that Civium is on the land panel for the Suburban Land Agency.

Wayne is under no illusion the new offering will come without challenges, not the least of which is the industry’s ever-evolving needs – even within a single project.

“Projects take a long time to come to fruition, from the early planning stages to when people move in,” he says. “You have to stay on top of what the market wants and needs, and be ready to answer that.”

This can only be achieved by keeping abreast of the latest developments and trends and how they are best applied – anything from new technologies such as interactive displays to new approaches, or old approaches that still work.

READ ALSO Civium Property acquires Independent strata arm ahead of proposed national expansion

Wayne says ultimately developers, and the people who buy from them, need a comprehensive menu to choose from.

“Ultimately it’s about listening to the market, interpreting what they’re looking for in the delivery of a project that actually meets their needs, rather than simply saying ‘Here it is, take it or leave it’,” he says.

“What we’re hearing from potential buyers at the moment is that people want future-proofed properties. That can mean anything from EV chargers to solar panels, onsite hot-desking – whatever it may be, they’re after a property that will suit their lifestyle.

“Part of our job is to keep our finger on that pulse, find out what’s resonating and what’s not, and advise developers so they can come up with a purchase people are waiting for.

“It’s a continuation and an extension of what I have been passionate about for many years, but with a new approach. It’s so freeing to be able to have a conversation with a developer where anything’s possible.”

For more information contact Civium.


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