When Susan Farquhar first got into the real estate industry, she wanted to create an ecosystem for her clients in which they could create a secure future. This came true in the form of Calla Property, a leading Australian real estate property investment company. Established in 2014 by Susan herself, Calla Property Insights is an award-winning research methodology that consistently identifies the right property, in the right place at the right time throughout the continent of Australia.
“Our clients let us know how much money they have to invest and we match their investment strategies to the right property based on a proprietary research methodology that is extensive and multi-award winning,” explains Susan.
Driven by a team of property investment specialists and combined with research-driven property recommendations, Calla Property leads its clients to the best property options as per their unique financial goals. Susan says, “We’ll help you minimise investment risk and gain more returns by recommending the best property for your strategy.”
Finding the Perfect Match
Although finding a residential property to invest in might sound simple, understanding what goes into a high-performing investment with solid growth and good returns, takes years of experience and a thorough research methodology. At Calla Property, Susan and her team of research experts start by focusing on the MACRO drivers of growth, helping identify the timing of the market so that every property has strong capital growth quickly.
Simultaneously, the strategic MICRO variables focus on location risk and rental risk, helping Calla pinpoint the right property in the right location. Susan says, “We’re looking to de-risk your property investment and the micro research ensures that your property will be in a desirable location, that attracts good quality tenants and is well built with a good level of inclusions and quality building materials.” Additionally, the company also demonstrates the cash flow, both before and after tax, to ensure that its clients understand the holding costs of their investment without any surprises.
A 100% Australian-owned and operated establishment, Calla Property is dedicated to helping its customers achieve their financial goals through smart property investment. Calla Property Insights is the name of the complex research methodology this is constantly being worked on by Calla Property’s team of researchers. New locations are uncovered as markets change and new builders are vetted, allowing for new properties to be added to its portfolio, “ensuring you can rely on us to guide you through your investment decision from start to finish.”
Building Dreams Together
Susan founded Calla Property to help build dreams. It is the ‘WHY’ of her company and is the compass point used to navigate all decisions within the company and outside of it. “We start each performance review with the question – ‘is working at Calla Property still Building Your Dreams’. This determines the focus of the review,” she says.
What sets this company apart from the rest of the industry is the care factor that is abundantly visible in every interaction and transaction. Susan says, “We genuinely believe that investing in property is the best way to grow your wealth, in Australia.” This is why Susan and her team first take the time to understand every client’s ‘why’. They then go out of their way to ensure that every customer feels 100% comfortable with their decision and has all the information they need before committing to the property investment. Susan says, “We don’t do transactions, we build long-term relationships. 98% of our clients are referred from previous clients and referral partners who understand this industry and how unique we are.”
On developing a clear understanding of the property investment goals, Calla searches for and selects the best property within their portfolio to fit the personalized strategy of every client, making Calla a minimum-risk property investment solution. We have access to a large variety of property to ensure that the client’s strategic goals are met and in line with their budgets and investment structures.
At present, Calla Property has offices in two states in Australia – Sydney and Brisbane, and an office in Manila, Philippines.
A Resolute Property Expert
One of Australia’s leading investment property experts, Susan Farquhar built Calla Property on a proven research methodology that achieves consistent capital growth for her clients. Backed by her MBA studies with mortgage and financial planning qualifications, Susan is in a unique position to understand how individuals feel about money and debt and will empower them to make better financial choices. “I am passionate about property and passionate about helping clients to grow their wealth safely and securely,” she says.
Having spent a lifetime investing in property, Susan has had many life lessons along the way. “I made some critical mistakes when I was younger,” she says. “By the time I was 26, I had invested in 6 properties. Then over 3 years, I was hit by 3 life-changing events that changed my circumstances.”
This resulted in Susan having to sell most of her investment properties and it was then that she realised how sub-par those investments were. While some of her properties made no money, despite paying for loans, others had gone backward. “I remember very clearly thinking that if only I had bought just one property in the City my situation would have been very different.”
When she got back on her feet, Susan went back to her research training and started to think about everything she needed to consider before her next investment to make it a fruitful one. “I worked on it until I had 20 drivers of growth and cash flow. Since then, Calla Property Insights, the research methodology that uncovers the best residential properties in Australia to match our client’s investment strategies, has grown to 100s of points of data and is accurate,” she shares.
"There are many different strategies when it comes to property investment and real estate… Don’t be afraid to make mistakes… Persistence and tenacity will eventually win"
As a leader, Susan believes in 'Leading from the Front' and being the best example, she can be. “If you work for Calla, you are Calla. We embrace Kaizen, or our fun version of it, which is about constant improvement towards excellence.” To her, recognition and giving a voice to the people is the key to successful leadership.
A transparent and caring leader, Susan often tells her team, “Not only am I building the plane while I’m flying it, but I’ve also never seen a plane! I don’t have any corporate experience, yet I’m building a company from scratch.” Building foundations for a global company is far different that anything she has ever done before. While sometimes this may cause a certain amount of self-doubt, Susan drives her strength from the years she has spent in the field and the lessons she has learned on the way. That enforced with a proprietary multi-pronged strategy for property investment has led to the success of Calla and its employees.
“I’ve been ‘falling forward’ all of my life. Learning the lessons and moving towards what has felt right for me. Learning and studying as I go. But this is where I’ve finally landed. This is exactly where I’m meant to be. It’s such a privilege to love my work, my people, and my purpose every single day,” shares Susan.
Embracing Change and Evolving
The real estate industry is constantly changing. Keeping up with the times, Susan and Calla continue to add to its invaluable property services. Recently, the company has further expanded its offerings to include a new product Calla Air which uses the same dynamic pricing algorithm as Air BnB, Stayz, and Bookings.com. This has resulted in a much higher cash flow than the typical long-term stays and has protected larger portfolios from rising interest rates.
Additionally, the operating system adapted and developed at Calla is considered to be one of the best in the industry. “We’re currently working on an app for a client to access all the information on their portfolios, including the documents relevant to each property acquisition,” says Susan. This will allow clients to see the progress of their property acquisition from the submission of their Expression of Interest to property settlement.
As a real estate figurehead, Susan enjoys constantly reading and learning about how to build a better business, how to offer more value to her clients, and how to be a better leader. “I invest significant resources in doing and being the best, I can be. As I leader I aim to provide the best service and value offering there is for investors of Australian residential property,” she shares.
To other business leaders, Susan says, “Work out what your ‘Why’ and the rest will follow. There are many different strategies when it comes to property investment and real estate… Don’t be afraid to make mistakes… Persistence and tenacity will eventually win. And have some fun along the way.”