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Anissa Cavallo, the founder of Eda Property

Founder Friday: Anissa Cavallo’s impactful story of growth and resilience

I don’t compete. I have my market, which is sometimes people that other businesses don’t target. I seek out differences. I do it obsessively. I want to be different, I want to innovate.

Anissa Cavallo

Anissa Cavallo is a passionate entrepreneur dedicated to empowering middle-aged women through property investment. As the founder of EDA Property, she uses her expertise to offer personalized mentoring, coaching, and strategies for building wealth, helping women secure their financial futures.

Anissa’s journey is defined by her determination to overcome challenges. Starting with a law degree, she balanced a demanding career in financial services while raising her children—juggling board meetings with caring for her newborn. Despite starting from scratch in property investment, Anissa successfully built a portfolio of ten properties while supporting her family.

In 2018, Anissa faced a difficult divorce that led to near-bankruptcy and losing all her properties. By 2019, she and her children moved in with her parents, but Anissa persevered. By 2021, she had rebuilt her life and portfolio, now owning an impressive 17 properties.

Today, Anissa’s journey is a testament to resilience and success, culminating in EDA Property becoming a thriving seven-figure business. Her story inspires others, showing that with determination and strategic thinking, financial empowerment is achievable for all.

Anissa Cavallo’s Journey

Anissa Cavallo didn’t consciously decide to start her business—it just happened, and she believes that’s often the best way to start. After working from 6 am to 7 pm with two babies in day-care as a financial services expert, she was burnt out. She decided to take some time off and enjoy what she had worked hard for.

However, she soon realized that despite working in an industry that helped people retire and build passive income, she was nowhere near replacing her executive income. Although she was good at finding and building quality investments, they had not accelerated her wealth enough to give her work-life balance. She decided to sell the two properties she had bought, intending to use the proceeds to invest in something that would provide a better income. These two properties had made her more money in five years than her superannuation (according to ASIC calculators) would make her in the next twenty years. 

“I knew nothing about property. I had a light bulb moment,” she recalls.  “I realised that if a bad performing property could make me wealthier than an excellent investment portfolio, what could I achieve if I used my financial services and research experience to really nail property investment. After 6 months of gardening leave, I was performing so well I was approached by people in the industry to help their clients – and my husband of the time said, hey – I think you’re running a business.”

Work-life balance has always been a critical issue for Anissa. “I’ve been a hard worker since I was born virtually. I love work. But I realized that even though I had reached the pinnacle of my career, working with some incredible investment houses in Australia and becoming an executive at a young age, the sacrifice as a mother was too much,” says Anissa. She recalls the heart-breaking moment when the day-care centre, which took her son at six months of age, excitedly exclaimed, “This is the youngest baby we have had.” That moment was pivotal for her. “I wanted to enjoy life with my children. They inspired me,” she shares.

Learning the Hard Way

 I have also allowed the business to fund itself. I have never grown beyond the natural growth of the business. If the business can’t afford it, I don’t do it. 

Doing it for love and meaning, Anissa is very hands-on, showing people what she has been through and what she has achieved. “Being an example is so important. In some ways, my divorce and loss of everything was the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me change my relationship with money and learn how to teach other people to do the same,” Anissa reflects. “Having a story, not a product to sell, is the best marketing we will ever have in business. I certainly have a story.”

She has also allowed her business to fund itself, never growing beyond its natural growth. “If the business can’t afford it, I don’t do it,” she states simply.

Anissa understands her strengths and weaknesses well. “I know what I do well and what I don’t. No one expects me to be an administrator—I am terrible at that. I am happy to admit my flaws and celebrate what I am good at. It earns a level of self-respect that permeates to clients,” she concludes.

Anissa thrives on innovation and differentiation. “I don’t compete. I have my market, which sometimes includes people other businesses don’t target. I seek out differences obsessively. I want to be different, I want to innovate. I love it when competitors tell me we do things the wrong way or make life too hard for ourselves. I’m committed to offering a real service, not a sausage factory, and that sets us apart enormously,” she explains.

EDA Property stands out because of its sophisticated and fool proof approach to investing, underpinned by extensive experience in financial services, research, and product creation. “We use no gimmicks, no latest trends—just data. I’m guided by facts, not a salesperson’s pitch or a commission payment. When clients say we’re ‘invested’ in their success, it’s the biggest compliment for us,” says Anissa. She even recalls telling a service provider who suggested managing client expectations, “We don’t manage expectations, we exceed them.”

Leveraging Strengths

You need to get people to do the things you’re not good at. And pay the right amount of money for it. Get agreements in the place, protect yourself. Imagine the worst thing that could happen, and then protect yourself against it. 

Talking about challenges Anissa says that she learned a hard lesson about not dotting her i’s and crossing her t’s. “As a law student and financial services professional, you would think that I knew better. But I am still driven by a handshake and a relationship. That is just not good enough in business. You need to get people to do the things you’re not good at and pay the right amount of money for it. Get agreements in place, protect yourself. Imagine the worst thing that could happen, and then protect yourself against it,” she advises.

Anissa recounts a situation where she signed contracts without reading them properly, trusting a very strong relationship with a supplier. “I am now in a battle to be paid for work that I have completed. While I could go to court, the expense and the pain of court are not worth it. I may as well write it off. And all of this could have been avoided if I had read my contracts properly and paid someone else to give me advice if I was too time-poor.”

Yet, Anissa acknowledges the need for balance. “Now I am going to contradict myself a bit. So yes, you have to do the administration and the legals, but there is also a part of you that you need to follow intuitively. And, if someone doesn’t treat you well, or make you feel good about yourself—if you doubt them consistently and their motivations—be quick to get rid of them. Don’t try to find the good in people; it’s not your job in business. Just work with good people! There are so many like-minded people out there that will help your business and you thrive. Seek them out obsessively.”

Business Advice from Anissa

“You will not work smart, you will work hard for a long time, so buckle in. But it’s worth it. Assume you have about ten years of hard work before you can start taking breaks and enjoying the spoils,” Anissa says. She emphasizes the importance of outsourcing tasks you are not good at and focusing entirely on your strengths. “Be proud of what you are good at, and as a result, what you’re not good at. There is no shame in knowing your limitations.”

Finding balance is also critical. “Make time to exercise. Cancel an appointment if you have to. If you are not moving your body, you have no chance to manage the long-term stress. Physical fitness has been paramount to my success. I don’t see it as a luxury or time for me; I see it as critical to the business.”

And finally, Anissa underscores the importance of investing in quality personnel. “Pay for good people. Pay for good people, pay for good people. It will cost you a fortune if you skimp on personnel!”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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