LUR 84 | Strategic Partnerships


You won’t have all the skills necessary to run a real estate business, but you can build strategic partnerships to have an efficient team who can help your business take off. Lisa Hylton’s guest today is Emma Powell, the owner/operator of Highrise Group. In this episode, you’ll learn valuable, straightforward strategies for building the right partnerships. The first step is to identify your strengths and stick to them. You need to know what you can do so you’ll know who to look for in making up for what you can’t do. Itching to find and connect with potential future partners for your dream team? Then you definitely have to listen to this episode!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here


Building Strategic Partnerships With Emma Powell

I’m super excited to have on the show, Emma Powell. She is the Owner and Operator of Highrise Group, along with her husband, Troy Powell. They have acquired 92 units in their first 18 months. They lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for many years after living in Austin, Texas for over twenty years. She’s also a parent of six homeschooled children, ages 22 through 8. She owns two warehouses to redevelop into 114 midrise units in Downtown Salt Lake City Opportunity Zone. They have extensive property management and construction management experience, as well as partnering in a variety of deals as a private lender, deal sponsor, co-owner, syndicator. Emma is a former real estate photographer. She specializes in small business project management with a Bachelor’s in Business Admin and Entrepreneurial Management with a certificate in Marketing Graphic Design. All of these things are just perfect for this business. Troy is the IT guy keeping the operations, running smoothly with his background in data science tech startups. As key credit partners and owners on several properties, they have experienced building teams to get creative transactions to the finish line. Thank you for coming to the show, Emma. I’m happy to have you.

I’m really glad to finally meet you. I love your mission of women in real estate. I’m fangirling on you.

Thank you so much. I’m excited to have you on. You have done many amazing things. To my readers, in this show, we are going to be touching on a couple of things. Primarily on the topic of building strategic partners, partnerships in real estate and talking about being a woman in real estate. We are females. It goes without saying. Getting out there and get started. We know where you live. You live in Salt Lake City. We also know that based on your bio, you have six children. What do you and your family love to do for fun?

Watch TV and I’m not joking.

What’s your favorite show? I’m sure the people want to know.

My husband watches a lot of cartoons and anime with them, which I think is great. They get to bond over that. I watch a ton of TV with them. It’s usually some drama, crime, thrill. I’m watching Harry Potter with my nine-year-old. My oldest and youngest are 23 and 9. My nine-year-old finally decided she wants to read a book and picked Harry Potter. We are pressing through all those movies.

One of the things from your bio that struck me was how in alignment your background is in the sense of the business admin and entrepreneurial management, then a certificate in Marketing Graphic Design. It feels like a layout.

LUR 84 | Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships: With mature communication, reading body language, and mediating, you can work with a lot of different people.


It’s funny because when I’ve got started in the family, I had people tell me, “You are not ready for this. You haven’t built up the business and the experience or the smaller rental. You are not ready.” I felt like I wasn’t ready but I knew people who were and they have a different skillset than me. It’s all about cross-training. It’s like you meet some people who are good at spreadsheets, numbers, finances and crunching. That’s very important. It can go bad if you don’t have a good financial manager on it and that’s not me. You look at some people you think, “They are perfectly suited to this.”

There are very few people who have the total package, who are good at networking, raising money, finding deals, screening, underwriting deals and then the asset management between the construction management, financial management. How many people do we know who are good at all those things? I can only think of one and I’m trying to do a deal with them. You’ve got to take what you already do, what you are already good at and you have to craft trade it into some ways to get involved in this business. Who would think that “I’m a graphic designer or a photographer, now I’m going to go buy multifamily.” It didn’t seem like a good fit but I have been able to turn that into social media marketing, content marketing and design all of our pitch decks like our 50-page slideshows to go in and raise capital. I’m not the capital raiser but I’m doing a lot of marketing for the team to be able to go out and raise capital. At first glance, it might not seem like a good fit but you just take your skills and make it work.

In your bio, you said that in the first year you had to acquire 92 units in the first eighteen months? How long ago was this transaction?

We had a house that we owned in the Southside of Austin that we sold in March of 2018. We didn’t have any other debt. We moved to Salt Lake. We were just renting a house and we owned our cars, no credit cards, no student loans. We’ve got this pile of cash and this house that we sold and we have remodeled. It was like a little hoarder house that we took over, blew the back out, put a new roof and made it into a beautiful custom home. When we sold it, we made some good money off of it like a live-in flip. I took that cash and loaned it out to somebody for almost a year while I was learning real estate. I bought a couple of things during that year with a little bit of extra cash that we had scraped up along the way.

My husband got lucky when he got laid off which normal people won’t equate with luck but he got a new job right away. He had a 4 or 3-month severance package from the company that laid him off because he’s one of the early employees. This came to a good package. For the first four months of 2018, he doubled his income. We took everything that he made from the job, the severance package laid off. We went and bought 1 or 2 houses with that money and then we ran out of money. I was able to get the cashback that was loaned out to the local real estate flipper and then go buy a couple more houses while I was still looking for that first commercial property. I found it in the middle of 2019. I put down earnest money and brought in the people. It’s more about the who, than the how. I don’t know how but I knew who because I have been spending that year networking and meeting people. I was able to bring them to the team and said, “I don’t know how to run these numbers. I don’t know how to raise this kind of capital. I can manage the asset because I’m a Business Manager but not that detail-oriented. I’m more of a big picture planner, delegate-based planner, not a dealer.” I was able to put that skillset together and build this team to buy our first commercial property. That was 50 units. It’s now 51. We rent it out. We added a new unit and they are rented out.

Podcasting is a networking tool. It’s a way to get in front of a lot of people. Click To Tweet

Between the couple of units that I bought with that cash and that severance package, and then getting 51-unit, after that I was pretty much out of money. I found a deal in Little Rock, Arkansas. I wasn’t planning on buying anything in Arkansas. I was not looking in that market but this thing came along and it was such a good deal. I started looking at Little Rock and I was like, “This is a great place to invest.” The only thing against that was the crime. I found the crime could be very pockety. Their war zones but outside of that, it’s a great place to live. We took that over and I had to go build some partnerships because I was out of money to bring the cash in to buy that, then that group has expanded into doing their own projects that I’m working with on some other stuff. That’s how we build that. That took us eighteen months for our first investment home, to a Little Rock property that brought us up to 90 to 93.

A couple of things here from what you talked about first, is the who not how. I don’t know if you are familiar, there’s a book called Who Not How by Dan Sullivan. It’s awesome. You are living it. There you go. Can you talk about the keys to building a team/partnership? You have continued to build several of them and you are in the middle of one, the 114 unit strategic partnerships. Can you talk about building phenomenal teams that you have learned, that you could share with other people who are thinking about building teams across their businesses and life in general?

I’m looking for three things in a partner. First, they’ve got to have cash. When I run out of money, I need money and so the people who are coming to me typically will have $50,000 to maybe $1 million. That’s what I’m finding. They don’t have to put the whole $1 million in one deal but they’ve got to spread it around. That’s typically I end up working with. They want to be entrepreneurs and active investors. They don’t want to be limited partners. I have had a niche of building joint ventures, a little bit easier but if you want to do a huge property of 50, 100, 150, it’s not enough. You have to have 20 to 50 people in there. That was security and the SEC is going to get involved. Try to stay away from that and just build joint ventures where people have actual jobs.

If they have some cash, what I’m looking for then next is the larger amount of cash you have, the more likely we are to be able to go get something done. I’m working on an idea for people with smaller chunks of cash. The other two things I’m looking for are somebody who are extremely honest and ethical. I want them to tell me the truth. I’m going to tell them the truth. I don’t like playing poker, guessing games, psychological games. I read books like negotiation books and like, “Why am I doing this? Why don’t you just tell them what I want?” I can tell you exactly what I want and then you can give it to me or not. If I’m getting exactly what I want and you feel like you are making out better on that deal, who cares? I’ve got exactly what I wanted. I’m going to put it out there. I like working with people who are super transparent, extremely honest and very ethical.

The third thing that’s important to me is, they are just easy to work with. I’m easygoing. If there’s a disagreement, we are going to talk about it. I would say with that one, I tend to take upon myself the responsibility on any team that I’m on, to be the one who’s studied and focused really hard on communication skills. I spend a lot of time reading communication books, modeling this book and even negotiating to a certain extent. I’m a very open negotiator but you still have to have those skills and mediation skills more than negotiation skills. We might have somebody on the team who does that than me but it’s my responsibility to be that person and guide everybody through any disagreements or any problems. For the most part, we haven’t had any problems but a few pick up that we have had. That’s the key to keeping any group on track, total transparency and mature communication skills.

You touched on easy to work with an honest and ethical. How do you screen for that?

It’s hard. There’s no background check you can do on that. If you do a background check, maybe your attorney can help you out or a private investigator. You can get it there like $35, run a credit check and a criminal background just like you would on any of your tenants. Now, I tell them, “You should run one on me because I am an open book. Here’s my information. Go ahead. I would never be offended.” If somebody doesn’t want me to run a background check on them, that’s a red flag right there. I haven’t had anybody object to it. A couple of people have said, “You will find blank in my background check.” That’s awesome. If they tell me about it before I go find it, that’s a green flag. How do they react to running a background check? How open are they with what’s in the background? If it’s nothing or if there’s something, the other thing is you just start talking to them.

Once you bring someone into the team, you are not closing the deal yet, you still have 1 or 2 months of working together before that deal closes. Sometimes, you get into a partnership with somebody just because they have cash. If you have cut them loose because they were not easy to work with, you are not going to be able to close that deal. You have to make that decision. “Are you willing to take someone into the team who seems like they are being a little difficult to work with during the extra period? Are you willing to work through that and do the deal? If they leave or you kick them out because it’s not working, are you willing to not do the deal? Do you have the capability of going and raising other money for somebody else who might be a better personality fit?” That’s a tough call, especially at the beginning. When you don’t know that many people with money, it’s not like you go to Walmart and pick those guys up off the shelf. Your network is small and you are trying to get stuff done so you might have some less than optimal partnerships with the beginning. That tends to sour people on partnerships. Don’t give up. The more success you have, the more access to humans that you will have. In the peak year, you are going to be able to be in future deals. Just get something done. Get some momentum.

Strategic Partnerships: Having communication skills will benefit you greatly in navigating your way in a business where you are in some way the minority.


As long as they are not a criminal, they are not going to steal from you and embezzle, there are some security things you build into the partnership to avoid that stuff, even if they are prone to do it, then you can work the personality complex if you get up to speed on. Mature communication, reading body language and mediating, making sure that everybody’s open enough that you can work with a lot of different people. Most people are easy to work with even if they don’t work well together. Why aren’t you getting along? You are both great to work with. In my opinion, that’s not that hard. I do harness that skill because whenever you can do that’s hard, that you don’t think it’s hard, it’s something you should probably be spending a lot of time doing.

What do you believe is your unique ability?

I have to say networking. What makes me a good networker is the fact that I’m a generalist. Like any good project manager, you are going to know a lot about a lot, you might not be a technical expert at any of those things. My role is technical expertise, graphic design and art background, in the way that I apply that to marketing. That’s my technical skill. If you are going to hire me to do something, that’s what it would be. I know a lot of what’s going on. Being a generalist allows me to have a conversation with an underwriter, construction manager, a capital raiser, organized, put things together. Being a generalist makes me a good networker because I have conversations with about anyone on any topic. If they know more than me, I’m able to learn from them. If I know more than them, I’m able to teach them. If we are about the same, we can bounce ideas off each other.

In terms of building strategic partnerships, you talked about networking and how powerful it is. What would you say are some of the effective ways to network?

With COVID, we have all seen how networking virtually can be. It still doesn’t live up to in-person meetings, get yourself to your local meetup, your real estate investors association, the REIA meeting, any kind of business networking meetup, especially if you are trying to raise capital from limited partners. I tend to spend more time with real estate investors. They want to be active partners, which is why I had to come up with a different niche for raising capital for a lot of people who want to be active partners. If you are wanting to raise money from limited partners, you are going to be more, your business networking events. I don’t know if you and I would be a good fit but those types of things where business people are getting together and talking about business, then those would be more people you would be raising from passively because they know they want to be in real estate and diversified but they don’t want to be a landlord. What you are looking for or try to figure out, “Do they like real state? Do they want to invest in real estate?” Go where those places are, whether they are active or passive. That’s the next delineation.

I tend to spend more time in places where I have potential active investors, just looking to get in their first deal or team up JV. I haven’t found the bonanza for limited partners yet. I am still working on that, which is why I don’t tend to do limited partner raises. I want on that network. For me, it’s in-person local events and then conferences. Start going to conferences and follow up. I had someone on my meetup. He’s very shy. He did not want to speak at my meetup. I knew him personally. I talked him into a little bit. He’s like, “This was a student in an interview-style because I can’t just talk for a long time. They all have a slide presentation. I don’t do public speaking.” I said, “You raise millions of dollars for real estate deals and I have never seen you on social media. I run into that conference once. How do you do this?”

He was like, “I was struggling with raising capital.” I said, “I want to go to one conference a month.” This is before COVID. He went to one conference a month and started collecting business cards and putting names into his little notebook. When he got back to his hotel room at night, he would email, text or both every single one of those people and enter them into his spreadsheet, a fancy CRM. You put them on for tea. The month between conferences, he would connect with every single little people they possibly could on the telephone. You had had a call like, “What are your goals?” They want us to be an active investor, maybe it was somebody I could partner up with the joint or their general partner. We were like, “I was there because I’m just experimenting.” They might become a passive investor. He doesn’t raise money, he just gets to know people. Once he gets out of the conversation, he categorizes what he’s contacted them. If they are a deal finder, manager, a limited partner. Just through managing that network, he has been able to raise millions of dollars without oversharing on social media.

Surround yourself with good supportive men and women who have done this before, who have a teacher mindset. Click To Tweet

For me, I like to overshare on social media. I want people to call me. What I do is I speak on shows like this one. It’s my favorite thing to do. Occasionally, someone reached out to me after a podcast interview and they will say like, “I don’t want to bother you. You are probably busy.” Especially if I have done a big-name podcast show. Podcasting, either hosting or guessing is a networking tool. It is a way to get in front of a lot of people. “We want you to reach out to us.” Let’s put that right there. If you hear someone on the podcast, reach out and contact them. We love it. We wouldn’t be doing podcast guessing if we didn’t love it. It’s a great way to meet people. For me, it’s one of those things that I can do that’s easy. For my friend, he doesn’t want to do this. It’s harder for him, but he does something else. For me, this is easy. This is the way that I enjoy meeting people.

Going back to the unique ability, when people realize their unique ability, they then play into that strength, which you spoke about before. That’s when businesses, in general, come alive is when you recognize your unique ability and you thinking about who not how the method of building your business accordingly. That brings me now to be a woman in real estate. This is still largely a male-dominated space. Advice you would give to women who are thinking about moving into this space in any kind of capacity or just moving into a male-dominated business industry. From your experience, how you been able to build your business over the years?

Anything difficult for you is probably something that you are going to tend to procrastinate and neglect. If being in a male-dominated business is extremely difficult, you are constantly being faced with sexism, hate dealing with it, don’t know how to deal with it, it is something you can overcome. It’s one of those things you’ve got to ask yourself, “Where do I fit into this?” Do you want to do large deals with a bunch of guys as partners? Would you prefer to maybe go on your own a little bit and build up slowly, like going from single-family to small multifamily to finally be able to buy your first twelve-unit with your own money and you can get your own loan? That’s the way to get into this. You are just building up your experience.

How many small properties do you need to own before you are financially independent? Do you need to own 100-unit buildings? If you don’t like dealing with these other people and you are feeling like it’s just always an uphill battle, maybe look at what you are good at, which might be, you are more independent and less dependent on partners. There are certain things that this will uncover about you that you may need to stare straight in the face and deal with. Self-confidence, among women, especially, runs into it a lot. They lack in self-confidence to be able to deal in a male-dominated industry, which for me, I don’t care about. I don’t know why I don’t care. This never bothered me. I used to play boys Rugby in high school.

My coach said we are starting a girls’ team. It came out and I was like, “What? Girls team? I don’t want to be on the girls’ team.” As a little kid, even in kindergarten, we would be playing with boy’s tape girls. I hated that. I always wanted to play girls tape boys because I could grab a tackle and go free my friends from the clutches of the evil boys. It’s never been an issue for me. If I have faced sexism, I’m one of those people who doesn’t notice. It may be there. I’m not the kind of person who makes friends easily. Now, I have just faced a lot of women who are like, “I don’t want to hang out with her.” I’m getting that from men, it may be because they don’t like me because there are plenty of women who don’t like me and it doesn’t have anything to do with sexism.

I would say, look at yourself and identify how comfortable you could still in that community and if you are the kind of person like me, who’s like, “Whatever,” while you are waiting, men, women, whatever, I don’t care. If it’s something difficult, you can look for an alternative path or you can learn about the things that are holding you back. Self-confidence, dive into that, figured it out. Is it because you don’t have enough construction management knowledge? Women tend to shy away from construction big time. It’s male-dominated, even more than real estate investing in general just go learn about and search it. Take on a project. You will get a friendly general contractor and will teach you instead of acting like that guy in the auto shop who’s going to talk down to you. Surround yourself with good supportive men and women who have done this before, who have a teacher mindset. I know plenty of men who have a teacher mindset and are happy when I’m asking questions and getting my hands dirty and being hands-on. I have learned a ton about construction management. I feel very comfortable in that role now. I’m not always the best construction management person on the team. If I am, that’s what I get to be in charge of that work being a generalist. It comes in handy.

What I took from this is, number one is the importance of self-confidence. A lot of women struggle with that like owning their place at the table and say, “This is what I want to do, you are going to have to deal with it and move on.” The persistence to keep looking for the right partnerships, looking for those right people. If you want to be in construction and you know that you are going to need to continue to grow and develop just because this person is mean or you don’t align with them, you and them, don’t connect doesn’t mean like, “I’m not going to keep going.” You just keep going and pivot until you meet people with who you connect and gel with then build from there. That’s what I took from it.

Have you ever walking away from situations where you are not sure why that didn’t go well and you were asking yourself? We lived in the Bible Belt for many years and sometimes I would walk away from an interaction. I would be like, “Do they not like me because we are Mormon and we are living in the Bible Belt?” We get up to Salt Lake City where everybody is Mormon and suddenly, people still don’t like me. I will have to ask that question anymore. “Do they not like me because I’m Mormon or they just don’t like me?” Do you ever walk away like, “Do they not like me because I’m a woman?” Even my husband, a white male has to walk away like, “They don’t like me because I wasn’t raised in wherever.” You are always asking yourself, “Is there something about you that they have a bias against, forming a snap judgment about?” You never know. You are only guessing. If the interaction does not go well, you don’t know why, you might be guessing, “Is it because I’m a woman? Is it because of my religion or my upbringing?” He gets the same thing like people don’t like him because he’s a white male. He’s getting the white privilege or whatever it is. He’s like, “I don’t know.” You will never know and that’s the thing. You are not going to know if the interaction is not going well. It’s not worth saving. Go back. Learn communication skills. Go have the tough, crucial conversation and say whatever it is that you need to say. It’s not worth saving. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.

LUR 84 | Strategic Partnerships

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

I would say we are going to go back to the communication skills of creating strategic partnerships. Those same communication skills are going to benefit you greatly in just navigating your way in a business where you are, in some way, the minority. We just don’t know what that is. Like I said, “Is it my religion? Is it my gender?” We don’t know but those communication skills are going to help you through it. Another way that’s helped me a lot, those communication skills, I have been learning about them, I see and hear things that women in particular do or say that make us target or victims. I will read about it in a book. For example, in body language, women don’t staple their fingers. This is a power position. If I’m in a situation where I’m trying to look for a little help, I might staple my fingers on purpose. I might do this at a meeting. I might do those little, tiny things that show that I don’t feel uncomfortable in the situation, even if I do, they can tell because you still are having little expressions in your eyes. They are reading it, so I don’t overdo it. Try and keep it a little bit natural.

Most women will walk into a situation and they are holding their elbow. You will see this in young women, especially, making their shoulders in and making this all smaller, you could see the difference between this and this. If you are in a situation and you are giving off those signals, people are not going to respect you. It might not be because you are a woman, it might just be because you look weak. You don’t want to go in and over posture. You certainly don’t want to go in from a position of weakness. You don’t want to say a lot of words like “I think that.” Don’t start with that or apologizing. That’s a big sign of weakness over agreeing, nodding, mouth with eye contact, when you are the one talking is a sign of weakness. I didn’t know this. We were supposed to make eye contact. You make eye contact when you are listening but when you are talking, you might be thinking, looking to the side, remembering something, using your hands, showing your palms.

These are all things that women tend to not do as well as men and the men are reacting to those signals. The men might not even realize that they are doing it but women who are facing a lot of sexism, sometimes have to look back and say, “Is it the men who are showing me sexism or is it me walking in there and acting like a typical woman and apologizing saying, ‘I think that this is a crazy idea but maybe it might work.’” Don’t incite more victimization on top of the already apparent handicap. You could say, “I am a woman, people can tell. I’m not going to go in there and do weak things on top of that.” For me, learning about communication, reflected a lot back on me. If I’m getting body signals from them that I’m not doing it correctly, I can make little micro-adjustments. That has been enormously helpful in surviving in a world where I’m in the minority.

That is beneficial. Much of that, one, I didn’t know about myself, and two, being open to knowing about this is pretty amazing. What triggered your decision to even learn? Was there an experience or did you decided that, “This was something I needed to learn more about to build my business?”

One thing, it doesn’t come naturally to me. If you have ever read Never Split the Difference, it’s a negotiation book by Chris Voss. He was just confirming something I already know because I have been working on this for years before I ever got into real estate. Chris Voss said in his book he’s a negotiator, he’s a top-level for the FBI. He was asking a police officer who was good at interrogation, how he did it. The police officer didn’t know. He could not identify what he was doing that made him so good at what he was doing. Years later, when Chris was studying it, he became an expert because he was consciously attacking the thing that he maybe wasn’t that great at. This guy who had a natural talent for it still was a police officer forever. He never went on to become a teacher or a practitioner of this thing. He kept doing what came naturally. Chris became better at it than the guy who was naturally gifted.

For me, because I’m not naturally gifted at communication but I talk a lot, I was noticing that I’m turning people off. I’m being too sarcastic. I’m offending people. I’m hurting people’s feelings. I’m being left out of things like, “Women don’t like the idea.” This was a problem for me. I was tired of it. I wanted to be around people where I could talk a lot and could let my natural personality show without offending people or annoying people left and right. I dove into this charisma and communication field because I was bad at it. I was watching people who are good at it, have much more success than me. It was hard for me but it was something I was interested in and very motivated to do. Through that process, I became better at it than maybe somebody who might be more naturally gifted. I still struggle with it.

My son has autism and you’ve got to wonder like, “Where did he get it from?” I don’t know. It’s a lifelong pursuit of mine, to read this, study this, watch TV shows about it, documentaries, anything about this topic to me is fascinating. The more I’m into it, the more I’m able to benefit from it. That’s one thing. It was hard for me but I was interested in it and willing to do the work because of that level of interest. I didn’t procrastinate. I didn’t put it off. It’s not like what’s hard for you that you shouldn’t do, it’s what’s not interesting for you that maybe you should avoid a little bit. That said, I have had to force myself to do things like learning how to underwrite and analyze deals. I don’t like it. I don’t think I’m ever going to like it but I can do it because I had to learn how to do it. There are certain things you are just going to have to suck at. That’s not where my focus is. I focus on my strengths and then my weaknesses. I try and make them as little of a handicap as possible.

It's not what's hard for you that you shouldn't do. It's what's really not interesting for you that you should avoid a little bit. Click To Tweet

Thank you so much for diving into this part. A lot of good key takeaways I’ve got from it. Having done these interviews with people, I can begin to tell when people have a level of vulnerability, that someone that I’m talking to does not. It’s like, I want to get in touch with that part of why people end up doing what they choose to do because that’s also very telling. A lot of people can resonate coming from that space as well.

I’m big into being transparent as I don’t like oversharing completely. little by little, it all comes out.

This now leads me to my level of questions that I asked all my guests. The first one is, what are you grateful for in your life right now?

Life has seasons. I don’t want to say that I’m grateful that I have kids and a husband because I had that years ago and would have it years from now. What I’m grateful for now is that we are closing in on our financial freedom goals, which have ruled my life for the last years. My kids are starting to notice like mom, “Where to go?” There’s a level of sacrifice. I am trying to stop a twenty-year career into about five years. I’m grateful that I’m calling in all goals and that we are able to start making plans around those goals than just dreaming about them. That for me, it’s a huge relief.

What has attributed to your success and continuous growth?

Playing to your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses while you are spending more time building your strengths than you are trying to build your weaknesses. Minimize the weaknesses is always great but spend more time focusing on what you are good at and what you can be a unique contributor. I’m not the only person who can do what I do. It’s not like a superpower but I do put myself into teams in that role. I surround myself with people who have different skillsets. That probably is the fourth thing that I look for. People who fill in my blanks. For example, I, would not do a deal with somebody very similar to me, even if I liked her because we are bringing the same skillset to the table. Continuous growth is surrounding yourself with people who fill in your weaknesses and spending most of the time building what you are good at.

What do you now know that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?

I wish that in my photography side hustles, I had taken that money and spent it on rentals instead of piano lessons and vacations because if I had sucked it up for five years and put down payments on maybe five rentals, we could have been taken vacations and horseback riding lessons on the backs of those rentals but instead, I was always putting it off. I was working for money and spending it rather than working for money, investing it and then spending the investment money. That’s where it changed and probably the biggest mistake that I have made.

If my readers want to learn more about you, where’s the best place they can go to learn more?

My website,, it’s got links to all my social, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. I’m, @EmmaPowell28 on Facebook and LinkedIn. On Instagram, I’m, @PassiveIncomeAdventures. That’s the fun stuff that we do as we are building up our own passive income, getting ready to retire. On the website, you can also book a call through my calendar app, send me an email or if you want to schedule an interview, there’s a whole page for that. That’s another networking tip right there. What are you good at, build your personal brand around that. I have a whole page of all the links to all the interviews that I have done and headshot bio, all that. My website is a good repository on how to get in touch with me. On the main page, there are lots of information on investing in multifamily, my portfolio and my background.

Thank you so much, Emma for coming on the show. I appreciate it.

Thank you so much. It has been great to get to talk to you finally.

Important Links:

About Emma Powell

LUR 84 | Strategic PartnershipsEmma Powell is the owner/operator of Highrise Group along with her husband of 23 years, Troy Powell, acquiring 92 units in their first 18 months. They currently live in Salt Lake City UT after 20 years in Austin, TX and are parents of six homeschooled children ages 22 to 8. She owns 2 warehouses to redevelop into 114 mid-rise units in a downtown Salt Lake City Opportunity Zone.

They have extensive property management and construction management experience, as well as partnering in a variety of deals as private lender, deal sponsor, co-owner, syndicator, and Emma is a former real estate photographer. Emma specializes in small business project management with a BS in Business Administration and Entrepreneurial Management with a certificate in Marketing Graphic Design. Troy is the IT guy keeping the operations running smoothly with his background in data science tech startups. As Key Credit Partners and owners on several properties, they have experience building teams to creatively get transactions to the finish line.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Level Up REI Podcast Community today: