Elevate Your Equity

Ep 107 - Having Your Spouses' Back In Business and Family Success with Troy and Emma Powell

August 05, 2022 Derek Clifford Season 2 Episode 107
Elevate Your Equity
Ep 107 - Having Your Spouses' Back In Business and Family Success with Troy and Emma Powell
Show Notes Transcript

Get ready for a new episode of Elevate Your Equity podcast. Join us today with Emma Powell, an experienced speaker who's speaking about getting started in real estate by learning to network and learning to analyze deals, thinking bigger, scaling quickly and positive mindset. Along with her husband, Troy Powell, they partnered on nearly 500 units since 2018. On this podcast, they shared:

• Having the positive mindset in every real estate deals
• How they started investing in real estate with her husband
• Being on the same page with your spouse when investing in real estate


More about Emma and Troy. Emma has been featured on Business Insider and The Bigger Pockets Podcast, as well as many other programs and stages. She loves to talk and guest on real estate related podcasts or events with a talkative, easy to interview style.

Emma has experience speaking about getting started in real estate by learning to network and learning to analyze deals, thinking bigger, scaling quickly, a positive mindset with a down-to-earth attitude, and accepting with humor the imperfect balance of business success and personal life.

As the owner/operator of Highrise Group along with her husband of 25 years, Troy Powell, who have partnered on nearly 500 units since relocating to Salt Lake City 2018 after 20 years in Austin TX, as either general managers, capital raisers, or loan guarantors. They are parents of six homeschooled children ages 24 to 10.

They have extensive property management and construction management experience. Emma specializes in small business project management with a BS in Business Administration and Entrepreneurial Management, and a certificate in Marketing Graphic Design. Emma's favorite part of investing, other than passive cash flow, is creatively getting transactions to the finish line.

Thanks a bunch Troy and Emma Powell for coming on the show!

Unlock 3+1 degrees of freedom (time, location, financial + health) with our 5 Point Blueprint! https://elevateequity.org/podcastgift

If you really enjoyed this content and are looking for more, you can continue to learn more about us in several different places for free!


If you'd like to have a FREE copy of our 7 Ways Commercial Real Estate Syndications Protect and Build Wealth, simply click the link below. We are here and vested in your long-term success! elevateequity.org/7waysEbook

Introduction:

Welcome to the Elevate Your Equity podcast where we, as married busy professionals, leverage real estate investing to unlock the three plus one degrees of freedom, health, location, time and financial.

Derek Clifford:

Today, we've got a power couple in the house. We've got Emma and Troy Powell. Thank you guys for coming on the show. How are you today?

Troy Powell:

We're great, thanks.

Derek Clifford:

Awesome. Good to have you on the show. And for those listeners, who are just now getting to know Emma and Troy, they are experienced real estate investors general managers capital raisers loan guarantors and owners of high rise group alongside her husband, Emma's husband of 25 years, Troy, they've lived together and partnered on nearly 500 units and recently relocated to Salt Lake City back in 2018. After living 20 years in Austin, Texas, which is an amazing town, by the way, my wife is from Austin. So shout out to Austin, they have extensive property management and construction management experience, and most favorite part of investing other than the passive cash flow is creatively getting transactions across the finish line. And then of course, you know, you guys have a family, you've got six homeschooled kids with wide ranges of ages from 24 to 10. So it's a very busy household. First of all, welcome to the show. And secondly, can you guys give us a little bit of the history about how you found real estate investing, and how it got you excited, and how it ended you up here today.

Emma Powell:

So I'm told the origin story, a lot of times, I'm actually interested to hear it from his perspective, this is his first interview. So the background story?

Troy Powell:

Sure, it probably differs from where hers is. We had done some house hacking in Texas, where we would move into a new neighborhood, try to buy the smallest house that we could in the neighborhood, and be one of the first ones in there. And then let the builders drive up the value of our house. And then we do we live there for, you know, five or six years, and then we would move to another hay neighborhood. And we did that two or three times I were down there. And then our last home, we decided that we wanted to move into a fixer upper or remodel it, which we did and ended up adding probably about $200,000 in equity in the house before we moved up here to Utah. And so, my job, I worked for tech startups, and we decided to move up to Utah and work for some of the medical startups. So I ended up finding a company up here. But one of the criteria was that we had to move to a city that had a rugby team. So So you tie ended up being one of those. We have family up here. And so they that's kind of what drew us up here to Utah initially. And when we got up here, Emma had been running her own business down in Texas doing real estate, photography and wedding photography. And she didn't want to try and start the business up again, it was just too much work too much effort to get it up and running. Yeah, not passive. And so I had been paying a mortgage my entire life. And so I told her, Well, you know, it's not going to change, I'm still paying a mortgage. So let's not throw all that money at our house. You know, just take the money and do whatever you need to do with it and start your own business, whether it's real estate, or whatever you want to do. And so so she did. And I was super excited that she decided to do real estate with that. And then her goal, when she told me that she wanted to start it was that she wanted to be able to replace my income, so that we didn't ever have to worry about having a single income and losing the ability to provide for our family because of somebody else's decision. Yeah. So it's, so she jumped into it, she wanted to get into large multifamily right away. But we had no idea how to do that. And so we went to all the local meetups went to different to people presenting things, we we thought it was ridiculous that they wanted to charge, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars for you to go and learn how to do all of this where all the information is free on the internet, if you know where to look, we didn't know where to look. But we also didn't want to pay that that money to somebody else for them to just teach us and then not still not have a deal completed when we were done with it. And so our goal has been throughout this whole process is to learn about everything, and to try and remove those barriers to entry for anybody else, whether it's family or friends or anybody that we can find that will listen to us to show them how to get into real estate.

Emma Powell:

Not Not very many people listen. It's kind of funny. It's always the outside network that pays more attention and has more respect in the family and friends are like Oh, I hope you don't go bankrupt.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, you know, it's really funny how that works out. I can totally relate with that. Thank you very much Troy for sharing that story here. But I actually want to back up a little bit before that, too, because you guys got into the transition into multifamily when you guys made the move from Texas to Utah. But what you started off with is that you guys did some house hacks in Texas, if I remember hearing that correctly, right. So that means that before you guys got interested in multifamily real estate, there was some interest in real estate at the beginning. Can you guys talk about what that conversation looks like when you first either one of you approached the real estate side and said, hey, you know, we should, we should start looking at house hacking or looking at real estate as an investment from the beginning from the get go.

Emma Powell:

Back then nobody called the house hacking. It's not technically house hacking, because that would be turning a liability as Kiyosaki calls it, your house is not an asset, it's a liability. So house hacking is all about changing that liability into something that cash flows. And so I think technically, that's not what we were doing, what we were doing was enjoying forced equity. Like I said, those terms, we had never heard those terms before. I mean, the internet when we bought our first house had like four websites on it. So there just wasn't a lot out there. As long as that goes. But I had my parents had done lease options on their homes when I was growing up. And I didn't know a whole lot about it. I was one of the younger kids, and but I would hear them discussing it. So a little bit of osmosis. And I knew when I was about 10, I asked my mom like what my grandparents did for a living. And she said they were retired and I didn't know what that meant. And I was like, Well, how do you retire? How do you not work for money. And she said that he had a an Air Force pension. He flew bombers and World War Two for the Canadian Air Force. And he had made a million dollars in the stock market and was living off of that. And as a 10 year old, I was like, wait, what? Like you can make money and get money without working. And that always stuck with me. I remember a job interview I was doing in college where they asked why I wanted to work there. And I said it was a summer job. And I said I really want to make as much money as I can and set it aside and get it invested as residual income. And back then I had never heard the term passive income, investors residual income so that I can go to school and not have to worry about money during the school year. And he said, I don't think I've ever heard anybody say that when I asked them why they want the job. And that was when I realized that, that this is what everybody wanted. And what everybody talks about, oh, you get a million dollars and live off your dividends. You'd hear that every once in awhile, but nobody was actually doing it. And so I spent the next couple of decades just trying to figure out the stock market. Because I mean, my grandpa made a million dollars in stock market. So can I but every time I tried it was just a train wreck. I didn't actually like it. I was kind of understanding what was going on. But it was just a lot of charts and numbers and not that interesting. We even had some friends who manage hedge funds or run their own publicly traded mutual funds. And we talk to them and they try to get us excited about it and explain what a PE ratio is. And I just, I tried so hard, and I just never really did it. And I decided that we needed some rental houses, everybody had a few rental houses, but I looked at them as kind of a burden that your tenants, everybody I knew who had rentals, tenants were annoying, and they call you and they need something and oh, there's a flutter, there's a fire or there's a fight. And they would just complain about anytime they had to go and manage the rental properties. So I was kind of psyching myself up for it. Like if I'm going to make money off of these, I'm going to treat them like a job if you have to go into work. So they will pay you money. Nobody sits around and complains about how they're getting paid and maybe not like the job, and they don't want to work. But at the end of the day, you recognize you have to work for your money. And so there was some middle ground between just passive or residual income and working for your money. And I felt like that was rental homes. They're pretty passive. But every time a tenant calls or need something or goes vacant, get up and go to work and stop complaining about it. These people are paying down your mortgage. And if you've done it correctly, there's leftover to pay your bills. And so I approached I was approaching it from a more practical job standpoint, but we just never had enough money. We were just working away and I was doing my little photography thing. And we had a lot of kids and their lives were passing by and we wanted to take them on vacation and do some do some things before they were too old and moved out. And we just never had money. And then we moved to Salt Lake turned our whole lives upside down. And I had to figure out new ways to do things and change my mindset and my relationship to debt. I still don't think there's good debt and bad debt. I think all that is frightening and risky, but that it can be managed with the right tools and the right knowledge. And there's a practical standpoint where you can use debt without overusing debt without over leveraging and be responsible with it. So that relationship had to change. And that was really what happened at the beginning of our real estate journey. We took the cash that we made off of our Texas house because we forced value into it and he did a lot of the work himself. And so we basically had a lot of value in there for a lot of sweat equity. And we took that we said okay, well we're just going to rent a house in Salt Lake, because we don't know anything about the area. And we take all of that cash remote paid cash for one rental, which was like a townhome. And we very quickly realized, well, what if we got a mortgage on the townhome and took what was left over and wouldn't put a downpayment on another Townhome. And then that was a very scary thought for me because no debts bad, we're gonna pay cash for our rentals Dave Ramsey land. Yeah. And when we finally got to that point, I realized we made all this money in real estate from buying new new neighborhoods, that forced equity of the builder and putting up with the construction in the noise in the trash, driving over nails every day. And we put up with that, and that forced equity into that raw land, and then forcing equity into our fixer upper, I took this pile of cash. And I said, you know, I made this in real estate. And that realization that this was money that we could go do real things with that we made in real estate that wasn't from our jobs, we spent that. And that was really where the turning point came from. And I said, I really need to start buying rentals and immediately landed on multifamily, because he grew up in a college town where a bunch of his neighbors owned small apartment buildings for student housing. And so to me, that seemed like just a natural progression, like, well, we knew all these people who had little apartments, and we should look at so that that's really how we transitioned from house hacking into commercial real estate.

Derek Clifford:

That's awesome. And I can tell just by the language that you guys are using, that you have different approaches to this type of endeavor, right? I think you both are correct. And there's no wrong way to look at the situation and how to look at a problem and solve it. But I had to note too, that the theme of this podcast is going to be kind of this power couple working together in areas that they are strong in. And one thing I picked up on too, from Tony's or Troy's point of view, is that Troy helped create all of that add the sweat equity in the beginning, right to help create to make that all happen. So Troy, you also understood to that there's a component of this force equity piece, that's really going to be important, you don't know how it's going to work out, like it's just going to trade off to another property later on. And then being able to use Emma's vision to take that equity and then multiply it using debt ever begrudgingly. I think that that's a super powerful thing, and kind of like a microcosm of what you guys are doing today. Right?

Troy Powell:

That's true. I mean, I was approaching it very differently from her, like, when we were moving out of our first house that I was like, this is a great house, great neighborhood, right? Why are we moving? And it was that you know, we need to move into it a different neighborhood with a have a bigger house, we can support a larger family, so that we can get equity on our house and force the equity. So I asked her the question, I'm like, Okay, well, if we move into this larger house, we won't have money to go do fun stuff, like, you know, go on trips and buy bicycles and stuff for our kids. Right. I support Yeah, so we so I was like, we're gonna house Fort Worth, we move there. And so she's like, well, you know, I feel like this is the thing we need you need to do. And I'm like, okay, you know, let's do it. And so we continue to scrimp and save, we moved to a new place. And we continued to discrepancy there. And, and you know, it paid off, right. And that's the reason that I'm so glad to have her is because she has the foresight, to be able to say, you know, let's hold off on this stuff. Now, we'll have time later to do that. And so, you know, that's really been a blessing.

Emma Powell:

and trying to house as an investment, because you hear every once in a while, they say the greatest source of wealth for most Americans is their home. And so we were taking like these little bits and pieces of half information, and putting them together and cobbling things together in a way that made sense to us. But I think where we really turned the corner is when, you know, we found bigger pockets and reorganizations. And we started networking with like minded people, instead of scrambling around in the half dark with these half ideas, we were able to put them together into a cohesive plan. And I think that's really where we saw the difference. Because before we were looking back, we did a lot of the right things as far as the way I'd explain it. Like it's like when you get a new job, and they give you a raise, and then you get these little cost of living raises raises in between, but you never going to do as well as if you leap to a new job. And to new pay grade. It's like houses are like that, we're gonna go in and they're gonna go up in value the fastest right after they're built or either right after they're remodeled because they're that I didn't know it was called forced appreciation. But that's the way I explained it to him. So we knew these things. We did some of these things correct. But then looking back at it to there was so many things that we did wrong and stupid that slowed us down. And so when we finally got the right network of people, and we were ready to hear what they were saying, that's when things really did the hockey stick returns going up.

Derek Clifford:

Of course, man, I see so much of our story in you guys as well. It's just crazy. And so we can talk about that a little bit later on. But I want to start moving towards the conversations that you guys are having at home while you're building this thing up on the multifamily side because we a couple minutes ago we've been talking about mostly getting to the point where you are up to multifamily, but let's talk about multifamily right now. So you guys just moved to Salt Lake this 2018 ama you have the situation right now where you have some excess capital. And Troy has basically said let's go ahead and do something with it. Let's let's do something in real estate with it. Can you talk a little about what those early conversations were like? Was there any pushback was there discussion, because I know that there are goobers out there that you have to pay, and there's mastermind groups and stuff like that. And sometimes it's worth it. But let's talk about what was happening at home.

Troy Powell:

I think the most difficult part was, you know, where do you put the money? How do you know who to trust, who's gonna give you the best return on your money, the naivety that we had were looking at, you know, hey, if we can get like an 8% return on our money that you'll ask you to be awesome, right? And everybody's like, Yeah, I'll give you an 8% return. Because they're all getting like 20% returns and everything. We're happy to. They wouldn't tell us they know, hey, I need a better return than that. I'll tell you why you loaned me the money and I'll give you like 18%, right. Nobody's saying that.

Emma Powell:

No, because they were they were happy that we thought 10% Sounded like a scam. Yeah, exactly. Now, it's like if I was doing 10% Oh, yeah. You know, it sounded like, Oh, it's too good to be true. It probably is. Well, that advice did not serve us well, because we didn't research what the prevailing rates were for doing hard money, loans and all that. And so a lot of just ignorance on our part, pervaded these conversations. And we could if we had recorded and we'd go back and listen to them, I bet we would just be laughing about all this basically ignorant things that we said. And so yeah, naive. But I know that I did spend a big chunk of money about 50 grand on, I guess, like a lease option licensing program, like branding and franchising type of thing. And it ended up not being a good fit. For me, it was kind of more like wholesaling. But I was determined to make my money back from at least breakeven on that. And so I did a couple of deals and broke even on that. And that was an extremely difficult conversation, because I was so waffling on the fence back and forth, back and forth. And he didn't really know what to tell me to do, because it was a lot of money. And I finally went and pulled the trigger on it and ended up in the long run being a good thing. But in the short run, it really felt like I had made made a mistake. And those conversations are really difficult, because it's like the blind leading the blind in that situation. But I, I think for you, you looked at this money as Monopoly money. At that point, I pretty much just wrote it off from the very beginning. I'm like, money that she made, you know, house hacking down in Texas.

Troy Powell:

But yeah, so I looked at it as if she wouldn't got a an education. Like if she went back to school and got an education, she'd be spending hundreds of 1000s of dollars anyway doing that I'm like, so I figured that this is her education. And however she wants to spend it. She'll learn what she needs to one way or another.

Emma Powell:

Tell the story about the first time I called you on the phone to tell you I lost money, like the first time I lost money, what how you?

Derek Clifford:

And there was there's no tears involved in this?

Emma Powell:

No. So what you said is you're kind of coaching me through that embarrassment. And that reluctance to tell him what had happened. Because at this point, it was pretty well understood that even though we made the money in real estate, that that was being earmarked Monopoly money for a real estate business. And at that point, I had pretty much taken over and he was in a new job and really focusing on on getting his skills up to par for that one. And so I called him up and I said, Hey, I just lost $5,000 By putting down earnest money on a wholesale before I did my due diligence, and it's non refundable. It's gone. Like five minutes later, I call the title company. And they're like, sorry, when you're done. And do you remember what you said?

Troy Powell:

No. I was like, Oh, well, yeah.

Emma Powell:

It was such a non issue. He doesn't even you barely remember it. He said, I think he said, like, Thank you for telling me because I told him, I was too embarrassed to call and I knew that that was the sign that I needed to call. And he said something along the lines of Yeah, it sucks. I'm sorry that you lost money and commiserating with me a little bit. And he's just as I know, you'll make it back. And that's true. I mean, it was $5,000. At the time, it felt like a lot of money. But now it feels like chump change. And we had a deal go bad last year where I lost $70,000. I don't think he said one word about it. Yeah, just like, Oh, what do you learn? Maybe I don't know, it just it was just a complete non issue. He knows that you make that I made more a lot more than I lost last year. And for him, it's just like, out of sight out of mind. This was earmarked to do this. And if we lose everything whenever he still has his job and his his knowledge base. And so he's been very supportive that way and pushing me to grow and saying, Hey, can you get 100 doors? Can you get 1000 doors? Can you do a deal using zero of your own money and those kinds of challenges, because he comes to the meetings and the conferences and all that. And he is learning a lot by osmosis. And he's able to put that out there and help me help me push myself more but at the same time with zero judgment, zero recrimination, and I think the key to that is that money was earmarked for a specific purpose. And it's definitely getting used for that whether we make money on it, or we lose it all certainly gaining an education.

Derek Clifford:

Do you guys have any advice for those out there who maybe aren't at your level to be able to react the way that you guys did in a situation like that? Because I see a lot of people out there who maybe get involved and maybe aren't on the same page with their spouse and they're off doing these things and they don't have the support And they haven't worked on that core piece. You know, what, what advice would you have for those folks?

Troy Powell:

Well, I think it's, have you ever heard the term don't ever lend family money? If you don't know, if you plan on getting it back? It's so yes. So it doesn't matter how much money you give that person, if you plan on never giving it back, your relationship will stay intact, and you'll have good feelings for each other, you know, forever, you know, the person that you loaned the money to might feel obligated or guilty. But you know, as long as you let them know that, hey, it's okay. It's not a big deal. And it's kind of the same way with this right here, right is, we've been investing this money all the time. It's it was tied up in our house, we never really saw it until we cashed out and moved up to Utah. And so, to me, it was still playing money, right? I was like, I'm still doing my nine to five job, I'm still getting paid, I'm still paying the bills, nothing's really changed. And so to me, I didn't really even consider the money is something that I had,

Derek Clifford:

It's a big thing to like, have that perspective, right? Rather than looking at someone losing money, it's an education piece, it's on this continuum. It's a mistake that you're making an investment that you'll never do. Again, it's kind of like the stupid tax concept with with Dave Ramsey. Right, which I have a feeling you guys are our big followers, or used to be big followers of Dave Ramsey, and me too. So yeah, I totally get that.

Troy Powell:

I was gonna say so I think the key is, is that if you've already planned on having access to that money, and that you've already earmarked it for a purpose, that it doesn't really matter what happens as that that money accomplishes His purpose. As long as you've written it off, then there's no reason to argue about it because it's already it's already forming.

Emma Powell:

It's already spent at that point mentally, and your emotional attachment to it is already spent.

Derek Clifford:

I love that. And also the fact too, that that money is gone, one party already feels bad about it. And they're trying their best and they're doing something and then the other party is going to try to make it worse by by making them feel guilty or shaming them or doing something like that just doesn't make any sense. And I think that that's the spirit of entrepreneurship and partnership that a power couple really exudes. And so the fact that Troy you don't you don't even remember what was said in that situation and an MOU, like you were so thankful for his response, and that you remember that so viscerally really points, the fact that you guys have a really strong foundation to build off of that being said, you guys, because you have this strong foundation. Can you guys talk a little bit about how this real estate investing stuff, maybe altered your relationship? Has it gotten better has it added a layer of communication, just reflecting on that right now, and it does anything come to mind?

Emma Powell:

I have told this story before, but it's a little bit embarrassing for me, when I had decided to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree, it was this awesome program that my alma mater where I had my associate's degree was doing if you try it out there online program, huge tuition reduction, and I was looking, I was like, I'd be kind of stupid to not do this, I can fit it in between the business and all that and, and he didn't quite understand what was going on. And why I was choosing to take on added stress, I tend to overextend myself. And looking back on it was all an attempt to to have to do less housework. But he just, he thought that if I gave up these things, and I could get the house taking care of the way that I wanted it to be. And I finally realized what I like, and doesn't matter how much of the stuff give, I give up. I'm not doing more housework. And so I decided to go to school and, and he was just like, I just don't understand where you're taking on the stress. He said, you already have a successful business. If you wanted to scale up the photography business, you could be making at least you know what I'm making? And I said, Yeah, but it takes a while a while to scale up a business. And I just wanted to get insurance in my back pocket, if I ever needed to go get a job for whatever reason that I can apply for lots of jobs that required bachelor's degrees. And he's, if something happened to him, you never know, just making backup plans, right? And he still was kind of pushing back and not understanding what I was doing. I finally looked at him and I said, Look, I want you to know that I can divorce you at any minute. And the only reason I'm here is because I like you.

Derek Clifford:

Wow, okay. That's clear.

Emma Powell:

I never wanted to feel trapped, like I was only with them for financial reasons, because I had no other options because that will erode a relationship. And when you know that you're together because you love each other and you actually like spending time together, it changes the relationship dramatically.

Derek Clifford:

Did you learn anything from that Troy or I'm just wondering, like, what was going through your head when that was when that conversation was going on?

Troy Powell:

Well, to me it was the way I understood it was, hey, you need to just back off because I won't know what my limits are until I hit those. Right and so when I would see her getting stressed out and overwhelmed. I was trying to remove stuff off of her plate to try and help her right. But in reality it was the She needed to find out where her limits were so that she could understand when do I need to start dialing back? Yeah, to me, it doesn't really matter. I mean, we've had issues. We've had instances where she wanted to, she needed to go to this conference. And I couldn't join her. And one of our male friends offered to give her a ride over there. And even like, stay in share hotel room. I was like, Hey, that sounds fine. And she's like, What? Seriously? Okay with that, and I was like, I was like, well, if she thinks she can do better, they go for it.

Derek Clifford:

Oh, my gosh, that's crazy.

Troy Powell:

I was like, I am not afraid, she is more than capable of making her own decisions. I'm not gonna do that for so.

Emma Powell:

That wasn't coming from a place where she can't possibly do better than me, it was coming from a place of if she really can do better, I wish her well. And that genuine feeling of really wanting what's best for the other one, I would say the turning point in that relationship came from when we were reading nonviolent communication, it was recommended to us very commonly in our homeschooling groups, especially unschooling groups, where we were trying to learn how to not micromanage our kids like education and control them, and just how to let things go. And our son has a type of autism called pathological demand avoidance, meaning that he's very difficult to steer, and does things his own way. And there's just not a lot you can do about it. And so we read nonviolent communication together, and we read it as a family on audiobook on a road trip. And for less than coming out of that is you can't control anyone, you can only communicate how you feel. And you can't even control if they hear you, or even understand you. And it became apparent when we were had arrived at our destination on the road trip. And I wanted him to come and play games with some of my family members. Were visiting my sister, and he said, I don't want to come play games. I'm watching a movie with the kids. I said, Yeah, but you know, my brother's here, and everybody's here. And you're the only adult in here with the kids. And it's just weird. It's awkward. I feel awkward about it. And he said, I don't want to play board games. I want to watch movies with the kids. And I said, Yeah, but I asked you really nicely. And I explained myself in a non violent way. And I communicated clearly what I want. And he said, Thank you, you still can't control what I do. And I've decided that I'm, and be just standing there and realizing, oh, I can ask as nicely as I want. I can explain as clearly as I want. And he still doesn't have to do, I could bully him into this, I could start trying to browbeat and all that and he could just get upset. And it could turn into that. But when that moment when I realized, all I can do is communicate clearly. And everybody else can do what they want. And that applies to my children, it applies to him, it applies to my business partners. That was a major turning point for me and learning to control what I can control and doing it with skill, a capable skill. And what I cannot control. I just don't think about it anymore. I just put it out of my mind, because there's no use stressing over it.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I think that that's some incredibly useful wisdom for just everyone walking around in general. And I can tell that that is kind of like a liberating understanding, right? Like, because you're even though you maybe are acknowledging that you have less control over situations outside of you, you're actually removing that false boundary, you know, that you think is a boundary, but it's not there. It's just you're expecting things of other people. And it's kind of like liberating concept. So thank you for sharing that with us a great story. But I do have a couple more questions for you guys. And now that we've talked a lot about the foundation, we know that that's solid, you guys are your own adults individually making decisions on your own, that are the benefit of each other. And you like what you do, which I really love. Let's talk about scaling up. Because you guys right now have partnered on over 500 units. And right now you're at a point in your business where it's kind of hockey stick, and you have earned the luxury of being able to choose who you want to be in business with and when you want to be in business. Right. So let's talk about how you scaled, talk about the early part of that hockey stick going up? What were some key things that you guys learned or went through together to make that happen in your marriage and also in your business.

Troy Powell:

So initially, like I said, we were trying to look into getting into large multifamily right away, but we had no idea how to enter that arena. And so we started with what we knew how to do, which was basically house hack, find a house, fix it up, turn it into a rental, you know, get a cash flowing versus as quick as we possibly could. So at first we were just looking for a number of those and we started looking in looking at duplexes and triplexes and trying to find ways to do that, and we were doing that as quick as we could with money that we had until we ran out of downpayment money. And so once we hadn't been more downpayment money, I said to my wife, I was like, This is awesome. You know, I am so excited that you finally ran out of money, because she felt like she needed to own the project by herself. And I said but all these multifamily People are telling us that you don't need any money in order to get into large multifamily. And I said, so now that you don't have any money, let's do that. And so, so she's like, Oh, great. So she started looking into what that involves. And one of the things that people had mentioned was, if you find the money, you don't need to have any money, if you can find the deal, you don't need to have any money. Right? And so she said, Well, you know, I don't really know a lot of people that I can get money from,

Emma Powell:

There was no money finding, yeah.

Troy Powell:

Let me see if I can find a deal. And so she found a deal that looked pretty good. And we are still pretty new on, on being able to analyze it and to find out if it was actually a good deal. And so she reached out to somebody that she had met in one of the meetups asked him if he would go over the deal with her and see if it was a good deal. And he looked at all over and ran the numbers and everything. And so this is a good deal. And do you need to help raising money for it? And she said, Yes.

Emma Powell:

Which was why he was going around offering people to do free deal analysis as he was looking for. I'm going to work for free. And he had always told me if you find something, I'm happy to run the financials, and teach you how to do it. And that was really the basis of our first deal, we had a couple of deals that we tried to do before that, that we ended up not buying one was a 220 unit development just outside of his hometown, and I just didn't have the network, I needed to close that. And, and now it's kind of funny, because I know the guy who actually bought it, and he's doing a great job, great job with it. But we met because of that failed, I looked him up in the registers to see if that had traded hands, because now I feel more capable of doing this. Let me go see if that piece of land still available. Sure, if it wasn't, he bought it. And he's running it. But then we're talking about doing a deal together. So even those failures of things where we tried to do it, and we didn't have the right people didn't have the right knowledge and have the right network have actually been a great learning experiences. And for most of them, we didn't have any money in it. We didn't lose any money, we just learned and it was great feeling when we had some money, and we lost money. But that poised us to be able to deliver on the first deal, we still weren't quite ready, we still need a lot of help a lot of learning a lot more knowledge base than we had, what we had the right people were together, we could join forces and get some things done. So I don't look at the failures as failures. They were definitely valuable experiences.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I would say that they're just part of the journey. Right? And I think you know, that's exactly how like, I kind of started to that's why I'm loving this because almost everything that you guys say in on all your answers like I can, like I see a little bit of my wife and I in you guys and what you guys have done. I love the answer that basically it boils down to once you came away from the idea, just like what Troy was talking about, of trying to do everything yourself and being the lone wolf to becoming part of the pack, right and attracting people that that you like that you found that you want to work with. That's when things start to really scale as you start to remove some of those limitations, right, so that you're not having to do everything yourself and have more throughput, more capacity. So I think that's a really great takeaway for the listeners out there.

Emma Powell:

Well, I want to add to that, too, that while sometimes we tried to do deals that didn't work out, sometimes they were just great. Sometimes we lost money. We've also had partners that didn't work out. And so sometimes you say you're scared of partners for that reason. But when you can overcome that fear, and start doing work with partners, that doesn't mean that they're all going to be great partners, and it's all going to work out, you're going to look at those opportunities where you were successful, and also where you failed, learn from it. And you're not going to just throw the baby out with the bathwater. You want to continue to do deals and partnerships. But when things are going right, or things are going wrong, if you're always analyzing, and you're always just observing and thinking, what would I do is kind of like defensive driving, then you're able to learn a lot from partnerships that went well and learn a lot from partnerships that did not go well. And I've really had very few instances where I've been burned by partners. Sometimes it's just, you're just like, Yeah, this isn't a great fit. We did well together, but we're not it's like dating someone that you decide not to marry. I think that that's important that we talked about how sometimes deals go wrong. But then we talked about great partnerships are without really exploring the flip side of that about how sometimes there's as much to learn from a failed partnership, as far as from a failed deal.

Derek Clifford:

100%. And you know, another thing I want to add on to that because it's a great message is this is where your spouse yet again can come in with more power. Because for me, right, like, I don't know, women have the tendency to be more intuitive and pick up on red flags better than men can. I'm not saying that that's that that always happens. But as a general rule, that's how it is. And even if you don't, right two heads are better than one. And if you bring your spouse into an early partnership discussion with someone you haven't worked with before, maybe someone that you have on a deal that was iffy, having your spouse there to help explain to you look, you have been extremely unhappy in this deal and bring about awareness of like the blind spots or he said something, you know, back when we were sitting down with dinner that one time that just like, where did that come from. And those red flags are a huge indicators, things that you could never pick up on that only your spouse can. And even in deals or in partnerships where they're not even involved, and they're just seeing you react to it, their feedback on just observing you while in that partnership or in that deal can be extremely valuable feedback.

Emma Powell:

He also brings an operational mindset to this that I tend to not have, I tried to be operational, and I tried to be detail oriented, but it's just, it's one of those weaknesses that I'm always chasing, it's never going to be a strength, the best I can do is hope that it's not going to bring me down in the end like minimum standard. But he's more operationally minded. And so he'll be listening in on a meeting and he'll lean over to say, like, is it in writing? Or did he pull a ticket, like a service ticket, because it was it background. And so he's been instrumental in teaching me how to not only think in a more operational way, but also if I'm not doing the operations, how to manage my operators, and the standards and procedures that we're going to put into place to make this successful, I don't think that would come out of me naturally, if I could just fly at 50,000 feet and kind of see at a blurry level what's going on, that's where I would be happiest. And he has to tether me a little bit and say, hey, the day to day operations are very important. And training me on what that looks like.

Derek Clifford:

Absolutely. And I'm sure that a little bit has rubbed off vice versa. Right, Troy?

Troy Powell:

Oh, yeah. I've had to painfully listen passively to all the discussion that she's having, and the meetups and stuff that we go through. Because she's okay, drinking from a firehose, but I have a little harder time doing that. So I learned a little bit more passively, and sometimes surprised myself on what I've actually learned from just, you know, passive listening.

Emma Powell:

So yeah, sometimes start talking to someone all over hear it? And I'll think, oh, so during all those meetings, you weren't just eating all the chips and salsa he was getting all of it.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I mean, if you hear a message 10 times, you know, eventually you're going to pick up half of it. And then it's, you're going to continue to get that. So yeah, awesome. So last question I have before we head into the Rapid Round here, and then wrap up the show today. Okay. What do you guys attribute to the longevity? In business? Like, how are you guys able to sustain doing all this with the family? Clearly, you guys are busy? Is there anything that comes to mind in keeping everything going and keeping it all together?

Troy Powell:

I think keeping your goals in mind and what you're what you're shooting for, you never want to make a goal of making money, right? Because that goal will never end. And you'll never have enough, right is that the goals that you need to have are to not only benefit you to but to benefit those around you to help improve yourself. And as long as you're still doing that, and they are focused on one of our goals is to is she would like to retire me from my job, even though I like to work. And that may never happen. But the fact is, the fact is, is that our goal is to spend more time together, that's what it ends up being if she's able to retire me, and I can work wherever I want, then I can let go of the job that I feel like I'm tied to having the goal in mind that we're just trying to spend more time together, whether that's on vacations, whether that's working together. That's our ultimate goal.

Emma Powell:

He means spend more time together in Portugal, that's what he means.

Derek Clifford:

Yes, I highly recommend it. All to tell you guys a little bit more about our adventures after this. But that makes sense on anything that you want to add to that Emma in terms of the longevity of the business.

Emma Powell:

It's huge, it's little drops in the bucket, it's day by day, I would say communication is key. But then defining what that communication means. Again, we're talking about learning that you can communicate clearly. And the other person still doesn't, you still don't have control of a person was huge. And another one is, is just there's a there's a middle ground from the book, Crucial Conversations really was another game changer for me, because my way of communicating was a little bit of a steamroller. And he would often say things like, if it's more important to you to be right than you win. And that always sat uncomfortably with me because I didn't feel like I was there to try to win. But he felt like I was there to try to win. And if I was winning, he was losing. And it was this really toxic dynamic. And so being able to go into it and say, I just need to explain myself, I need to tell you where I'm coming from. And I need you to say I hear you and vice versa. When he comes in. He says, Hey, what you're doing here, and getting out of that win lose mindset was another massive shift. I'm just negotiating because we have to come to an agreement here. Are we living in Portugal or are we standing? It's not like I win if we get to move to Portugal and he loses. If we go there. It's it's more like how can we make this work? How can we make sure we're getting as much of what each of us wants, being really keyed into what the other one's goals are? So I can say oh, I know what my goals are. But how can I use as much of the crossover to reach as many of his goals as possible? And what can I give up and so that we have that that zone of agreement, that's where neither one of us are going to get what we want. But like in any negotiation, once, once you you're hit that zone of possible agreement, you can then start to make decisions together without trying to control the other one without trying to win. That was a big turning point for me. And communication, defining what healthy communication actually looks like, rather than just that we have good communication, meaning, we talk about things, and sometimes we yell about them. I thought that was communication, but learning about it, reading about it going into the Masters, I would say negotiation, communication is probably the number one indicator of a strong business partnership, a strong marriage a strong relationship. And if you're strong in those skills naturally great if not go learn about them.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, man, that's such a great takeaway. And I think that both of what you guys are saying are, again, another microcosm of the hole that works is you have to have a goal to shoot for. But then, you know, like, that's what you're saying, Troy. But then for Emma, you're saying that in order to hit that goal, which keeps moving to by the way, like once you achieve a goal, then you set a new one, you've got to have that communication and the ability to talk with one another and think rationally, right? And come to an agreement and work together as a team. And so I think that communication and the goal setting piece are both really, really important. So thank you guys for that great stuff. So let's head into the final segment of the show, which is the Rapid Round. And I don't know if you guys know this, but it's the same five questions that we ask every one of our guests. So if you listen to one of our previous podcasts, and you'll have a leg up here, and so I'm not going to ask you right now, if you have, but we'll go ahead and start with number one. And these questions are meant to be answered in about a 32nd window, each of you can answer the question. So number one, what book has had the biggest impact on you, and why outside of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and the Bible, because we get that all the time.

Troy Powell:

I'd say the Power of Now, for me, the good one.

Emma Powell:

And for me, probably, I mean, I mentioned nonviolent communication, Crucial Conversations, those are big ones. But I would put also Multipliers in that same category, because I found that the best business books are also the best parenting books. And that one's by actually an intern of the guy who wrote Crucial Conversations, where she talks about the ways that we accidentally diminish one another by micromanaging and giving helpful advice and on all of those types of destructive behaviors that we don't realize that we're doing. And then she flips it around on how we can find the genius and everybody how we can get out of their way and those types of things. And so as a mother and as a business partner, and as a wife, I found that concept to relate to all three of those very, very well. And it dovetail well into the communication books, because here, all communication is now being actively implemented into a specific action plan.

Derek Clifford:

Love it, man. Great books. Fantastic. Thank you for that. Number two, if people wanted to emulate your guys's success, what do you think is the first actionable thing that they can do to follow in your footsteps? And that's meant for each one of you?

Troy Powell:

I think it'd be probably go do her investment club.

Emma Powell:

Shameless plug.

Troy Powell:

All of our efforts, and everything has kind of led up to this investment club, because we wanted to make a free resource for everybody be able to learn about this stuff in an open environment to where they can ask any of the questions that they need to have educated professionals there to be able to help them and they're willing to give their time. And so I mean, if we had had this, when we first came into here, we would have gotten into multifamily right away. Yeah. Since we didn't have that resource. fumbled around a little bit more. Yeah, it was.

Emma Powell:

Basically, it's we pool our money as investors and we apply all the education that we've had. And we go do real deals together. So it lowers the barrier of entry, because we're going in as a pool. And we're able to negotiate for better terms. And we're able to negotiate maybe for even us some of the co-GP to protect that investment. So we're doing real deals on the ground, every single week. And I think that the way you're going to learn best is by just taking the leap and doing and we're just making that leap a lot shorter to get into commercial real estate in a much less demanding way.

Derek Clifford:

That sounds awesome. I definitely was gonna give you guys a space to plug at the end. But this is also a great tip. I love that. All right, number three, what is one tool process or hack in the last three months that has helped you save time and or effort, and that's for each of you.

Emma Powell:

Note cards. So I am not very organized. I tried lots of different systems in my life. And I've had periods where I was organized and on top of everything, but having put things in writing and recently, I don't know I've discovered no cards and I just leave stacks of you know, buy a 500 pack and I just leave little stacks of them and just a couple of locations in my purse, the kitchen drawer on my nightstand and the kids have access to him he has access to him. And anytime we think oh that's right, I need to check on that tenant or I need to buy milk at the grocery store. We're able to just jot it down on those note cards and then what Once a week, I go and I pile up all the cards. And I sit at my desk, and I just go through them and I rewrite lists, I mark things off. And for me, it's like there's never any excuse that oh, I'm not near any paper and taking notes on your phone would be a similar idea. But for whatever reason, that's just never worked. For me, there's something about writing it down, solidifies it. So just having a little pause and notecards around has been probably my biggest productivity hack recently, it's, I would almost say it's, in some ways, it's been life changing, because I feel more organized and productive.

Derek Clifford:

Love that. What about for you?

Troy Powell:

For me, it's similar i years ago, I had to decide. Or I had to start taking a lot better notes just to work in order to not only protect myself, but also to retain the knowledge that I had, because I work in it. And so it's an ever changing environment. And so if I'm not taking notes, and you're reminding myself that things that I've been doing, it's easy to lose track of that information, then have to relearn it all over again, it's been helpful in my business. And so I've been trying to get her to do it in her business. It's also helpful to write down all of your ideas before you go to sleep at night, so that the no cards can worry about it. And then that way, you can sleep peacefully.

Derek Clifford:

I love that. And not only that, too, but there, I forgot the name of a book where this was mentioned. But it's one of the great ones. It's either Jim Rohn. Or like one of the like, getting getting things done, like one of those books, where if you write stuff down, and you put the problem, or maybe even Napoleon Hill, you write this stuff down your brain, your subconscious will work on it at night, like your dreams, like what you're doing when you're sleeping, your brain can't help but want to tackle that problem, because it's the last thing you've looked at when you went before you go to bed, or at least one of the last things. So anyway, the very, very cool. Okay, number four, if the people that you know, had to describe you with one word, what word would that be for each of you?

Emma Powell:

Just like the newlywed game right now. Intense.

Troy Powell:

For me? Solid.

Derek Clifford:

That makes sense. Yeah, I could totally relate with that. That makes sense. And we have a whole podcast explaining why those two words make sense, right? So it's all good. All right, number five, what is one small thing that most people do not know about each of you.

Emma Powell:

I'm fairly active on social media as part of my business. And so I try not to overshare. So everything that I want out there in the public sphere is out there. There are certain things that are more private that I choose not to share. But things that I want people to know. I mean, you can you can get it there, I think, fair to pick things I have lots and lots and lots of hobbies. And so because of that, sometimes people will be surprised because they're like, Oh, I didn't know you so or I didn't know you speak French, or I don't know, you play the guitar, because I do lots and lots of things. I don't do any of them particularly expertly. But I do get really into them. And I like to pursue that down that rabbit hole of knowledge and skills. And so sometimes a lot of people will be surprised that I do this thing or that thing. But it's it's really just different hobbies and things that we've done over the years.

Derek Clifford:

Very cool. What about you, Troy?

Troy Powell:

You know, she gave me a lot of time to think about in that time.

Emma Powell:

Oh, I can think of one thing most people don't know about you. And I'll send you as a kid. His dad is the automotive professor at the College where we met. And so he grew up in the auto shop. And so that was kind of the basis of foundation of his handy knowledge. And he doesn't love working on cars. But being good with his hands. It translated into a lot of money for us when he learned how to do home improvement in house.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, for sure. That's the basis of a lot of the your guys's success very cool.

Emma Powell:

To an extension of that. Apparently, I had this magic ability to work, anything that's broken. If you just bring it near me, it fixes this up. Yeah. One time, he's just on the phone and the thing fixes. We'd have like our all of our developers are in office, we had to make an area for them to come in and sit in in our office with us. And they would just come in, they would work on their computer. And then they would walk away. And we started asking them like why are you just coming in and out and they're like, Oh, well, I had something that wasn't working. And I knew that if I just came in here and start working again.

Derek Clifford:

That's super cool. You have like a field going on. You got this field dynamic, right?

Emma Powell:

I'm actually not that spiritual. I can't explain it. But it's happens too often to be a coincidence. I don't know. She shares an office with me.

Derek Clifford:

So thank you guys. Yeah, no, this has been great having you on the show. I just had a blast like talking with you guys. And again, I saw so much of your guys's story in mind and some of the other couples that we've also had on our show. But before we go, why don't you guys tell the listeners a little bit more about how they can find out more about your guys's world.

Emma Powell:

The best way is our website. It's www.highrise.group and I'm super proud of this website, because even though he's the IT guy, he made me do it by myself. So that website is 100% me. So if you go to that and slash Contact, It has links to all my social so you can choose to interact with me on the social network of your choice. It also has a place where you can sign up for a free phone call 30 minute consult on my calendar. And it also has just my email my phone number on there, if you want to reach out, the best way to get a hold of me is that Calendly link or to follow probably LinkedIn. And I do have a Facebook group for a passive investing club. I got a LinkedIn group too. But you know, those are, those are useless. But that Facebook passive investing group is where we post all of our events for our Monday night meetings. And we do meet once a month in person in Salt Lake City. So if you're anywhere in the area, on that fourth Monday of the month, we'd love to have you come join us.

Derek Clifford:

Excellent. That's awesome. And boy, did you want to put anything out there or is it all on? It's all on Emma's website?

Emma Powell:

On my amazing website. Yeah, her amazing website.

Derek Clifford:

Or amazing self-creative website. And anything else you want to add?

Troy Powell:

Yeah, just be patient communicate with each other. And just always strive to improve yourself. And you'll find that money in deals will flow to you as long as you are giving to everybody else.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, that's so true. That's so true. And a fantastic way to wrap up everything with the final word there. So thank you so much for joining me for coming on the show. It's a pleasure having you guys on. Thank you. Thanks for being here.

Emma and Troy:

Yeah, thank you. This is fun.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, this was really fun, really, really fun. And for you listeners out there who have listened all the way to this point, I want to thank you as well for listening. And wherever you're watching or listening to this, please make sure that you thumbs up you like us. subscribe, comments, engage with us. And please reach out reach out to the amazing guests. That's right. Absolutely. And the reason we ask that is because we want to fall into good favor with the algorithm Gods so that way we can get more exposure to more people. And we can also find ourselves with incredible guests just like Amazon Troy here, I continue to get more exposure more people add more value out there. So that being said, thank you once again, Emma and Troy for coming on the show. It was a pleasure. And thank you for listening, dear listener, and we will see you again next time. This is Derek signing off.