Realtor Emily Ray-Porter doesn’t just work Dallas’ high-rise market — she and her husband Zac live it. Not only do the pair reside in an Uptown condominium; they’re owners of Royal Blue, the popular urban market with locations in downtown and the Arts District.
With more than 15 years of experience selling luxury real estate, Emily has built an impressive business in the Uptown, Downtown, Turtle Creek, and Oak Lawn areas. We caught up with the Dave Perry-Miller pro to get her take on the current state of the in-city market, the impact of COVID, splitting time between real estate and retail, and more.
How has the Downtown market changed? And why choose Main Street as a location for Royal Blue?
Emily Ray-Porter: It’s changed dramatically. Interest in exploring an urban lifestyle has increased. The neighborhoods have become much more walkable and there are more amenities.
With Royal Blue, Downtown was always the place we wanted to be. There was a need for a grocery store, and we wanted to fill that void.
How has COVID affected the Downtown market?
ERP: The last several months have been challenging. It has sparked conversations about high rise living. But, it’s just like anything else: If people take precautions, everyone will be safe.
What about the riots?
ERP: Most of the protests have been peaceful and not a cause for concern to residents in the area. We had one weekend where things got a little crazy, but past that, I don’t see a lasting negative effect. In the case of Royal Blue, it brought the community closer together. We have received so many nice messages from customers thanking us for remaining open and praising our staff for their dedication.
What are your predictions for the area—short and long-term?
ERP: In the short term, I think there will be challenges as our city and country try to recover from the impact of all of this.
In the long term, I think people will be drawn to Dallas like never before. It’s a smaller, less-dense city that offers an amazing lifestyle at an affordable price.
Any selling tips or techniques?
ERP: It’s all about selling the lifestyle. Many people have never lived in a high rise before and don’t know all the conveniences it has to offer.
Who has had the most influence on your career?
ERP: Brian Enright, who started the website Highrises.com back in 2005. In 2006, he asked me to take over the Dallas market at the start of my career. It’s not only impacted my career, but my entire life and circle of friends.
How active are you in Royal Blue? And how do you balance your time?
ERP: I’m very active. I’m involved in all the decision-making and also handle our social media. It’s a fun and challenging adventure. I’m really able to do both because of my team. (The Emily Ray-Porter Group includes veteran Realtor Henry Barber, Brittani Frankowiak, and Casey Russell.)
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
ERP: Dave Perry-Miller always says: Treat people the way you want to be treated. That really resonates with me. I grew up in Oklahoma, in a small town with small-town values. But my heart was always drawn to cities and I moved to Dallas in my early twenties.
Describe a perfect day.
ERP: A walk with my husband and our two dogs, Berkley and Kirby. We always swing by Royal Blue in the Arts District for coffee. A massage and some pool time at the Ritz Spa before dinner at The Charles with friends sounds perfect to me!