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Learn how BlackHills, the boutique real estate firm based in Hong Kong, works with Hupo to develop and retain their most valuable asset: their talented people.

Leadership development
timeline accelerated by


boost in ratings on
team collaboration


boost in senior
leadership capacity to
focus on the business

Blackhills Managing Partner

Every industry knows that talent is the most important asset for a company. In real estate, our talent is especially valuable. And I didn’t want to lose anybody on our journey. That’s where Hupo comes in and helps us.

Kenny Yu,

Managing Partner at BlackHills Consulting


Based in Hong Kong, BlackHills Consulting is a commercial real estate agency specializing in office leasing and investment transactions across China. Since 2016, the boutique firm has grown from a startup to five offices with 130 employees and counting. At the start of 2023, the BlackHills team partnered with Hupo to level up their coaching, leadership development, and career opportunities for management.

The Challenge

Senior staff wanted answers – that leadership didn’t have

Kenny Yu — Managing Partner at BlackHills Consulting founded and built up the firm with his partners years ago. However, most of his previous roles were in sales — meaning Kenny had basically never managed people before.

Over time, senior staff began demanding more from leadership, especially when it came to training and development or mapping out their careers at BlackHills. Kenny struggled to manage staff expectations while creating a safe space for them to express their frustrations.

“That’s when I thought a leadership coach was much needed”, explains Kenny. So when he came across Hupo, he was extremely eager to give it a try.

I’d sometimes receive feedback saying a senior in the company wanted more from their future here. That’s when I began worrying. What could I offer to keep them happy? How could I teach them lessons or tell them they may not be capable of that responsibility yet? I found that extremely hard.

The Solution

Hupo develops and retains your most valuable asset: your people

“Every industry knows that talent is the most important asset for a company,” Kenny stresses. That’s especially the case for BlackHills: In real estate, having skilled salespeople directly benefits performance and the bottom line.

That’s why they were ready to invest in true professionals to support their leaders. As soon as BlackHills met with Hupo, they knew they’d found the experts they needed.

Hupo coaches offer a clear path forward

Just weeks into the partnership, all coachees collectively had the illuminating thought that they could challenge themselves to be even more hands on and active in their leadership roles spanning all aspects of the firm. They decided to begin:

  • Teaching junior salespeople to understand and role-play as potential clients
  • Taking on tasks to understand and leverage their tech stack
  • Helping design internal onboarding and training programs

His leaders all went from a mentality of 'what can my company do for my benefit' to having more of an owner's mindset, and pushing themselves to think of creative ways to stretch their team's potential. “Taking that initiative only happened after our staff talked to their Hupo coaches,” emphasizes Kenny. 

According to him, Hupo’s approach to leadership development is so impactful because coaches ask the right questions and provide a new perspective — in ways the average real estate leader just can’t.

Employees and coaches also teamed up to map out:

  1. 1. What they envisioned for their career in 5–10 years
  2. 2. What skills or experiences they needed to accomplish those goals 
  3. 3. What kind of support they needed from BlackHills to reach that growth

Our staff can express what they want to achieve with their Hupo coaches — in a way that may be trickier with your usual manager. I’m not quite the right person to talk to them because I’m also in the eye of the storm. That’s why Hupo has been so effective.


The Results

In just 2 months, Hupo transformed BlackHills’ leadership 

Kenny and the BlackHills team had been struggling to map out development for senior staff for about a year and a half. Working with Hupo, they achieved this task in about two months.

As a result, Kenny reports that 100% of BlackHills employees who’ve worked with Hupo have come back with tactical leadership learnings and strategies. 

Here’s a look at more of the trackable benefits of Hupo: 


Leadership development timeline accelerated by


boost in ratings on team collaboration


boost in senior leadership capacity to focus on the business

Ultimately, Kenny has seen a positive shift in company culture on every side. 

Staffers demonstrate more proactivity than ever when it’s time to tackle a company project, while Kenny’s team is equipped with practical tips on managing and speaking to employees for a more positive, encouraging workplace.

Since working with Hupo, we’re actually much more comfortable just hanging out and chatting with each other in the office. I can tell you I feel much more relaxed these days. Hupo helped me take my stress around management from a 10 to a 3.

The Future

Hupo coaches become embedded, long-term contributors

Kenny tells us his team’s relationships with their Hupo coaches go beyond their career paths. Their coaches have also become trustworthy support systems and reliable guides around their personal lives and development.

In his words: “When you’re attached to an impactful coach that you get along with very well, you don’t want to stop that journey.”

Looking forward, the team at BlackHills is excited to keep working with Hupo for the long haul. 

My staff have given me such positive feedback about how Hupo helps them problem-solve and gain meaningful ideas about how to run the business. I’m so happy to be working with Hupo and look forward to continuing the partnership.

Get started with Hupo.

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