BiggerPockets Podcast 032: Luxury House Flipping, Finding Deals, and Discovering Your Niche with Will Barnard

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Many house flippers focus on small, cheap properties – but on today’s show we look at the other end of the flipping world: luxury house flipping. Our guest today, Will Barnard, is currently flipping multimillion dollar homes in the Southern California market, but the lessons and tips he shares can help any investor in any stage of the game. Will shares his story of how he got started with real estate investing and built up his business that has covered buy and hold, land development, flipping, and more. This episode covers a wide variety of topics that are sure to entertain and inform – so sit back and enjoy! We’re really excited to bring you this interview.

Read the transcript to episode 32 with Will Barnard here.

Listen to The Show on iTunes (Preferred Method!)

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

In This Show, We Cover

  • Working with family when starting out
  • The infamous occupant from hell
  • The transition from low-end flipping to high-end flipping
  • Where Will believes the market is going
  • When the 70% rule applies – and when it doesn’t
  • How to find comparable sales for unique homes
  • When to use architects and interior designers
  • The crazy story of the “Seven Figure Spread” flip
  • Working with Real Estate Agents
  • And more!

Links from the Show

Forum thread about the recent Gmail changes 
Will’s Occupant from Hell Story on the BiggerPockets Forums
The House Flipping Calculator on BiggerPockets
DocuSign Ink App
How to Negotiate: 7 Real Estate Negotiation Tips by J Scott

Books Mentioned in the Show

Trump Style Negotiation by George Ross
Real Estate Finance and Investment Manual by Jack Cummings

Tweetable Topics:

“Simplicity is key. Buy right … that’s where you’ll lock in your profit.” (Tweet This!)

“Real Estate rules are guidelines, not hard and fast. They are not silver bullets.” (Tweet This!)

“Everything you do in real estate- it’s all about the negotiation.” (Tweet This!)

“There are a lot of hurdles in real estate. It is a roller coaster ride.” (Tweet This!)

“Experience is the Best Educator.”  (Tweet This!)

Connect with Will

Will’s BiggerPockets Account
Will’s Website:

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Great getting to know you better, Will. You are truly an inspiration for all.

    On your subject 2 debacle, would you reconsider how you deal with having occupants in place on a purchase? I know Estoppel Agreements are common in multis, but perhaps in single family purchases they may be prudent as well.

    Second, one strategy some investors use in order to alleviate some of the cross purposes of having one property manager is to hire two: one for leasing and one for management. This strategy can make sure the leasing company does their job and finds you the best tenant possible so you will hire them again.

  2. Thank you Sharon, I had fun on the podcast and look forward to doing another show in the future.

    As far as the tenant/estoppel question, in this and future similar situations, what I will do is make sure that I don’t close any sub2 unless I gain occupancy on closing day as well as confirm prior to closing that the tenants/occupants have no family relationship to the owner.

    On to the property management suggestion you made, that is a fantastic option, at least for the leasing side. Most of my problems though occurred on the repair issue side and the management company milking fees out of me. This is where I believe having someone with a vested interest aligned with your own is essential.

    Great comments, I thank you for them and your kind words.
    All the best.

  3. Will,

    Thanks for the podcast. When you decided to sell all your rental properties in TX, did you just end up paying long term gain taxes? Did you use any type of tax deferred exchange or other methods?

  4. Dawn Anastasi on

    Will, great podcast! I completely agree with you that the owner of the property is someone who has the vested interest in managing the properties — and ensuring that only quality tenants get placed, low turnover, repairs are done correctly, etc.

  5. Andy Macfarlane on

    Hey Will, great podcast. Very imformitive. Quick question… you mentioned Shawn Watkins, does he only provide marketing for socal or does he provide marketing in other states??

    Much appreciated

  6. Will, what struck me was the decision you came to sell all your rentals and out of area property to fullly focus on rehab flips. I know you dioid that during the downturn, so you propbably knew you were taking discounts on what you were selling.

    How did you come to that decision? To give up the long term passive return and growth for short term big pops? In hind site would you have done it the same way? If you had a number of 10% cap rentals now, would you sell them to capitalize more rehab flips?

    Are you looking at getting back into passive income property? I know you buy notes, but how about rentals in the future?

  7. Eve, his name is Bruce Norris.
    Jon, correct, but I was selling in 2011 after much of the downturn correction. The good thing was that the TX market was much more stable so I did not have to take large discounts.
    I came to this decision as I knew the capital would grown exponentially in my home market compared to the rental portfolio. If I had super awesome high cap returns, I may not have sold them, then again, I may have. I did not enjoy having SFR investments all over town while I was in another state. I will return to rentals, but in the multi family area a and not back to the SFR arena.
    Thanks to all for your comments and questions.

  8. Awesome podcast guys, very informative and motivational. I can’t wait for the day that I reach that level and can be flipping properties here in my So Cal back yard. I’m currently only flipping and wholesaling out of state but hey, you have to start somewhere and make money however you can. Seems like starting in the minors is the smart plan instead of jumping right into playing in the big leagues.

  9. How are you doing Will? Just got finished listening to your podcast interview & MAN!!! can’t even tell you how much you Inspire Me!!! I have a question though. In the interview you mentioned a prior article or forum maybe, where you’d advised on how best to wholesale off of the MLS. I’ve searched for it in the forums & using the keywords search but couldn’t seem to find it. I’ve just hooked up with a local Realtor & I Believe I’ve spotted what may be a couple real opportunities to actually get one or wholesale deals done from recent properties I’ve seen on the MLS. Would you mind pointing me to that article or thread if possible? Actually didn’t even want to bother you with something you’d already gone over but I honestly could not find it. Not afraid to pull the trigger but I’d really like to do this RIGHT going in. I’d Really Appreciate it

  10. Will,

    It has been a year since this podcast. Where I absolutely love SoCal, I no longer live there. Are you still only investing in CA exclusively? Have you looked at other markets?

    I am working on starting a flipping business here in Greenville, SC. Where I have researched and found a couple properties already, there are not a lot of easy finds. Do you have any tips? I spoke with a few realtors and one of them said that buy and hold works much better here than flips. I am just in the mind set that to get a good buy and hold, someone needs to flip the house into something worth buying and holding.

    I look forward to you reply. You are amazing!

  11. William Barnard on

    Warren, sorry for the tardy response, just saw your post. Thanks for the kind words.
    While I am still flipping in So Cal in the luxury home market, I am back to buying out of state properties but this time, only large apartment buildings and not single family or small multi family homes like least time.mi am currently shopping in TX and have started my search in NV and AZ as well. I may also target some other cash flow states in the Midwest.

    I don’t know the market in SC, however, n almost any market, you can flip, can’t say the same for buy and hold if the strategy is cash flow. As far as tips, I would recommend that you start a steady direct marketing campaign, form relationships with re brokers, drive for dollars, and tell everybody what you do and that you pay referral fees for anyone bringing you a property that you can close on. The more nets you cast out, the more chances you have of capturing a large fish.

    As an update on the 7 figure success deal, I closed that sale earlier this year and hit my target goal of 7 figures. While it took much longer than I anticipated, I was able to force additional appreciation plus I had some market appreciation, both of which covered my longer hold time costs and then some.

  12. Julie Marquez

    Great podcast and thanks for all that you do for Bigger Pockets, such a great influence here in the community! The quote that I can’t forget “Interior designers are just people with opinions.” I like to use that now for anybody with the credentials to tell me opinions like they are facts.

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