BiggerPockets Podcast 163: Making Your Real Estate Business Soar While Working a Full-Time Job with Bill Allen

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Having a full-time job can make investing in real estate tough. However, with the right systems, people, and plan, your business can thrive no matter how few hours you have to dedicate towards it! In this episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we sit down with Bill Allen, a navy pilot who’s done just that in a very short time. We talk about hiring your first employee, finding good deals, using low down payment loans to fund your deals, and a lot more. If you are looking to make your real estate business launch into the stratosphere, don’t miss a moment of this show!

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This Show Sponsored By

We just waRealtySharesnted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: RealtyShares. RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform that allows you to invest in professionally managed properties without leaving your living room!

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Fire Round Sponsor

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • What Bill does aside from being active duty in the U.S. Navy
  • How he got into the real estate world
  • The importance of being able to walk away from a house
  • What you should know about the housing assistance program
  • His $185k loss in an investment
  • The difference between buying rentals and buying primary residences
  • His first investment property
  • What exactly a VA loan is
  • How he uses VA loans creatively to finance his investing
  • How to treat real estate as a business
  • Mistakes on his first flip and what he could have done better
  • How Bill got private money despite not having deals under his belt
  • Tips for flipping while having a full time job
  • How to structure your business to maximize the potential in your market
  • Considerations while hiring your first employee
  • The importance of setting task lists
  • How to incentivize those you hire
  • How many deals has Bill done
  • Thoughts on diversifying your business
  • Tips for creating a good website
  • How to funnel your leads
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “It’s not emotional. I buy it as an investment property.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If they can do it, I can do it.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Know what the value of something is before you pay for it.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Bill

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. Patrick Donley on

    Great interview with Bill, Gentlemen! Good to hear how Bill is systematizing and growing his business-especially the hiring process. I’m at the same early stages of doing the same and this was super useful information. Thanks!

  2. J Rodriguez

    Hi guys! Great podcast as always. On minute 33;02 you mentioned a podcast your assistant is listening to to prepare to meet with a seller. I couldn’t get the name of the person in the podcast, Michael _____, podcast 77. Can you share this info? Thanks much in advance. Jorge

    • William Allen

      You would be very surprised Seth, it was just last year I was only doing one deal a year and now I have 6 under contract or closed already in 2016. The difference has been just a simple change in mindset and implementation in my business instead of just having all these ideas and not acting on them. Good luck and reach out if you think I can help.

    • William Allen

      I think it comes with hiring the right people. I don’t think my contractor knows much about my business so I don’t feel that we would need a confidential relationship but my assistant does. You could consider having them sign a NDA if you are worried about that. But in the end, that is one of the risk of becoming an employer and starting a business.

  3. Jason Brenizer

    Great podcast as always. Bill, I particularly loved to hear how you are successfully working around an erratic flight schedule for which you have no control. Waking up early, staying up late after your son hits the hay. Very inspiring commitment to your success goals.

    Brandon, after Bill mentioned taking a loan from his 401K to help fund some of his projects, you jumped on and mentioned lending to yourself through a Self Directed IRA. This topic is slippery, as I’m sure you know from your teaming up with Amanda Han. I’m afraid some of your listeners will take your brief comment as gospel, when in truth lending to yourself in a Self Directed IRA (SDIRA) can be considered “self dealing” and would be a prohibited transaction type.

    My wife and I use our SDIRA for many kinds of real estate related investing. It’s super powerful. To understand what’s prohibited and what’s allowed, I suggest investors read Mat Sorensen’s “The Self Directed IRA Handbook”. I’m not affiliated in any way, but I have read it twice and go back to it regularly when I need a refresher. And it’s always a good idea to add a CPA or attorney experienced in real estate investing on your team (which both you and Josh have said many, many times).

    • William Allen

      Jason, can you help me explain to my wife why I am working so hard right now? She will find out in a few months when everything is paying off in big ways! I agree with you 100% on the SDIRA topic, I didn’t pick that up during the podcast but you have to be very careful what you do inside of that account. I use a checkbook IRA so I don’t have a custodian watching my back on every transaction. The key is knowing the rules well and following the guidelines. Great tip on the SDIRA Handbook, very good read.

  4. Jermaine White

    I concur with many of the posts here excellent interview my head is still buzzing from all the information I have just learned particularly the VA loan. I’m active duty well soon to be retired and I thought I had a firm grasp on the VA loan. I’m really glad BP shined the light on an active duty member that is making it happen in the real estate world this sure boosted my confidence by 200%!!!

    Thanks Gents!!!

  5. Joe C.


    I enjoyed the show greatly! I am a retired Navy P-3 driver over in Jacksonville and wish I made some of your moves when I was your age. You mentioned that deciding whether to continue in the Navy was an upcoming decision. I faced that once and left active duty after 9 years, mostly to avoid family separation. While I enjoyed flying in and retiring from the reserves immensely, I would think carefully about leaving active duty. In addition to the many factors you will evaluate, consider that you would lose all those “gray area” years (probably about 17) where you would be retired from the reserves but not collecting retirement pay until age 60. When you finally get it, reserve retirement will be a little over half the active duty retirement rate. The forgone retirement pay could buy a lot of income producing real estate. It sounds like you are a solid systems guy who could make RE investing work while continuing to serve.

    And, by the way, thanks for your service! Take it easy on those SNAs!



  6. One of the best podcasts I have listened to and that’s saying a lot given the talent on BP. Bill, from one vet to another, thank you for your service. What you have built, and are looking to build upon, is a real inspiration and has really got me thinking about taking my first step in real estate investing as I look to not only diversify my portfolio, but think about a second career. Are you a licensed real estate agent? I am thinking this may be my first step, so was just curious. Thanks again to everyone for a great show and site.


    • William Allen

      Jeff, I am a licensed agent but I don’t feel like you have to be. I wanted access to the MLS for my business and I was also interested in seeing what it would take to become one. I don’t do much with my license now other than run some comps every now and then. I highly recommend diversifying your portfolio with real estate but be careful, you could end up like me and get addicted to it! Good luck and thank you for the kind words about the podcast.

  7. Julie Marquez

    I am listing to your podcast for the second time (because the podcast player just skipped around mid commute), but I’m glad it did. I am learning so much this second time. There are some great strategies I’d like to employ, like the the self directed 401k. And now I’m going to encourage my younger Navy brother to buy a house with a VA loan. He was in flight school for a while in Pensacola/Milton, you guys might have crossed paths. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the podcast, and all the best to you!

    • William Allen

      Julie, I’m glad you got something out of the podcast. It always feel good to hear that others can learn from things that I have done, that’s how I learned along the way too. Encourage your younger brother to buy a multi unit with that VA loan, ideally a 4 unit and rent the other 3 out to make money. Good luck to you as well.

  8. Donnie M.


    I have listened to your podcast twice now and pick up something new and awesome each time. Your website is extremely well laid out and I would like to know what ThemeForest template did you use to create it? Thanks again and it is awesome how you have scaled your business. Enjoy your blog. Best of luck to you and thanks your service and dedication.


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