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WS613: Lead Yourself First with Bill Allen

Hiring people can be a daunting experience for numerous reasons. Either you’re afraid to delegate or you don’t want to put the effort into training someone. However, scaling your real estate business requires having the right people and systems so you, as an entrepreneur, can do what you’re best at. Bill Allen, today’s guest, takes a unique approach both to hiring and systems-building, and he shares some of these insights with us.

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In this episode, we learn more about the inward look Bill believes leaders should take when building systems. Many people think that systems mean software, but Bill sees it differently. Leaders should know their strengths and weaknesses and then create systems to account for this. We also take a look at Bill’s hiring process, why he emphasizes core value alignment, and how he finds the right personalities. While experience is important, nothing can take the place of synchronized visions. Along with this, Bill shares some of the software systems he has in place to increase efficiency, why it’s important to discern and account for the differences between management and leadership, and how to ensure you always have a full Rolodex of potential hires. Be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Learn more about Bill’s background and his real estate journey so far.
  • Why the first step of building effective systems requires looking inward and self-exploration.
  • Software systems should work to reduce human workload and increase overall efficiency.
  • Find out more about Bill’s hiring process and why he emphasizes core values over skillsets.
  • How defining a personality for a role and advertising accordingly attracts the right people.
  • How Bill uses the Culture Index to assess the personalities of potential job candidates.
  • Bill’s tips on attracting top talent: Understand what they want from their job.
  • Why Bill believes that you should always be looking to hire even if there are no vacancies.
  • Some of the software that Bill’s companies use to increase operational efficiency.
  • Understanding the differences between leadership and management and balancing them.
  • A recent business improvement, the role mentors have played in Bill’s success, and giving back.

[bctt tweet=”I’d rather have somebody who’s a personality profile fit and a culture fit than I would somebody who has an extensive resume. — Bill Allen” username=”whitney_sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Bill Allen on LinkedIn

7 Figure Flipping

7 Figure Flipping with Bill Allen Podcast

Blackjack Real Estate

Culture Index

Traction

Rocket Fuel

Slack

Asana

Lucidchart

BombBomb

Operation Underground Railroad

About Bill Allen

Bill Allen, a Navy pilot, and real estate professional is the CEO and owner of 7 Figure Flipping and host of the 7 Figure Flipping Podcast, where he leads the top house flipping and wholesaling mentoring groups in the world. Just a few years ago, he was stuck flipping 1 or 2 houses per year and doing all the work himself, but since then, he’s built a systematized business that runs without him. His wholesaling and flipping company, Blackjack Real Estate, is based out of Nashville, TN, and does upwards of 200 deals a year throughout the Southeast with a staff of 15 people.

Full Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:00] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication.

And now your host, Whitney Sewell.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:00:24] WS: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I’m your host, Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Bill Allen. Thanks for being on the show, Bill.

[0:00:32] BA: Whitney, thanks for having me. I’m excited.

[0:00:34] WS: Yeah, I’m excited too. I’m excited to get to know you a little better. A pleasure to have you on the show and thank you. I want to say firsthand thank you for your service. I appreciate your service. For those that don’t know you, a Navy pilot and real estate professional, CEO and owner of 7 Figure Flipping and host of the 7 Figure Flipping Podcast, where he leads the top house flipping and wholesaling mentoring groups in the world.

Just a few years ago, started flipping one to two houses per year and doing all that work himself. But since then he’s built a systemized business that runs without him. Wholesaling and flipping company, Blackjack Real Estate is based out of Nashville, Tennessee and does upwards of 200 deals a year throughout the Southeast with a staff of 15 people.

I love that just building systems. I’m a systems guy. I love thinking that way. How can we do this? How can we optimize things? How can we make things happen without me having to do it, right? I love just that mindset, and it sounds like you have just mastered that in this business and not only in flipping. But you also – As we were talking about, it’s allowed you to do lots of other investing in larger deals and syndications just to create wealth for yourself and your family.

But, Bill, give us a little more about maybe who you are and then let’s just jump in to some of the systems and just the mindset behind it.

[0:01:52] BA: Yeah. Before I do, I want to say thank you for your service too. We know each other through a military connection, right? I can’t get off this without thanking you. It’s been my honor to serve and everybody that’s gone before me. It’s just amazing. We have a bond through service. It’s awesome.

My background is, I was an engineer, so I have an engineering background. I was a test pilot in the Navy, so some of that stuff comes into play in the things that I do like the systems and operations side, what’s working, what’s not working. I just got frustrated with the stock market. I wasn’t making enough money and I have no patience. I want my net worth to go up. I would constantly track it and I got into – I was buying a couple houses, fixing them up, renting them out when I would move from the military. Sure enough, I started to see my net worth go up, and my bank account started to rise, and I can control that.

I got into real estate, flipped the house. It was a rental actually, and my realtor said, “You could sell this and make some money.” I made $43,000 and said, “That was half of my annual income. Let’s do it again.” That’s when I kind of started down that journey. I struggled like a lot of people do to try to figure it out my own. I found a mentor. I found somebody who’s doing what I wanted to do. I kind of latched onto that group, that person, and just started taking the systems that other people were using and implement it in my business.

I know somebody who’s systemized when I see one and I’ve gotten about 15 email updates to be on time for this podcast, so you’re definitely a systems guy. You have backend systems that are really great. I’m actually going to hack some of that stuff myself.

[0:03:15] WS: Cool. Well, I appreciate that. Appreciate that a lot. Yeah, you have to. I mean, you have to think that way. You have to think that way. It amazes me. People have been in the business for so many years, and there are some simple things that could make your life so much easier. But I’d love to dive into when you started thinking that way and some systems that’s helped you to scale what you have.

I know leadership is a big deal, and maybe the military helped you with that. Maybe you could you teach us a little bit there as well about what that’s looked like to lead your team and to be this successful with a team of 15 and so 200+ deals a year.

[0:03:46] BA: Yeah. I think like you asked where to start with systems. And I feel like a lot of people think that it’s like a software service or something that you need, right? That’s the thing that’s going to get you where you need to go. It’s like, “Give me the system.” I get people all the time come to me and say, “What’s the system? I want the system. Give it to me.”

I don’t want to like take the air out of your balloon too early, right? But to me, the system is the people, right? I think when you talk about leadership, first you lead yourself, and lead your family and your community and your church group and everywhere that you go. But then you start like casting a vision and figuring out where you want to go.

I think the first step is understanding who you are, what your skill set is, and then building things around you. There are strengths and weaknesses that we each have, and a lot of people say, “Okay, work on your weaknesses.” I think that’s a load of garbage. I think that you need to like focus on your strengths, really be strong there, and then figure out how to like strengthen – Outsource your weaknesses for other people or systems or processes. That’s what I did. I was like going to the houses and banging the hammers. I was doing all the things. I was working in the business instead of figuring out what I’m really good at.

What I found out now what I’m really good at is kind of casting a vision, giving direction, seeing the future, and then helping people get there. Motivate them to put them in the right seats in the right place to motivate them and lead them to their great aspects, like what do they do really well.

Then, what I find is for each of us when we’re working, what kind of systems can we bolt on? Now, I’m talking software, automations, things like that to reduce the workload of that human being? Because I would like to do like 400 deals with 15 people, instead having to make 40 people build 40 people in the company to do double what we’re doing, right?

I think back to like my flying time as a pilot. We have something in the airplane called trim, and all it does is make small adjustments in the elevators, the ailerons, the rudder to reduce the human workload. When you’re flying, you’re multitasking. You have to fly. You have to talk. You have to listen to radios. When you just go start flying for the first time, you are all over the place. You have no idea what’s going on. I’ve seen students shut down. They can’t even talk. They definitely can’t hear. All they’re doing is motor skills. All that trim and all the different features and things that are inside of an airplane are designed to reduce the human workload.

The same thing in our businesses. We can take it to our business to – If we can reduce human workload to the point where they can focus on the bigger stuff and other things happen automatically, how many hours do we get back? Then they can either work a little bit more or make more money. That’s kind of how I looked at it.

[0:06:10] WS: I’m taking lots of notes. That’s good stuff. Good stuff. Let’s first talk about how you found the right people. I’ve struggled with that in different time, numerous hiring processes, and trying to find that person, and then to obviously train them. Or do I find somebody that has these skills or do I just find somebody that has a work ethic and then just put the time in to train them?  I love to know just what’s been your philosophy to finding those people who’ve been the rock stars in your 15.

[0:06:35] BA: Yeah. I did the same thing. I struggled as well, so it’s not – What I’ve learned along the way is that I’ve got to know who I really work well with if I’m going to be involved in their day-to-day operations, they’re going to be on the team. I define my core values. That’s step one. Everybody gives that lip service. If you come to any of our events, you ever heard me speak on a podcast, you probably heard – Or a webinar or anything. That’s all I talk about. Core values, core values, core values. Because if you don’t know what they’re walking into and who they need to be, then let’s take it back a step.

Do you ever have somebody in your company who you can’t put your finger on it? They’re just not the right fit. They do an okay job. They’re pretty good, but you’re like, “Something’s a little off. I can’t really place it but something’s not right. Their performance is okay. They seem to be nice, but something’s off.” It’s typically a core value violation of some sort to you. You can’t – Or you go to a party and you meet somebody. You’re like, “I just really don’t like – We don’t get along.”

That’s where the values come in. It’s not the skill set, because I feel like the skill set can a lot of times be taught. You have to have some sort of background in what you’re doing, but the core values can’t change. Basically, they’re ingrained in you since you’re like some people say five years old. Some people say 12 years old. I really think like in your early ages, you’ve got these core values that you’re moving forward in. I look for that.

I define my core values in my company. We have five core values. Every single person in the company can say what they are and define them. Then what we do is we hire based on that. That’s what I look for. We write an ad that’s specifically based to that core value in profile. We also look for certain personalities and certain roles. There are some roles that I need somebody who can’t – I don’t want them to see the future. I don’t want them to see 10 steps ahead. I want them to be dialed into what they’re doing and be very detailed. Then I want somebody who’s a really good salesperson who probably isn’t that detailed, but they’re really good with people, and they’re really driven and money-hungry and things like that. Core values is number one.

Number two, we define the role and then we define a personality around that role, like what does that seat look like and what kind of personality fits it. Then we write the ad. So, we write the ad based on the bullet points and the adjectives that we want to attract to that kind of person.

If I want somebody that doesn’t see the future, I don’t want to see, “Are you a forward-thinking visionary that wants to change the world,” right? I’m going to say, “Do you love working from home? Do you like to be focused on one task and not be distracted? Do you like working in groups?” If I want somebody who’s really social, and we write it to that. I attract that person and I also – What it does is it reduces my workload. It detracts the person who it’s not. I don’t want somebody to apply if it’s not going to be the right fit.

Then we have a couple other hoops that they jump through like they have to apply to our certain link. They have to attach their resume to our personality profile software. If they don’t jump through all these hoops, then we don’t even talk to them. I don’t talk to anybody until I have perfect personality profile fit. I have a resume that typically has a background of something that I’m looking for. Then I get on the phone with them or my COO gets on the phone with them.

That’s our structure, and then interview process is very much diving into who they are, not necessarily their background or history. I mean, if they bounced around from job to job 10 different times every six months, that’s something we might not even entertain but we dig into who they are. What do they want to do? What’s their future look like? All that stuff before we start talking about the job role.

[0:09:46] WS: You mentioned personality fit. How do you test that?

[0:09:50] BA: We use a software called Culture Index. It was like my ace in the hole for a long time that I actually read – If you read Traction by Gino Wickman. They also wrote a book called Rocket Fuel. In Rocket Fuel, he talks about this thing called culture index. It’s a personality profile. It has a pretty high fidelity and it’s basically index-based personality survey, so 160, 170 words. They just click the words that they’re attracted to in there, and it’s designed to show a couple dots that I’m trained to read that I can see who they are.

We used DISC for a long time, and what I found with DISC is very manipulatable. I can manipulate it very easily. If you gave me a job description right now and gave me the DISC assessment, I would create the profile that you would be looking for for that job role, just knowing what I know.

[0:10:34] WS: That’s good to know.

[0:10:35] BA: Yeah. I’d say even in the indexed stuff, if you’re interviewing somebody, I always ask, “Have you ever taken a personality survey like this before and what did you think about it?” When I was using the DISC, I would always say, “Have you ever taken a DISC assessment before?” If they say yes, I say, “Do you have a copy of it? Can you send me that one?” instead of using the one that I have because what I realized after a few years is what I’m getting is not matching what’s on this piece of paper. I think it’s more aspirational the way they’re answering the questions that it is actually like deep inside of them.

That’s my like ace in the hole. I absolutely love it. It’s a bit expensive for smaller companies but, I mean, the cost of a bad hire is like 15 times their salary. You can do the math of what a bad hire costs you.

[0:11:15] WS: Yes, for sure. You’re finding somebody. I mean, I love how you’re laying these things out. Even in just the job description you’re telling them upfront this is it, so hopefully they don’t apply if they’re not the right fit. You’re looking for somebody, let’s say, that’s in the sales position but let’s say they meet all the core values but they don’t have any sales experience. Is that still somebody you’re going to interview?

[0:11:34] BA: In a sales role, probably not, unless they’re like super hungry. They want to learn. I’d like them to have some experience in sales from my experience, depending on where you’re using them. We’re very belly to belly or phone sales. I want somebody that I don’t necessarily have to train the ins and outs of building rapport and stuff like that. If it was some –

[0:11:52] WS: Maybe not sales specifically but, yeah, it could be any role.

[0:11:55] BA: Office admin, assistants, corporate, marketing. Marketing and sales, probably somebody who I want some background in there. But I can use an example of my Operations Director in my company right now, she started hanging bandit signs for us. We were paying her like a $1.50 a bandit sign on Craigslist that my COO hired. We rarely do these by the way. This is not something that’s like a strategy that I absolutely love, but we were testing a model in a new market because the other stuff that we typically do wasn’t working. She was so hungry and so motivated, and she started doing that. Then she started doing like quality assurance checks inside of our CRM like calling people back, checking on them, doing follow-up. Then she started doing some lead intake and answering phones, building rapport.

Then she started – She just kept moving up in the organization. She has no operational – She became our transaction coordinator. She is running 150 deals through our company a year talking to sellers, talking to buyers, talking to title companies, lenders, dealing with it all. Then she became the Operations Director and runs a team of like three people now. I mean, and her – What she did before that was like marketing, like liquor promotion down in Miami for bars and restaurants and stuff like that, like running a team for that for marketing. So, she had no background in this, and just trained her up on it.

My marketing director didn’t know anything about real estate. She was doing marketing for herself. She’s run a couple of companies but it was selling T-shirts on Facebook and running ads for that stuff in e-commerce and kind of moved her over to something brand new, totally different. I think that you can train a lot of that stuff. So, I’d rather have somebody who’s a personality profile fit and a culture fit than I would somebody who has an extensive resume, from my experience.

[0:13:29] WS: For sure. How are you attracting talent? I mean, you may say I’ll pay you maybe a nice salary. But how do you really attract them in?

[0:13:37] BA: Well, I think you have to put yourself in their shoes. What do they want and what’s going on? Right now, I think obviously we’re in the middle of this like kind of we’re recording this around the pandemic, this coronavirus stuff, so a lot of people are out of work. This is a great time to be recruiting. I’ll tell you what. We have ads up all over the place even if we’re not hiring right now. I’m building a database of people who are looking, and so you got to put yourselves in their shoes.

What I noticed is, let’s call six months ago we’re hiring people, you have people that are applying who are probably in a stable job that they like okay, but they’re looking for another job. Something that will like pull them out of what they’re doing right now. They’re not actually looking.

If somebody doesn’t have a job when the job market is like 3% unemployment and they don’t have a job, there might be a reason why they don’t have a job. What I had to start thinking about what are these people thinking about? What are they doing? Why are they looking? Why are they at work on Indeed like applying for our job? There’s something there that they don’t like. They’re looking for something bigger, the future, and things like that.

What I noticed is if you want all-star, A-player talent, what you need to do is you need to make sure that there’s a path of progress and growth for them. A lot of times what happens when you have rockstar people, they see a ceiling and they hit it, and that’s when they start looking for other things. They just don’t see a future or they’re not happy.

What I spend my time – I don’t spend my time asking about. I talk to some of the people that we hire now and I spend more of my time about, “What does the future look like for you. What are some of your goals? Where do you want to be years from now? Where do you see yourself in this company?” I read them our three-year picture and our 10-year vision, and I see like, “Well, how does that sound to you? Does it sound like something you can get behind?”

If they’re like, “Oh, my gosh! I love this like. This is so exciting. I want to be in a company that’s growing like that,” then that’s somebody that I can kind of pull in and just kind of show the vision and where we’re going, and that should get them excited.

But if I read a three-year vision and it’s like, “Hey, we have a corporate office in Nashville and we do an annual retreat. We’re doing 500 deals a year. We can buy anything because we have unlimited funding.” All the stuff that the visionary stuff that I’ve created for this three-year picture, if they’re like, “I don’t like the sound of that,” then they’re weeding themselves out. So, I think you really attract them in. I forget the stat but it’s something like 70% of the people that are out in the workforce right now would rather have a new boss than a pay raise. If you can think about that –

[0:15:50] WS: I believe that.

[0:15:51] BA: Think about that. Can you imagine that? There’s more people out there that would rather have a new job and a new boss than a pay raise. So, it’s not all about money. We always think it’s all about money. You got to find out what it’s about for them. Sometimes job titles, sometimes certifications, experience, being able to come to some of our mastermind meetings and teach and coach and do that stuff, like that’s why my staff loves it. I don’t think any of them are ever going to leave because they actually love what they’re plugged into. I think you got to figure that out. Figure out what they want and what they need and then does it align with you?

Right now, I’m interviewing a COO for the 7 Figure Flipping company and I’m realizing that he wants a lot of money, and so my conversation has to go to a place of, “Hey, what can I offer that if that doesn’t work, like what does it look like? How do we get there? Let’s work together to figure out how this works for both of us. If you’re the right fit, then we’re going to find a way, and you’re going to see the future. Two or three years from now, you’re not going to be worrying about that because you’re making a lot more money than you’re asking for right now.” You got to find that happy medium – It’s a sale and negotiation process.

[0:16:52] WS: For sure. Where do you find them?

[0:16:54] BA: Where do I find people?

[0:16:55] WS: Right.

[0:16:56] BA: Like 100% on Indeed right now. It’s just kind of where we are. The other thing that we do is we ask other people that we work with or that work for us if they have any referrals or recommendations or people that they know.

An interesting thing that we just kind of started doing is if you’re having a conversation and you probably have brought people on that raised a lot of money, you talk about raising capital. When people ask you what you do, what do you say? What is your line? If we’re recruiting and hiring, I like to say I’m a real estate day trader, and usually they say, “What? What does that mean?”

Then I kind of take it to wherever I want to go and I might say, “Well, I run a wholesaling operation that does high volume. We do about a house a day and we’re a fun, small organization that’s looking to grow. We’ve been doubling year-over-year. We’ll do three and a half million dollars in gross profit this year, really exciting stuff. You know anybody who would be interested in working for a company like that?”

Obviously, I’m talking to somebody who – They might be like, “You know what? I do know somebody who would love to do something like that?” The same thing, you can shift it to money. You can say, “Hey, we make a lucrative real estate investment returns for our partners and investors, and we do it like – If you’re in syndication, we do syndication deals all across the country. Do you know anybody who would be interested in investing in something like that?”

However we – You can do the same thing for hiring, which is something that was like a big aha for us a few months ago. Now, we’re building a Rolodex and a list of those people too, just referrals and recommendations. Any time we’re looking for somebody, you’re always hiring. You should always be looking and always be building a bench because you never know.

I’ve had people quit and I’m like, “What? They seem to be the happiest people in the world.” Something came up. They left, and we had to fill that role really fast. I’d much rather have a database full of people, so we’re always hiring. I mean, if one of my staff members is listening to this right now, they could go on Indeed and find an ad for their job role right now. I’m just going to say it. They know that, and so they shouldn’t be surprised.

[0:18:42] WS: Let’s get into a little bit of the tech that you’ve used also to reduce the human workload like you talked about initially while we just have a few minutes left. Tell us a little bit about those systems, how you’ve – Obviously, to do 200 deals plus a year of 15 people, I mean, you’ve got to have some systems there, right? What are some other things or technology or things you put in place? Okay, now you’ve built a team. You’ve got the people in place. You’ve trained them. What are you using on a daily base to make all this happen?

[0:19:08] BA: Yeah. We use a lot. I mean, I’ve created a slide on a presentation. I think it had like 100 logos. I just took all the logos. I took the credit card and I put all the logos. That’s I would say one of the biggest needle movers for us is like an operational software, so like tracking to-do list and stuff. A lot of people use like Slack and there’s a ton of them. There’s different CRMs. We use Asana for our backend operations, and that’s been a game changer for us. I use it in both companies, 7 Figure Flipping company and Blackjack. That’s something where it’s just operations management like to-do lists, check off. You can make calendars. You can do all kinds of stuff in there. That’s been a big game changer for us.

We also build out like the process and system inside Lucidchart. So, we build out our processes and then we have a training. We can basically go through and train somebody on that process where I should be able to plug somebody in and say, “From contract to close, this is the operation. You do this and this and this,” and we go deep into those processes.

[0:20:00] WS: What is that called again?

[0:20:02] BA: Lucidchart is what we use. It’s just something that you can like make squares and triangles and meetings and things like that. It’s a workflow diagram basically, but there’s hundreds of them.

There’s a couple that I really like that it’s probably valuable for your listeners. One is Google Chrome plug-in called BombBomb. I don’t know if you’ve ever used it but it’s a – You can make a quick video and send it in an email. Probably my biggest hack on there though is people will still think that it’s automated but it’s says two-minute or three-minute video. So, when you get the email, you know how long it is. You can see if people opened it or watched the video. What I do is I hold up my iPad with a little whiteboard and I put their name on it, so they know that I’m talking directly to them. I also put their name in the subject line so that way –

At first, they think it’s automated. But some of my high-end clients or high-end mastermind members, when I want to get in touch with them, they get a ton of emails. I put it right there and I’m like, “Hey, I’m talking to you, man. You haven’t RSVP to the event. I need you to RSVP.” That’s something that I use that I think would get a great response from moneylenders, from different people. It’s real quick. You can just embed it in the email. I love it.

[0:21:02] WS: Love that. I’ve used BombBomb and I’ve heard that before. But nobody’s ever brought it up on the show before as far as holding up the sign and saying their name. I love that. So, they know it’s personalized. What are some tips? Like I said, just a few more minutes but just tips in leading a team like that, so they feel engaged and they want to stick around, they want to stay?

[0:21:20] BA: Yes. There’s leadership and there’s management, and you got to find a balance between the two. Most people are just over-managed and under-led. We had a trainer come in to talk about leadership and management, and what he said was 90% of the people out there in the world are thinking about the past and the present. The other 10% are like us, the visionaries, the entrepreneurs, the drivers. They’re thinking about the future and sometimes in the present.

So, what you have to do is realize who’s on your team and what they are. If you know their personalities and you know if somebody is a really high, for me a B in culture index or a High-I in DISC, I know that when I call them, I can’t get straight to business like I want to. I got to talk to them and have a conversation with them. They need five minutes of me talking about their cat or their dog of their day or their kids or what’s going on to make them feel good. I do that. You got to kind of make sure that you understand your people and know your people.

I think that leadership side of things and management side of things, you have to balance those two. If you don’t have a COO – I have a COO that runs the company day-to-day, so I don’t have to. So, I get to do almost all leadership and visionary stuff like I like to. But if you don’t have that, you got to balance it. Now, from the leadership aspect, you have to think about how you act and what you say. What you say matters a lot, especially to your staff. If you say like, “I’m sorry, I can, we can do it, good job, you’re doing great,” those are like leadership words, right? Not, “We tried that already. It doesn’t work. You want to encourage them to bring ideas, so really think about what you’re saying, especially in a time like right now. 

I’ve got a cast vision and future and not show them that I’m maybe a little bit nervous or maybe a little bit concerned but I see opportunity. I see all these things, and I have to be open and honest in front of them and know when they need me to lead them and they need me out front, because a lot of the people are not High-Ds like we are and not really driven. They’re thinking about the past and the present, and they are concerned. If you know that, you know the lens that they’re looking through and you can start sharing that message with them. I think it’s really important to think about what you say and how you act and how they see you, because a lot of times you think it’s just like you’re just going to be you around everybody and that’s fine.

Sometimes, you – If they see you that you’re adapting to them and making them feel good and understanding their struggles and their issues and their concerns, then it’s going to allow you to be their leader for them to have somebody to look up to. Just pour into your people, like really think about them. Have them in mind all the time. That’s an important part. You really, really, really have to do that.

[0:23:41 WS: Great advice, Bill. What’s a way you’ve recently improved your business that we can apply to ours that we hadn’t talked about?

[0:23:47] BA: That’s a great question, a recent way that I’ve improved my business. I think we’re in a time of efficiency right now, so we’re really thinking about what – We’re coming out of – Some people may have come out of the office space and their houses. Some people are seeing that they have to go virtual. We’re 100% virtual, so I was actually driven out of my office into a rental office because I have a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a two-year-old. They’re running around my house going crazy, so I can’t do my interviews and interviews like this.

I think we’re finding new ways to be efficient. One thing that we did was we really started to say like, “Do we have to do this in everything that we do?” For us, we would go do belly-to-belly sales.” In-home sales was what we thought we had to do. Except like six months ago, we challenged that. We said, “Why does it have to be that way? Do we have to do that? How much windshield time are sales reps taking? They’re not making offers during that time. Could we do this over the phone?” So, we shifted to a phone model like six months ago. Fortunately, we did that, and all this happened, and we had a leg up on our competition primarily.

I would say not necessarily just like coming out of the field and going on the phone but how can you be more efficient. Where are you wasting your time? We were wasting our time with our sales reps. We’re just like driving 30 minutes to appointment and getting shut down, driving back. It just wasn’t efficient. We are wasting so much manpower and human effort, so we continue to do that to try to say – I don’t know. Maybe it’s the military in me, and I really hate it. How can you do more with less I think about because that’s always what they said? How can you just be more trained and more qualified with less flight time, so we don’t have to pay so much for your guys? We would always hate that.

But now as an owner, I’m really trying to figure out in all of us how can we be more efficient. That’s one way that we’ve been more efficient. You can change that and adapt it to your business, but I think it’s always asking like, “Why do we do this. Why do it that way? Well, it’s because we always done it that way.”  That doesn’t matter. Challenge the status quo. Challenge the way that you’re doing things and make change.

[0:25:31] WS: What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

[0:25:34] BA: Mentors. That’s it. Hands down. Everything that I’m talking about right now was given to me or shown to me by somebody else. I will maintain probably my entire real estate career that I don’t have an original thought inside of the real estate business. I have just taken my business as a complete Frankenstein of so many other people that have allowed me to come in and see what they’re doing, have mentored me, have given me their documents, their systems, their process. All I do is try to make it better. I pull it into my business. I say, “How can I use this and be better than them? How can I use what they’re using and make it a little better?” I think just the people that have gotten me here. It hasn’t been a very long time, and we’ve grown really fast, and it’s all because of the people that have shared their time and their knowledge with me.

[0:26:14] WS: How did you meet those people?

[0:26:16 BA: I paid a lot of money. I joined a mastermind group. It was one of the early things that I did it. I had a library card and I didn’t even buy books. I was so cheap. The government has probably spent $2 million on my education. My test pilot school was US $1.6. I did it in England, it was a million pounds, and they used me as a test pilot for two years and then kind of threw me away down to the training command. It’s just incredible to see that I would put so much money in my formal education but none of my money in my self-education.

I’m a big proponent of self-education. At that time, I was still too cheap to write a check like that. I mean, I joined a group. I powered in there. I went from doing one deal a year to doing – We did 67 deals the first year, and then I did 135 and then 187. We’ve been consistently doing somewhere around 175 to 200 a year for the past two years after that.

Obviously, it was worth it. It’s not for everybody but I think you just got to get around people who will challenge you. Obviously, I listen to this podcast. You hear huge entrepreneurs, big thinkers come on here every day. He does this every day. Whitney does it every day. They come on and they share the stuff and just this. You listen to this and you say, “If I can do it, you can do it.” that’s what I learned.

There’s no glass ceiling above my head. Shatter it. There’s people out there making millions of dollars a year. Why can’t it be me? Why not invest in myself instead of like being afraid to invest in myself? Who better to invest in than in ourselves right? That was it. I got around those people that way. I think there’s probably some other ways, but go to an event. Go to – Don’t be afraid to buy a course or listen to this podcast every single day. But find somebody that you get attracted to and follow them. If Whitney is your guy obviously, like follow him. Get all of his stuff. Devour it. Listen to every podcast. What can you learn? Then go take action. That’s it.

[0:27:53] WS: How do you like to give back?

[0:27:55] BA: Oh, man. A lot of ways. I love to give back in a lot of ways. Operation Underground Railroad is near and dear to my heart. It’s a human trafficking organization where they have Navy SEALs, previous CIA, lots of different operators like kicking down doors and not just awareness. I’m the Tennessee director for that organization. I was able to see them in action at one of the events that we run. We raised a bunch of money for them. I got to know them a little bit more. Then I knocked on their door for about six months, and they gave me the state of Tennessee. I get to do that. We raise money for them. My goal is to raise a million dollars a year for them coming up in, I don’t know, two years. Hopefully, 250 this year and then maybe a million the year after that and on. I’ve seen a mentor of mine raise a million dollars at one event for them, so I wanted to figure out how to do that.

Then we just renovated a house and gave it away to a Gold Star family, so that’s – I love the military. I love veterans. I love figuring out how we can do more for that. That’s obviously a couple charities that are near and dear to my heart, but I think the biggest thing is giving away our time, figuring out how we can make an impact on others too. So many people have done so much for me that all I want to do is figure out how I can pass that along. Pass that information along just like our forefathers, grandfathers, all the people that are out there that are passing along the knowledge to other people and hopefully they can run with it.

[0:29:06] WS: Incredible, Bill. Grateful for your time. You just shared so much great information with us. I know the listeners or I hope they are thinking like you’re thinking now and thinking, “Okay, I can hire people. I can make this happen. I can scale. I can put systems in place. It’s not outside of my reach. You’ve laid out so many great actionable steps for them to take, and I’m grateful for that. How can they get in touch with you and learn more about you?

[0:29:28] BA: Okay, before I answer that question, 32nd story. When my mentor said I need to hire somebody, I said, “I can’t. I’m afraid. I won’t. I don’t want to put food on anybody else’s table. I’m scared.” I have like 40 people that work for me in two different companies right now. So, if I can do it, you can do it. Trust me. The first one is you got to do it. Then after that, it becomes – You get a little bit addicted to it. I’ll tell you that.

You guys can find me at 7figureflipping.com. That’s kind of where I hang out, obviously 7 Figure Flipping Podcast. I definitely don’t do a show every day. It’s absolutely insane. It’s amazing what you do. This is really, really cool. I had no idea that you were doing a show a day, so impressive.

[0:30:02] WS: Awesome, Bill. That’s a wrap. Thank you very much.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[0:30:06] WS: Don’t go yet. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I would love it if you would go to iTunes right now and leave a rating and written review. I want to hear your feedback. It makes a big difference in getting the podcast out there. You can also go to the Real Estate Syndication Show on Facebook, so you can connect with me and we can also receive feedback and your questions there that you want me to answer on the show. Subscribe too, so you can get the latest episodes. Lastly, I want to keep you updated. So head over to lifebridgecapital.com and sign up for the newsletter. If you’re interested in partnering with me, sign up on the contact us page, so you can talk to me directly. Have a blessed day, and I will talk to you tomorrow.

[OUTRO]

[0:30:46] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to The Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Life Bridge Capital. Life Bridge Capital works with investors nationwide to invest in real estate while also donating 50% of its profits to assist parents who are committing to adoption. Life Bridge Capital, making a difference one investor and one child at a time. Connect online at www.LifeBridgeCapital.com for free material and videos to further your success.

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