90% of the world's millionaires have attained their wealth primarily through real estate investing.
If you are wanting to make that same journey as well, there are a lot of people you can turn to for advice.
Than Merrill is one such individual - a real estate investor who has built a brand around advising new investors on how to build their wealth through real estate.
In this guide, we'll take a look at Than Merrill, his net worth, his training, and whether or not he's someone you should listen to as a new or experienced real estate investor.
Let’s get started.
What Is Than Merrill's Net Worth?
One of the first things people want to know when considering someone's investing advice is, "What's their net worth?"
And it makes sense. Why listen to someone if they aren't making more than you?
According to Merrill, he's done $300 million in the last 3 years, and a total of $1 billion since starting his real estate career in total transactions, translating to the following net worth figures:
$40 million USD as of June 2014
$75 million USD as of February 2017
$100 million USD as of July 2020
Merrill's initial capital came through his time as a professional football player in the NFL. He went on to write a bestselling book and appear on prime-time TV between 2007-2009.
He used this money invest in real estate, and that has been the primary driver of his growing net worth.
Keep in mind, these numbers were never confirmed by Merill or his associates. These are best estimates according to his published contracts and his known real estate portfolio.
How Than Merill Became A Well-Known Figure In Real Estate Investing
Nathaniel “Than” Merrill is 43 years old and was born in Fresno CA. He now lives in San Diego CA with wife Cindy Philps, which he married in 2010, together with their two kids, Tyce and Sky.
Before becoming a known figure in the real estate space, Merill had success in other fields. He graduated from Yale University, and then was drafted to the NFL by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be a professional football player in 2001.
In 2003, after playing for several teams in the European NFL division, he suffered a career-ending knee injury.
Where most people will surrender and stop moving on with their life, Merrill showed character and persevered through an injury that would beat mentally pretty much anyone else.
After quickly realizing he won’t be able to create income from a professional sports career due to his knee injury, in 2004, together with Konrad Sopielnikow, Paul Esajian, and JD Esajian, Merrill established ‘CT Homes’ - a real estate investment business.
CT Homes were known for their well thought out systems, precisely executed processes, and for how they were able to scale quickly, maximize profits, and reduce risk.
This lead to a fairly quick and high rise of Than.
These systems were to later become the foundation of what is today Than’s educational platform and coaching program.
Today, CT Homes LLC is Than’s residential real estate business. They focus on redeveloping between 25 to 40 single-family and multi-family projects at a time and is just the first of three companies Than Merrill started.
The second company is ‘Equity Street Capital’. They focus on acquiring apartment complexes, retail shopping centers, and office properties.
The third company, ‘Future Fortune Builders’, revolves around what I mentioned earlier, education with reliance on the system that worked so well for Than with CT Homes, he teaches new aspiring real estate investors the fundamentals, such as:
The very basics of property transactions and funding.
Fortune Builders was ranked 1st in 2010’s education ranking, and one of the best 5000 businesses in America 3 years in a row on Inc.
Furthermore, Than also started a real estate brokerage and real estate investment fund, ‘Grand Coast Capital’, a few years back.
Being a serial entrepreneur in the real estate field can make you a well-known figure on its own merits, but then, in 2007, came Merrills’ biggest break, one that made him a celebrity.
Merrill was approached by A&E to be their new cast for the hit TV reality show “Flip This House”. The show documented and followed Than and his business partner Paul as the flipped properties in New Haven, CT, and San Diego CA.
It was the very first show of its kind, and it was very well accepted, leadin Merrill to shoot 3 seasons..
After gaining his celebrity status, Than traveled the country while speaking and sharing the stage with the likes of:
Former first lady Laura Bush
Lastly, Merrill is known for his two books, with both being bestsellers, and the first one becoming a bestseller in one week.
2014 - The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible
2015 - The E-Myth Real Estate Investor
Merrill and his wife are also known philanthropists.
They started the ‘Equal Footing Foundation’ - a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and promoting health and sports for youth. In addition, Than initiated ‘FortuneBuilders Gives’, a company branch that provides members and students to give charitable donations.
So, in a space full of gurus, mentors, and successful entrepreneurs, Than Merrill stands out due to his mega exposure through sports, business success, public speaking abilities, TV exposure, and writing.
Than Merrill’s Training: Is It Worth The Money?
Merrill's training includes a few different offers:
2-HOUR REAL ESTATE CLASS:
This class is for both beginners and intermediates. It teaches attendees about the systems that were used to build CT Homes, the fundamentals of investing in real estate, and running a business.
What do they promise to teach you in these 2 hours?
Flipping Houses - How to get started making money by flipping houses in your local area.
Income Producing Properties - How to acquire the best cash flowing properties that can produce you income on a monthly basis.
Meet & Network - With other real estate professionals in your area who are currently buying and selling real estate.
Systems - How to replicate the systems featured on the hit TV show ‘Flip this House’ and the success that came with them.
Investing - How to Invest successfully even if you do it part-time.
What opportunities will be available in real estate during this COVID-19 crisis.
Specific strategies to find discounted properties consistently.
What are the best sources of funding for real estate deals.
What core real estate investment principles work best in this real estate market.
How to protect any current investments you have in real estate and other asset classes.
How to create cash flow from single-family rental properties and commercial properties.
The best tools, strategies, and systems to redevelop and flip properties.
The best way to get started in real estate if you don't have a lot of capital yet.
Tax & Asset protection strategies every American needs to have in place to secure their financial future.
Best investment strategies if you want to be an active or passive investor and maximize returns.
If you think that is a ton of stuff, overwhelming even, to cover in 2 hours, you’re right.
Is it worth your money? Well, it's free, so yes.
Is it worth your time?
According to some attendees, the answer is "no".
A lot of attendees described it as primarily a 1-hour sales pitch, combined with 1 hour of general tips you can get online or in books.
The Better Business Bureau page about Fortune Builders is flooded with poor reviews attendees who were unhappy after purchasing products via the class.
That said, some people prefer to learn via a seminar as opposed to reading books or going through online blog posts.
If that's you, and you are don't mind being pitched Merrill's products, the 2-hour seminar might be for you.
3-DAYS REAL ESTATE WORKSHOP:
Merrill's product line really begins with his 3-day workshop for $197.
He claims the real estate market has changed drastically over the past three years, and that it is important to stay updated with what is going on, and how to overcome these new changes.
Than promises that for $197, you will learn about:
Wholesaling Real Estate: Learn how to find good deals in your area, how to price them, and sell quickly. They promise to reveal their “Wholesale System” - that will teach you how to limit your holding time on properties, therefore reducing your risk.
Than's Rehabbing System: Fortune Builders promise to walk you through and teach you the 7 steps rehabbing process Than himself uses for hundreds of deals he executed. They promise to show documents proving successful past projects and templates for your future ones.
Asset Protection Sessions: Teaching you with a few sessions on how to protect and reduce your risks for all your future investments, with creditors, and other predatory individuals or institutes.
REO/Pre-Foreclosure Investing Sessions: Merrill promises to have several sessions on how to pre-screen REO and Pre-Foreclosure properties, even for completely new investors.
Buy & Hold Real Estate Sessions: Teach you how successful real estate investors build their portfolios by strategically buying and holding cash-flowing properties for long term periods. They promise to hold three intense sessions showing you how to evaluate properties and identify positive cash flow one’s
Tax Strategy & IRA Investment Sessions: You will learn how to structure deals correctly so they have a positive outcome on how much you pay in taxes with self-directed IRA reducing accounts.
So how do attendees feel about Than's 3-day workshop?
Here's what one reviewer had to say:
On the other hand, we understand it depends on mainly two things. Your level of knowledge in Real Estate prior to attending, and how hard you worked for these 197 dollars.
For example, see this review:
And this one:
Like with many programs of this nature, it seems that people have very different experiences based on their prior understanding of the space.
If you have money to spare and virtually no knowledge of real estate investing, you might find Than's seminars very educational and worthwhile.
If you already know the basics and are looking for tips to reach a new level in your investing, you might be disapointed.
limiWe strongly recommend you learn these basic things from free online materials, or great books on real estate - before you are quick to spend money on upsell pitches that might not be valuable to you, unless you're brand new to real estate.
However, if you are new, and looking for guidance, it might be for you.
What Can You Learn About Real Estate From Merrill’s Success?
It's really easy to look at someone making money and charging for training and think, "That's a scam."
But that's a lazy way to go through life.
Instead, treat every success story as opportunity to learn.
What can we learn from Than's success?
First off, we can learn about perseverance.
When Than Merrill was down, injured, and with no future in sports, he invested all his time and focus on real estate wholesaling, started a business, and succeeded.
It is in times of struggle we find our true colors, and if you want to succeed, real estate is a very viable option. Also, you don’t need education to begin, and sometimes even very little money.
Second, we can learn about opportunity.
Than didn't succeed at real estate because he was a real estate genius. Hey built some capital and went all-in on a stable industry with a ton of upside. Not only did Than's real estate business survive the the 2008 housing crash, it flourished over the course of that last 15 years.
Real estate is an opportunity for YOU to reach your financial goals, regardless of your skills or experience.
Third, wholesaling is where the money is.
Than Merrill made most of his early money doing Wholesaling. It is something usually done by beginners in real estate, and Merrill was no different. Wholesaling is one of the most reliable and consistent ways to rapidly grow your wealth.
Next Steps: What Old-School RE Gurus Can't Teach You
There are two legitimate ways to build wealth through real estate:
Make good long term purchases and hold
Find a high volume of short term deals
The first method is easy and works great if you already have a good chunk of money. If you already have a few hundred thousand in capital and you don't mind waiting 10-20 years to double or triple that, stick to the first method.
If you have less than $100k to invest and you are looking to hit 10x wealth while you're still young enough to spend some of it, old school investing fundamentals aren't going to do a whole lot for you.
You need a system for finding and closing a high volume of short term deals that will let you rapidly expand your capital and increase your wealth.
This isn't a system old-school real estate gurus can teach you, because up until the last 10 years, it didn't even exist. The internet has completely changed the game, and if want to take advantage of what's possible TODAY, click below to learn how Astroflipping founder Jamil Damji built the 3rd biggest wholesaling firm in the US.