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Who is Than Merrill & Why Should Real Estate Investors Care?

Updated: Nov 4, 2022



90% of the millionaires in the world have achieved their wealth through some sort of real estate investing.


That’s a reoccurring indication that real estate is, by far, the easiest form of investment that anyone can go for. Certainly, if you didn’t believe that, you wouldn’t be on this site, reading this blog right now.


One of the best things about real estate investing is that anyone can get started in it.


Take Than Merrill.


If you’re a football fan, you’ll remember Merrill as the defensive back/safety for the Chicago Bears in 2001 and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.


But if you’re an investor, you may know him from the A&E show, Flip This House.



How We Know Than Merrill


Nathaniel ‘Than’ Merrill is a former native of Fresno, California and a Yale University graduate. As mentioned, he had a pretty good run in both the NFL and the European NFL division until a knee injury took him, literally, out of the game.


With dreams of being a football star dashed, Merrill decided to switch tactics and, with a few friends, founded CT Homes, a real estate investment business.


The company was well known for their thought-out systems, precise executed processes, quick scalability, maximized profits, and risk reduction. And those tenants eventually would become the basis of his educational program.


Today, CT Homes LLC focuses on residential real estate business, with an emphasis on redeveloping single and multi-family projects.


And CT Homes isn’t the only business Merrill has started – he also runs Equity Street Capital and Fortune Builders, the last a company I’m sure you’ve heard of.


Fortune Builders, along with a young version called Future Fortune Builders, focuses on teaching investing fundamentals, such as:


  • Financial literacy

  • Personal development

  • Basics of property transactions


In 2007, Merrill became a member of the New Haven Team as part of A&E’s Flip This House in their third season. He and his team were on the show for the next two seasons until the show ended in 2009.


What Can Real Estate Investors Learn from Than Merrill?


From NFL budding star to real estate entrepreneur to reality TV star, Than Merrill has certainly found success in different careers.


There are a few things both new and seasoned can take away from Than’s success:


Be persistent


When athletes get the news that they are no longer able to play, it can be devastating, especially if they had a focus on that sport for their career.


Than Merrill’s knee injury meant he was out of the NFL, but it didn’t sideline him; instead, he used that time to focus on investing in real estate and started several, successful businesses.


All of us have gotten or have gone through devastating times, but those who are able to walk through the fires and come out alive – even if slightly singed – are showing their perseverance.


Even when things look bleak, keep pushing and keep persevering.



Find opportunity


With perseverance, Merrill was able to start real estate investing and build a business. He took the opportunity to learn about something else, something that would help him succeed, even if it wasn’t in the career he thought he’d be in.


Guys, I can speak a little about this.


When I went to college, the plan had been to be a doctor; it was what my parents wanted and it was expected of me to do something along those lines.


Obviously, I didn’t become a doctor, but like Than Merrill, I was able to find another opportunity to succeed professionally. For both of us, that opportunity was real estate investing.


And as many of my Astro members know, I’m all about finding opportunities.


With the market being as weird as it has been, there are still opportunities for new and seasoned investors to be successful.


Than Merrill has clearly shown that with these two things, anyone can reach for the stars and grab them.



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