Than Merrill, former NFL player for the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now scoring touch downs in real estate. Than is the star of Flip This House and founder of CT Homes, LLC and Fortune Builders, INC. One of the most successful real estate investors in the nation, he has become one of the most sought after real estate speakers and coaches in the country.
Than buys between 9 and 10 properties every single month averaging a profit margin of $27,000.00 each. In the last few years he has bought and sold a total of over 350 properties nationwide. As a result his company has rapidly grown into a multi-million dollar business with over 17 professionals under Than’s leadership.
A little known fact? Than is an Ivy Leaguer. He got his degree at Yale University before becoming a professional football player and now a real estate titan. In addition, Than is a national speaker and has shared the platform with some of the top speakers in the country including Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, and Robert Kiyosaki.
Than took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for me recently.
Jessica: Tell me about your most rewarding moment as a football player?
Than: The first time I took the field in my first professional game. It was such an emotional moment for me because there were years of hard work that led up to that moment. Finally, for a few seconds I was satisfied with what I had accomplished. I remember coming off the field in a wave of emotion and having one of the veteran players tell me to get a grip Rookie. It was pretty funny, but something I will always remember.
J: What would you say is your greatest business success so far?
T: My greatest success is the fact that I have been able to build a multi-million dollar business with two of my best friends. I take great pleasure in working with people I enjoy being around. Too many people have jobs they can’t stand and work with people they don’t necessarily like. I love what I do and the people that I work with.
Also, in 2007 my two business partners and I set a goal to flip over 100 homes and we ended up buying and selling 104 properties that year.
T: Resiliency! As an athlete you learn to live with failure and rebound quickly. In fact, every practice and game is a series of successes and failures. So adapting to that stress and learning how to come back from failure directly applies to what happens every day as a business owner. This is intuitive for athletes and is something that is a competitive advantage for me as a business owner.
J: What advice can you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
T: Take one hour every day and lock yourself in your office or a quiet room and focus on educating yourself in some area of your business. I call this my power hour and it has been the best thing I have ever done for my business. As an athlete we have to train our bodies everyday and as a business person we must train our minds. It is no different.
J: How do you balance your business and your personal life?
T: Well, according to my girlfriend not very well! What has worked is when I set aside time, turn off my phone, and focus on other areas of my life. I love spending time with friends and loved ones so I do try and make a conscious decision to set aside time for them. So far it is still a work in progress.
J: What’s the one thing you have yet to do that you’d like to do the most?
T: Start a charitable organization that works with young aspiring entrepreneurs and provides start up capital for their ideas. I believe the two to three year window after college is the most critical time for young entrepreneurs. I would love to start an organization that let’s young entrepreneurs compete for seed capital. We started FortuneBuilders.com with the intention of helping other entrepreneurs succeed in the real estate business and I would like to extend that to other areas of business.
You can catch Than and other Flip This House teams every Saturday on the A&E Channel.