Than Merrill’s Fortune Builders Mastery, A Look Behind the Curtain.
If you are here, you probably are researching Than Merrill and trying to figure out if Fortune Builder’s Mastery Seminars and Bootcamp are right for you.
I’m gonna look at all that, but first, let me tell you what just happened to me to put all of this into perspective.
Last Friday I was at Panera Bread with a couple of business owners, We were discussing taking their company to the next level using Internet marketing as the key mechanism to propel it to becoming extremely profitable. The best part is they hired me to show them how. (Thanks Kat) (I’ll explain later).
Funny thing happened though…It was almost like Panera had passed out the freaky-deaky peachy punch koolaid because as everyone discussed how wealthy they were going to be, it was as if a mushroom euphoric craze came over everyone involved. I’m probably exaggerating a little, but hang with me here, I have a point.
The point is emotional contagion. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that we all have mirror neurons.
That’s why we cry and movies and feel pain when somebody else stubs their toe or cuts their fingernail off with a knife pairing an orange.
Just reading it might’ve made you wince just a little. My real point is that the feelings of having new access to wealth surges through a like-minded crowd like spider monkeys on ‘caine.
I don’t know about you, but I have been in a room full of people…. where… we were simply talking about how successful we were going to be and how we were going to make millions.
There is definitely a Magic Mike on Viagra quality to the conversation if you know what I mean.
So my point is gathering a group of people to discuss being part of fortune builders is probably something quite close to all of this.
My brother used to always tell me that conferences were like a warm bath. There was just no other place on the planet and you’d rather be because the positive vibe at these conferences is so great that it makes you feel 6’6″ and bullet proof.
So today I wanted to take a look at Fortune builder’s Than Merrill and what we are up against what it comes to keeping a cool head in our decision-making process as to whether we should attend an event like this or not.
First off as a man who has seen behind the curtain when it comes to Internet marketing, I can tell you that most gurus employ the latest and greatest to ensure that you are pulled in emotionally into what it is that they’re selling.
First they give you a tripwire offer which is the freebie. They invited you to a seminar for free and they expose you to other offers. This is where they try to upgrade you.
But truth be told I’m really not in disagreement with that process. This process is used all the time because it works. It is essentially the same thing as a coupon to your local grocery store. To get you in the door then they can sell you all kinds of other stuff. It is just the way things are, and it allows people to get a sense of something before they buy.
The added hook that I see on the Fortune Builder’s website is that they use a lot of behind-the-scenes music and beautiful photography and video editing in order to pull you in emotionally.
It is designed to make you think that maybe this is what you have been waiting for. It is what you have been looking for and finally you have your choice and chance to make your dreams into reality.
Make sure that as you read my blog you don’t make mistake of believing that I am against entrepreneurial endeavors.
-Why should you listen to me?
Because I am here like Morpheus to Neo to make you aware of the matrix that you’re in. I was on my way to making my fortune in real estate too.
However in the process of seeking out my millions, I was unsuccessful in turning my money into minions (little guys to help me) and ended up getting kicked out of my own castle if you know what I mean.
Yep, foreclosure after foreclosure. Bankruptcy and bottom of the barrel living.
It was totally the opposite of the Bud Light commercial. And the reality check that I got left some scars.
They served me well. They served as reminders on what not to do. That is why I am here sharing all of this information with you. I learned what I was missing personally.
So as much as Than Merrill’s Fortune Builders Program is appealing and sexy. I say NO for me. However it might be right for you.
But before you dive in the one thing that I’d recommend is that you get some coaching around what may stand in your way.
Because I now realize that the biggest obstacle in my way of getting what I wanted out of life was ME.
The yearning inside you to do something different with your life comes from your uniqueness desiring expression.
Watch the video, and it’ll explain everything that I am discussing here. It’ll give you much clearer view on what I mean by all of this and once you’re done I invite you to enjoy the full-bore fortune builders review.
(eliminate distractions for the next few min.)
NOW: Here’s my review:
Than Merril Bio and Background
Nathaniel “Than” Merrill, Founder and CEO of FortuneBuilders.com and CT Homes, is one of the most successful real estate investors in the nation. FortuneBuilders is an education and coaching company that develops curriculums tools and systems for real estate investing. He has bought and sold hundreds of homes all across the US.
Than was born in Fresno, CA in December 22, 1977. He went to Yale University and played football during college. When he graduated he was drafted in the NFL and played for the Chicago Bears in 2001 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
After Than played football, he discovered he could be as passionate about real estate investing as he was with football. He started CT Homes, which is a real estate investing business in New Haven, CT. He started this company with two long-time friends Paul Esajian and Konrad Sopielnikow.
Because of his success the business, Than was asked to keynote speak at many real estate conferences around the country and he discovered for himself that he loved teaching and sharing his knowledge with aspiring investors. 2006, he founded FortuneBuilders. This company a real estate educational company dedicated to giving students the training, resources and systems to invest in real estate.
A few years later Than was asked by A&E to be the New Haven cast of the hit TV reality show “Flip this House.” Than and his partner Paul were documented showing homes that they had flipped in New Haven, CT and San Diego, CA.
Besides his reality show rockstar status, he also shared the stage with notable people such as former first lady Laura Bush, Tony Robbins, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and Robert Kiyosaki.
In 2014, Than wrote a best selling real estate investing book, The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible, and in the first week, the book became a bestseller on Amazon.
FortuneBuilders has different real estate investing courses. They have courses for marketing, rehabbing for maximized profits, and wholesaling for quick cash.
They believe that education, systems and coaching are the key components to running a successful real estate investing business.
They offer distinct home study courses to lay the groundwork for their clients’ real estate goals as well as a mastery course that people have to apply to be accepted. They have several bootcamp events and an online business bootcamp.
They guarantee many different things for their clients. For example, they guarantee that there will always be a coach he or she can work with who specializes in the area of real estate investing they are interested in. They have experts in different niches.
Clients can get coaching at any given time that they need coaching. They have live case studies. Their website offers many more of free information and descriptions of their courses.
PRODUCTS AND RESOURCES
Is Fortune Builders right for you?
Regarding FortuneBuilders’ resources and products, I’m going to start with the free stuff.
FortuneBuilders.com has an extensive and well organized blog section.These are informative blogs categorized by overall topic, including real estate , investing , finance , business , real estate news, Infographics , and Fortune Builders TV. The blogs are current and readable with attractive designs and photos, and information broken down In a usable way .
Fortunebuilders has a channel on YouTube where you can find 24 videos. Some of these are from seven months ago; the rest were posted further back than that . So the YouTube channel does not seem to be a place where FortuneBuilders Is devoting a lot of attention . It looks like there are some informative, helpful videos mixed with a bunch of testimonial/review vids.
Ok, let’s switch now to the charged products.
FortuneBuilders offers multiple-day events, homestudy courses, and a mastery coaching program.
The real estate investing events are Boot Camps . Each one is three or four days long . They include a Wholesaling Boot Camp , Rehabbing Boot Camp , REO and Short Sale Boot Camp , and an Online Business Boot Camp . The website does not give prices for these events but on BiggerPockets.com and RipOffReport.com, I’ve seen reviews and comments that put the price at $197.
The wholesaling bootcamp Is broken down by days.
- Day One is about Setting up your company and creating a marketing plan to find deals .
- Day Two covers evaluating deals, creating buying systems, And virtual investing tools .
- Day Three covers new rehabbing strategies , building your buyers list , and implementing the nine step selling system.
- Day Four covers financing properties, business planning, virtual outsourcing, and bulk REO property opportunities
The four-day rehab boot camp Is broken down as follows .
- Day One: the top techniques to find houses; Contractors; The system to follow to get the best rehab team .
- Day Two: an on-site live bus tour .
- Day Three: construction techniques to sell all your houses and the insurance needed to protect your real estate fortune .
- Day Four: Office set up and accounting software; procedures to count every dollar you earn; how to take the residential redevelopment business to the next level.
The ultimate REO and short sale boot camp Is broken into three days . Day one covers marketing for huge profits and pre- foreclosures . Day two covers REO insider secrets . Day three covers REO and short sale systems to double your profits .
The Online Business Boot Camp is a three day event divided Into morning and afternoon sessions. Quite a range of topics is covered, including: Building a huge email list , Joint ventures , affiliate marketing , Setting up merchant accounts , Setting up shopping carts , Creating killer sales page content , Selling info products via webinars , crafting your state presentation , Successful business models , and office set up breakdown .
FortuneBuilders offers three home courses . They all cost $1197 .
The Marketing for Deals home course comes with a manual, two audio CDs, forms, scripts and templates .
The Rehabbing home course comes with a reference manual , four audio CDs, a few bonuses , pictures , an example of scope of work , profit analysis , and a few other items .
The Wholesaling home course comes with a manual, nine audio CDs , forms and contract disks , various agreements ,information sheets , check lists , applications , sample emails, classified ads and template, flyers , and a number of other Items .
The FortuneBuilders Mastery Coaching program is their biggest ticket Item . According to the website, participants in this program receive one-on-one mentoring and support , weekly live training and coaching webinars, classes, materials , and access to the mastery business management system.
Participants in the master coaching program attend live events and boot camps (Including the boot camps listed above) as well as full-immersion course , passive cash flow intensive course and various other events.
I could not find the cost of the mastery coaching program at FortuneBuilders .com, but from what I have found on other review websites, the cost ranges from 20,000 to 39,000, depending on the package .
I always check out independent review sites to find assessments of a company’s products. FortuneBuilders got a fair amount of chatter on BiggerPockets.com and on RipOffReport.com, some negative, some positive. I’ve included excerpts from some of those reviews below for you.
- FB’s ultimate goal is to get people to give them $25K for a mastery course with a coach.–Jason B, Orange Park, FL (on BiggerPockets.com)
- I am a graduate of the program. It is NOT for anyone and everyone. But it certainly is NOT a scam in the sense that the material is ‘wrong’ or ‘fake’, but I would definitely question some of the statements they make in their marketing efforts. … Fortune Builders’ material is geared towards making a business out of flipping a home. Their intent is not necessarily to make you a ‘casual’ flipper.
- Also, a lot of their material is geared towards the mid-west/east coast market. Some of the ‘coaching’ is probably the biggest issue I have with them, what was delivered was drastically different than what they communicated they would deliver. When I went through the program, their ‘coaching’ was summed up as once a week coaching calls for 30 minutes with a coach that may or may not be local or understand your local market. That is imperative as a newbie to have someone accessible and knowledgeable of the local market. Even the radio advertisement said they had a “small” “local” team — this is completely false. Strategies they teach in their course definitely do not apply in certain markets (especially mine). –Brandon L, San Jose, CA (BiggerPockets.com) (July, 2014)
- I know one guy who paid the $25k and says it’s a rip-off but also know a lady who is still in their program, flips houses and says she couldn’t do it without them. I think it depends on you and your level experience. –Christopher B, Knoxville, TN (BiggerPockets.com)(May, 2014)
And this one from RipOffReport.com, from a four-paragraph review:
I just finished the three day Fortune Builders Real Estate workshop in NYC. 11/4/14 -11/6/14. … First off, if you honestly didn’t learn $197 dollars worth of useful investment, tax, and yes real estate advice, while attending, then you must not have been paying attention or are just plain ignorant. … As to what was covered…geez… I took over forty college ruled pages of notes. Not only did they discuss their systems, but throughout the three days they treated us, albeit with some theatrics and drama, to a plethora of wealth building and retaining information…. To sum it up I left torn. It is a lot of money ($20k to $35k depending on the package) yet in a way it is not. Are they a scam? I honestly think not. I think they have developed a system that works…at least for those smart enough and with the resources to pursue it. Is it a slam dunk? Not likely. –Renman417 (November, 2014)
There were no officially-filed complaints at RipOffReport.com or at the Better Business Bureau.
Without a doubt, FortuneBuilders brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the real estate investing table. A lot of it they share for free.
Whether or not you can afford the charged courses and the mastery coaching is part of the question. The other part is whether or not you should pay that much for it, or find the help somewhere else more affordably.
Any way you look at it, the home-study courses and coaching are fairly expensive compared to other programs/mentorships being offered in the industry. The three-day events are cheap, at $197. Other real estate gurus out there are charging between $500 and $3,000 for multi-day events.
I’ll leave you with this advice: Do your homework before signing up. Good luck!