Than Merrill’s Fortune Builders Review: 5 Real Estate Investment Strategies from Future Builders

May 6, 2024

Fortune Builders is a real estate investment training platform by Than Merrill. It provides courses and resources on becoming an effective real estate investor. Its Fortune Builders Mastery equips aspiring real estate investors with training and coaching. With co-founders Paul Esajian and Konrad Sopielnikow, Fortune Builders aims to expand the real estate market. However, the biggest risk of real estate investing is market volatility. This leads to fluctuations in property values. The 2008 financial crisis caused the US property prices to drop by 20%. This shows the impact of external economic factors on real estate investments.

The Fortune Builders has a decent reputation in the real estate industry. But, it also gets bad reviews on BBB and Pissed Consumers. On Trustpilot, it gained a 3.9 rating with positive reviews. The company received praise for its informative real estate investing approach. Yet, on Pissed Consumers and Better Business Bureau, you can see a lot of complaints about their price and transparency of charges.

In this Fortune Builders review, we'll discuss the program's pros and cons. We'll also provide Fortune Builders' general information, inclusions, and reviews. This article will give insights into Fortune Builders. It will also provide a perspective on real investing and whether the business model is for you.

Fortune Builders Pros and Cons


Fortune Builder's founder Than Merrill has over 15 years of experience. This credential backs up his results.

Fortune Builders offers educational tools, including seminars, webinars, and one-on-one coaching. This covers the needed real estate knowledge to be an investor.

Fortune Builders' live events and community interactions offer networking opportunities. It helps connect with other real estate professionals.


Fortune Builders is expensive, with costs ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 for coaching,

Fortune Builders' results rely on effort and strategy application.

Fortune Builders is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau. This makes its credibility questionable.


Fortune Builders does not directly state its cost. The cost ranges from $30k to $50k, based on coaching level and specific offerings. They also offer installment options. You should inquire about it during the phone call.

Refund Policy

Fortune Builders offers a restrictive 14-day refund policy for its courses. You can cancel by signing a refund request and agreeing to a non-disparagement clause. Violating rules can lead to membership termination without a refund.


Fortune Builders origin date was in 2004. 


Fortune Builders has mixed reputation online.

5 Real Estate Investment Strategies From Fortune Builders

The 5 real estate investment strategies from Future Builders are wholetailing and wholesaling. They also teach flipping, buying and holding, and real estate appreciation. This focuses on diverse methods to maximize profitability in various market conditions.

  • Wholetailing: This is purchasing properties at a low value and making minimal repairs. It then sells them for a profit. This offers a middle ground between wholesaling and full retail flipping.
  • Wholesaling: This involves contracting a home with a seller. They then find an interested party to buy it. The wholesaler sells the contract to a buyer. This makes them earn a profit without owning the property.
  • Flipping: This popular strategy includes buying properties at a cheap price. They then renovate and sell it at a higher price to earn a profit. People also refer to this strategy as fix and flip. It requires a good understanding of renovation costs and market values. Fortune Builders conducts house-flipping seminars.
  • Buying and Holding: Investors buy properties and hold them to collect rental income. Over time, they may also enjoy property value appreciation. This makes it a dual-income strategy.
  • Real Estate Appreciation: This strategy relies on the natural increase in property value. Market and economic changes have made active property management unnecessary.

When applied, these strategies taught by Future Builders can be effective. Each strategy fits different market conditions and investor goals. Being effective needs proper education, market analysis, and risk management. Investors also combine these strategies to maximize returns and mitigate risks. This helps in adapting to economic changes and local real estate market conditions.

What Is Fortune Builders Mastery?

Fortune Builders Mastery is a real estate investment educational platform and coaching program. It's designed by Than Merrill and his company, Fortune Builders. This program offers training, coaching, and resources for real estate investors. The courses focus on finding and financing deals and managing renovations. It also focuses on how to run a real estate business.

The program is for people serious about making a step in real estate investing. Fortune Builders Mastery provides tools, community support, and expert guidance. They are necessary for informed investment decisions and growing real estate portfolios. The goal of the program is to educate and empower participants. They will find, fund, and complete real estate deals with confidence.

What Courses Does Fortune Builders Offer?

The courses Fortune Builders offer are Ultimate Deal Finder and Tax Lien & Deed Online Training. Ultimate Deal Finder is $4,997. It equips investors with tools and resources with on-demand training. Tax Lien & Deed Online Training is $397. It features advanced modules and nationwide auction guides. These courses offer real estate investment strategies and tools for achieving goals.

What Is Ultimate Deal Finder?

The "Ultimate Deal Finder" is a course to jump-start a new investor's education. It provides tools and resources for efficient real estate deal finding and analysis. The price of Ultimate Deal Finder is $4,997.

  • Lead Generation Software: Fortune Builders' Ultimate Deal Finder has Lead Pro. It's a software for finding leads. Motivated seller and cash buyer leads are accessible directly through it. It also has a complemented "done for you" direct mail campaign. This streamlines the marketing process, enabling easier campaign automation and deal discovery.
  • On-Demand Real Estate Training: This includes on-demand courses through the Jumpstart training program. These courses cover a variety of topics crucial for beginner investors. It focuses on maximizing the use of the tools provided in the program.
  • Acquisitions & Wholesaling Bootcamp: This training includes recorded sessions from a 3-day event. It explores the systematic approach to wholesale properties. The internal team manages real deals and uses them as case studies to enrich the bootcamp.
  • Tools & Resources: It includes tools like the Deal Analyzer and Repair Estimator. These tools are crucial for evaluating deals, property valuation, and calculating ROI. It also has extra resources to enhance your investment strategy.

What Is Fortune Builders' Tax Lien & Deed Online Training?

Fortune Builders' Tax Lien & Deed Online Training is a course for real estate investors. It focuses on the complexities of tax liens and tax deeds. This training package costs $397.00.

  • Seven Advanced Lien & Deed Training Video Modules: These modules offer instruction on tax liens and deed investing. covers everything from understanding the process to securing profitable deals.
  • State-by-State Online Auction Guide / Calendar: A resource on tax lien and deed auctions. It finds deals that are happening across different states. It helps investors stay informed about potential opportunities.
  • Sample Direct Mail Letters: The package has sample letters for investor outreach. These letters are for property owners and stakeholders. It facilitates communication and deal-making.
  • Tools & Resources: The training provides essential tools and resources. These are for navigating tax lien and deed investments.
  • Tax Lien & Deed Manual: The course provides a tax lien and deed manual as a reference and guide. The manual explains tax lien and deed investing strategies in detail.
  • Wholesaling for Quick Cash: The program gives lessons focused on wholesaling strategies. It provides techniques for generating quick cash through property transactions.

What Investor Tools Does Fortune Builders Recommend?

Investor Tools Fortune Builders recommend are LeadPro and PropStream. They also recommend DealMaching, and National Real Estate Insurance Group. LeadPro is for lead generation and CRM. PropStream is for property data and scouting. Additionally, DealMachine is for locating off-market properties. Last, the National Real Estate Insurance Group offers customized insurance for properties. These tools optimize lead management, market analysis, and risk mitigation.


LeadPro is a lead generation tool designed for real estate investors. The tool costs $49 per month. Its primary feature is its private search engine for accessing off-market property leads. Additionally, it has automated direct mail marketing and an easy-to-use website builder. It also has a CRM for organizing business operations.

Users receive a bonus Facebook Marketing Masterclass for creating online ads. LeadPro is suitable for both new and experienced investors. It aids in efficient deal finding and marketing across the country.


PropStream is a real estate tool that offers extensive data and marketing solutions. It helps real estate professionals locate, check, and market properties. It provides access to a vast range of property data. This includes tools for targeted lead generation. It supports direct marketing with customizable postcards and emails.

Additionally, PropStream offers a mobile app for on-the-go property scouting and analysis. Features include Skip Tracing and List Automator for efficient contact and lead management. You can start with a 7-day free trial to explore its features. After the free trial, the monthly fees are $99 per month.


DealMachine is a real estate tool for finding off-market properties. These are properties not available on multiple listing services. Users can find properties on the go with the "Driving for Dollars" function. The tool also includes a List Builder for automated lead generation. It also has direct mail campaign tools for easy marketing. Additionally, the built-in CRM system handles contacts and property evaluations.

Get property owner information and build a website. DealMachine's pricing is $99 for the Starter package per month. Pro plan is $149 for three users and the Team package is at $499 with fifteen users.

National Real Estate Insurance Group

National Real Estate Insurance Group (NREIG) is an insurance company. It provides customized insurance solutions for real estate investors. They offer coverage options for different stages of property occupancy. These are vacant, occupied, and properties under renovation. Their insurance products are flexible. It offers property investors merged monthly reports and no long-term commitments.

NREIG offers liability insurance starting as low as $7 per month, per property. Coverage limits are $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 total. This coverage protects investors from various risks associated with property ownership and management. Risks include injuries on the property or incidents involving tenants.

Who Is Fortune Builders For?

Fortune Builders are for newbies, intermediate, and experienced real estate investors. It's for people who want to learn the ins and outs of the business.

  • Real Estate Investing Newbies: Fortune Builders are for beginners. They can enjoy learning foundational strategies such as wholesaling and wholetailing. These strategies need less capital and have manageable risks compared to other investments. Courses like Ultimate Deal Finder can jump-start deal-finding and analysis education.
  • Experienced Real Estate Investors: Seasoned investors can refine their skills with advanced strategies. These strategies are flipping and buying & holding. Experienced investors must analyze the market and manage risks. Programs like Fortune Builders Mastery offer networking and resources.
  • Real Estate Flippers: Those interested in property flipping will find the strategy useful. The Fortune Builders Mastery program provides coaching on managing renovations and market values.
  • Long-Term Investors: Fortune Builders' strategy builds wealth through rental income. it also takes advantage of property value growth. This approach allows for ongoing rent payments and potential property value gains.
  • Passive Investors: The real estate appreciation strategy is hands-off. This method relies on natural property value growth with minimal management. 
  • Entrepreneurs: Real estate investing is also a business. The Fortune Builders Mastery program offers business management training for real estate entrepreneurs. This includes finding deals, financing, and running a real estate operation.
  • Career Changers: People transitioning to real estate investing will find courses helpful. The Ultimate Deal Finder and the Tax Lien & Deed Online Training are very valuable. It helps get the knowledge and tools for a successful shift. 
  • Financial Advisors: Financial Advisors profit from expanding their services and knowledge advice capabilities. Knowledge of various investment strategies aids clients in making informed real estate decisions.

What Do People Say About Fortune Builders?

People say both positive and negative about Fortune Builders. Some participants praise their seminars, while others criticize the company for misleading marketing. There are also complaints about program costs and poor communication. Fortune Builders offer valuable insights, but participants should be mindful of financial commitments. They should also look at varied customer experiences from the program.

Fortune Builders TrustPilot Reviews

Fortune Builders Trustpilot reviews are mostly positive. It gained a 3.9 out of 5 rating with 95% of the reviews being five stars. A Fortune Builders student, Gerald said that Fortune Builders defeated his skepticism. He had a positive experience at Fortune Builders' weekend seminar. The seminar inspired them, but financial constraints held them back from engaging. Gerald believes in Fortune Builders and hopes their testimony convinces skeptics. He believes he can succeed with Fortune Builders' coaches guiding him.

Jessica, another student, also gave a 5-star rating on Fortune Builders. She said she loved the bootcamp and its content. Jessica praised the event, describing it as upbeat and motivational. She appreciates the seminars for restoring her mindset and values. Jessica was happy to be in a supportive community of like-minded individuals. She attends and recommends events to stay motivated and connected.

However, there were also negative comments on Fortune Builders in Trustpilot. Jennifer attended one to one of Fortune Builders' free seminars. Her general comment is the program is a waste of time and money. The seminar promised effective, asset-free investment strategies for financial independence. After the 3-day event, they found the seminar shifted focus. It promotes a pricey Fortune Builders Mastery program, costing $30,000 to $50,000. Despite their consideration of a $35,000 level, they received rejection. This contradicts the seminar's promise of starting with $0 assets, based on their $300,000 net worth. They warn others about a scam involving misleading tactics to sell expensive courses.

Fortune Builders Complaints on Pissed Consumer and Better Business Bureau

Fortune Builders Complaints exist on Pissed Consumer and Better Business Bureau. These complaints call Fortune Builders a scam and have taken their money.

On the Pissed Consumer website, Guest-540381 said that Fortune Builders demolished his dream. He had a regrettable experience with Fortune Builders. Despite financial constraints, he enrolled in the Fortune Builders Mastery Program. They encouraged him to improve his credit, but it ended up costing him more money. They had to pay program fees and buy materials and website subscriptions. This put a lot of strain on their finances and they ended up with a lot of debt. It also damaged their credit score a lot. The person warns others not to invest in these educational programs. They reflect on the high costs and risks and how it caused them serious problems.

In Better Business Bureau, Tasha complained against Fortune Builders. Tasha felt frustrated with her experience. She paid for a three-day class often postponed by Fortune Builders because of COVID-19. Despite wanting to attend rescheduled classes, they experienced cancellations and poor communication. This includes unreturned calls and unfulfilled promises for follow-up. The company switched to online classes instead of in-person sessions, causing more dissatisfaction. Tasha called Fortune Builders a scam and advised against the company's seminars. She stresses the difficulty of getting a refund for the payment made in early 2020.

Is Fortune Builders Worth It?

Fortune Builders is worth it if you invest time and effort into your real estate education and career. You should also need a clear understanding of the risks involved. The program provides tools, courses, and coaching for real estate investment strategies. This benefits investors from real estate appreciation. These strategies help you maximize profitability in diverse market conditions.

However, it's important to consider that the cost of Fortune Builders can range from $30,000 to $50,000. This makes it a large financial commitment. Additionally, its effectiveness depends on how you apply learned strategies in real-world scenarios. The lack of accreditation by the Better Business Bureau worries participants.

Also, Fortune Builders' program costs may be tax-deductible. This is at least for those who qualify as real estate professionals. One user asked this question on JustAnswer website. The user learned about the deduction for the Fortune Builders program. But, the company will not guide you on claiming the deduction.

A tax expert on this thread answered her. She explained that qualified real estate professionals can deduct seminar expenses. The tax expert on this thread also advised her to keep certification. She also advised to keep proof of attendance and payment.

Transparency and unrealistic expectations are also major concerns with the program. This is about the ease and profitability of house flipping. YouTube critics argue the program is unnecessary given cheaper or free alternatives.

What Is the Fortune Builders Lawsuit?

Fortune Builders Lawsuit is a labor dispute in San Diego court. Ronald L. Styn was the presiding judge and Katie Vincent was the complainant. The case includes a complaint, arbitration efforts, and requests to pause court proceedings. Both sides submit documents and attend scheduled court meetings in the legal process. However, the court categorizes the case under Other Pending Labor. The case includes a Civil Case Management Conference. This is a meeting to organize and plan the advancement of the lawsuit through the court system.

Who Is Than Merrill?

Than Merrill is the co-founder and CEO of Fortune Builders Inc. He has an extensive background in real estate being with CT Homes, LLC and Fortune Builders. Merrill is also an American businessman, television personality, and former professional football player.  Merrill was born on December 12, 1977, in Fresno, California.

He was an All-Far West Quarterback in high school and played as a strong safety at Yale University. At Yale, he earned Yale's First-team All-Ivy Selections from 1999 to 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in the 7th round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Yet, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears for the 2001 season. He played one season with the Bears and had 7 tackles. After that, the Bears to the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe allocated him. In 2003, his football career ended because of a knee injury.

Than Merrill co-founded CT Homes, LLC in 2004. The company buys, renovates, and sells various types of real estate properties. These are both for commercial real estate and residential real estate. Merrill and CT Homes caught the attention of Flip This House producers. They show educated potential entrepreneurs on real estate transactions. From 2007 to 2009, the show featured Merrill's New Haven team for the last three seasons.

Merrill's book, The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible, offers an easy and fast start in real estate. April 21, 2014, is the publication date. The E-Myth Real Estate Investor is also his best-selling book on real estate investing. Various media outlets have featured Than Merrill, including television shows and podcasts. He's well-known for his real estate expertise and passion for educating others.

Fortune Builder's Claim

Fortune Builders claim that they teach people real estate investment to take control of their financial future. Part of this claim is that they have time-tested systems in real estate investing for you to succeed. These systems can make you take advantage of opportunities in real estate.

Fortune Builder's Claim Debunked

Fortune Builders' claim of teaching real estate investment to take control of their financial future is enticing. However, this claim needs critical evaluation. Real estate education provides valuable knowledge. Success in investments relies on market conditions, personal commitment, and external factors. These variables are unpredictable and differ from each situation. The effectiveness of established real estate principles can differ. It also depends on personal execution and market dynamics.

These claims also overlook the high entry costs of Fortune Builders. Its high cost is not achievable for everyone. When evaluating investment education, being skeptical of guaranteed success claims is important. No educational program can guarantee financial success. This is because of the complex nature of real estate markets. Potential investors should approach these claims with caution. They should consider the pros and cons of the education and system offered.

Kingdom 320's vs Fortune Builders' Stance on Real Estate Investing

Kingdom 320 believes in integrating Christian values into its real estate investing curriculum. The program focuses on reverse wholesaling, the opposite of traditional wholesaling. Kingdom 320 also offers mentorship and education in real estate. It helps individuals create a Christian-based passive income portfolio.

Fortune Builders focuses on 5 investment strategies, unlike Kingdom 320. Fortune Builders is known for its intensive courses and workshops. The program can also be more expensive. It's because it emphasizes practical, hands-on experiences in the real estate market.

Their difference lies in their educational approach and underlying philosophy. Kingdom 320 blends faith with finance. Fortune Builders focuses on technical investment strategies and high engagement. It's also a high-cost educational model.

Why Digital Real Estate Is Better Than Traditional Real Estate Investing

Digital real estate is better than traditional real estate because it has lower start-up costs. Real estate needs significant investment because the median home in 2024 is around $375,000. Digital real estate is websites or social media accounts, unlike physical properties. Additionally, digital real estate has a high potential for scalability and monetization. It offers diverse revenue streams as advertising and product sales. This often results in higher profit margins.

Digital assets also enable global operations, and individuals can manage them remotely. This offers more flexibility, which is rare in traditional real estate. Traditional real estate investing involves tangible assets and requires notable initial capital. It also incurs ongoing maintenance costs compared to digital real estate. 

Try local lead generation in creating digital real estate. It's a more attractive business with lower start-up costs compared to real estate investing. It's a business model for those who seek a more accessible, less risky, and manageable income. Digital real estate through local lead generation creates assets. As a result, these assets generate passive and predictable income for financial freedom.

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